Car ignorance birds with oily feet come home to roost…   Leave a comment

Hubris. That’s what it is.

The other day I was going on about rockin’ ’em at the Songwriter’s Night, and then the next one I do I’m the most spiritless, stillborn cunt in the world. People do buy CDs at those gigs though. They must have money left over from getting in free or whatever.

Then the other other day we decide to go to Ely to see the cathedral, like you do when you’re really old and straight, and on the way the oil light goes on the Escort. I couldn’t tell you what model it is because I don’t know anything about cars, as we shall see. Sensibly, we pull in to the garage and buy a small bottle of oil; only we can’t put it in the car, because we don’t know how to open the fucking bonnet. I’m serious, and I’m ashamed. Fuck it, we think. It must be like a petrol light, meaning that we’re OK for a bit but we’d better get some oil in as soon as we can. So we go to Ely and wander around the cathedral swearing and giggling and laughing at a statue of some dude who must have done a lot of work for Christ, but only when he could be bothered. Then, as we’re driving out of Ely, the car just konks out and we pull over. First thing we have to do, is ring Richard Rippin up to tell us how to open the bonnet, only Sam’s mobile is very low on power and keeps going dead. Then, after a long search, we think we’ve located where you put the oil in, but we can’t get the cap off. Then we have a great many very short conversations with Sam’s Mum, who in turn is talking to her Gary about how to put oil in Escorts. I keep pulling the cap and twisting it but it’s not coming and I don’t want to fuck anything up that I haven’t fucked already. Then Sam tries to turn the car on to charge the phone and the engine now won’t even turn over. By this point Syd is late for his nap and we have no milk, blanket etc, and he’s screaming as the juggernauts zoom past his head. By this time I’m virtually screaming myself. I’m livid with Sam for having a fucked car, for having a fucked phone etc, but most of all for having a fucked boyfriend who doesn’t know shit about cars and can’t even open the bonnet on one. I’d always known that one day my lack of knowledge in this area would screw me up and I’d always looked at the poor saps by the side of the road with dead cars with a kind of chill because I knew it would eventually be me. What’s making matters worse for me is that I feel really stupid because I’m wearing a biker jacket.
Then Sam tells me that she hasn’t updated the AA thingy from her old car to her new (fucked) one and I start to have visions of bills so enormous and unpayable that I’d have to radically change my musical style or even get a job or something. Eventually, for some reason, the AA man comes. He is one of those people who seems so welded to their profession that their physical appearance is part and parcel of the work they do. This is kind of a fancy way of saying that he was really, really oily, especially his hair. He was also so taciturn that there didn’t seem to be much qualitative difference between him and the breakdown lorry he was driving, and if the latter had suddenly engaged me, Bob The Builder-style, in conversation I wouldn’t have been particularly surprised. The AA man pulled the cap off the engine like someone plucking a grape from a bunch. Maybe I loosened it, I don’t know.
Then he filled us in with a few facts, without saying anything more than was necessary.

When the oil light goes on your car you have to put more oil in pronto.
You have to fill the fucker up. Like, with a big can.
If you don’t, you will seize your engine, like we did, and need a new one.
It’s not worth putting a new engine in shitty old cars.

Hence, for want of a nail, etc, and don’t fuck about in churches.

Posted February 15, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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