Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The day my Dad wrecked my car.

I never used to have much luck with cars. I think it's because I am a girl. A girl who has no interest in the underneath of a car bonnet or what the car looks like. As long as it gets me from A to B and has equipment so that I can play music as it's meant to be played (ie- loudly) I'm happy. I think it's also because I used to listen to my Dads advice about buying cars. He told me that you don't want to spend a lot of money on your first car because you're just going to wreck it anyway (thanks for the vote of confidence) and the insurance would be sky high.

Turns out it's just as high if you're in an old rust bucket because they know either it or you are going to die sooner or later.

Consequently that meant that my first car was a complete skank whore bought for fifty quid from a girl at college who failed the ANA. Should have given me some indication right there. Oh, the ANA for those of you who don't know is the Animal Nursing Assistant qualification. It basically makes sure you can distinguish between a cat, dog and a rabbit and that you are proficient in shovelling shit.

Anyway, I get this car home, it has a manual choke which I have no idea how to use. It's pretty much pot luck if I can get it to start at all and it rattles down the motorway like a pea in a tin can. The windscreen wash doesn't work, you fill it up with a litre of water and it spills it down the road like an uninitiated waitress before you even have a chance to squirt it over the windscreen so that every few miles on the way to college I have to pull over on to the hard shoulder and throw water over the windscreen. It's OK on the minor roads cos I can lean out of the window while driving to chuck the water on the windscreen although I do arrive at college wet down one side, with a puddle in my lap and an interesting hairstyle.

This car lasts a week. That's right. A week. I was making a short trip into town and the engine makes a big clunk and the accelerator just gives up. I do what any self respecting woman would do. I start crying and call my Dad.

He tells me to stop crying and coast the car into a safe place so I coast it into the doctors surgery car park. Can't get much safer than that right?

He then hops into his car and calls the RAC or whichever manly car person he was using at the time and they all come to my rescue in a hail of shiny working vehicles while I stand snivelling at the side of my car begging him to get better and work. Of course it's become a 'him' now that it doesn't work cos we all know how reliable men are.

Sweeping sexism aside, the men come to my aide and the knight of the road opens the car bonnet and prods around a bit making the sort of noises doctors make when they tell you you have days to live. I imagine.

"It's your flibberty gibbet" He says shaking his head sorrowfully. He didn't actually use the words flibberty gibbet but I can't remember what the actual name of the thing was so we'll stick with that for the minute. "Yeah, your flibberty gibbet has gone mad and killed all the other little flibberty gibbets and the car has died"

This is when I start crying again, I mean, my first car didn't even last a week! The knight slunk off to the safety of his truck to do 'the paperwork' as my Dad and I had a little memorial in the doctors car park for my deceased car before arranging for him to go to the big scrap yard in the sky with the knight.

My next car wasn't much better. As I needed a car to get to work and my Dad was running out of clean t- shirts where I was boo hooing on hiim so much he arranged for me to have a car off of his brother. Now if you've ever seen the show "Only Fools and Horses" and thought that Del Boy was an ideal person to buy a car off you would have thought this was a good idea as well. If you haven't seen the show then what the hell have you been doing? It's an iconic piece of British TV history you cabbage! Oh well, you'll just have to follow along the best you can won't you. Let me know if we're going too fast....

Anyway, we buy this car for about £150 so I'm thinking, 'ok, this one has to be better. Three digits to the price, must be good'. Regardless of the fact that you have to hold the gearstick in reverse, the back windows don't open, the boot can be opened by any key in the world and the rear view mirror is held on by what I hope is pink coloured blue tack.

This car does slightly better, it lasts for about six months until one day there is an ominous clanking and the car loses power. Luckily I am not travelling down a motorway at 70 miles an hour but I am on quite a busy bus route and some of the drivers language is illuminating to say the least. I discover that I can't use any of the forward gears but reverse is working fine which is useless unless I want to drive backwards all the way home. I have a sneaky feeling I'd get arrested for that so what do I do?

That's right, I cry and call my Dad and say "shall we just take it to a garage?"

He says "Nay! I shall fix it for I am Dad and can fix cars, broken dreams and electrical items. I can also remove the lids from stubborn jam jars for I AM DAD"

I sigh and attach the tow rope to the front of my ailing blue beast (the car, my Dad's not an ailing blue beast) and he attaches his end of the tow rope to his shiny red stallion (again, his car) and we set off in a two car procession while I scare passing motorists with the 'look no hands and no feet' routine.

We get to the parents home and this is where it all goes a bit wrong. The shiny red car glides happily into the driveway whereas the backwards blue car gets stuck on the camber of the pavement and refuses to go any further.

SuperDad gets out of his car and motions for me to get out and push the car over the camber of the pavement and safely into the driveway. Which I do. However, we had overlooked one tiny point.

If I get out of the car and push it into the driveway, who is going to stop the car once it is in position as I will be behind the car and nowhere near the brakes?

Hmm. Tricky. As this realisation is dawning on me and I see blue car trundling fairly quickly towards red car I make a run for it and dive towards the open door of blue car to try and pull the hand brake up. Unfortunately SuperDad had the same idea and we collided like conkers.

Needless to say SuperDad is pretty pissed off now. Not only has he got an Ally shaped bruise on his head, his shiny red car has been rear ended by an eminently inferior model that has scratched shiny red cars shiny-ness off. With a growl and a 'stay there' look at me, he throws open the door, launches himself into blue cars uncomfortable seat, wrestles the gear stick into reverse and slams his foot on to the accelerator.

Unfortunately, blue car is still attached to red car and SuperDad has no idea of the strength of his actions. Blue car, happy to be working again, zooms backwards with an excited 'weeeeeeeeeee'. The driver door is still open so as blue car careens out of the drive way the door catches on the wall and flies into the front garden missing my head by inches as I throw myself to the floor dramatically.

Red cars bumper sits solidly behind red car and takes the force like a man while blue cars front bumper is ripped off and lays helplessly on the concrete while blue car shoots across the road, missing a bus load of old age pensioners on their way to Bingo by a blue rinsed hairs breadth. Blue car, still happy to be moving is only stopped by the sturdy wall of the opposite neighbours side garden as his back bumper crumples like paper and his excited whoops are silenced when SuperDad takes his foot off the accelerator and exits stage right scratching his head in an 'I don't know what just happened' kind of way.

I gingerly walk over to him wondering how I will feel if there is any blood and reminding myself that I am a Veterinary Nurse. I can cope with anything.

Luckily there is no blood just the battered remains of blue car still humming away like an insane mosquito. I drag the blue bumper still attached to the rope (which some kids have now stolen and used as a rope swing) out of the driveway and onto the garden out of the way while we wordlessly push blue car back into the driveway making sure that I get into the car before the camber of the pavement so that I can put the brakes on before red car sustains another injury.

I used SuperDads house key to open blue cars boot, removed my gubbins and put the drivers side door in before phoning the knight to come and take yet another car to the big scrap yard in the sky. Well, in Botley but you know.