Tuesday 29 January 2013

Double Trouble

Those of you kind enough to keep up may remember, from a post or so back, that I crashed my car. In fact, that turned out to be the trigger which let in the black dog. Not only did I have to deal with the stupidity and the loss, but with the ensuing hassle. All this was just before the Christmas period, a significant factor because there was pressure - self imposed - to have wheels for the holiday period. Following a family pow-wow it was decided I should go for an automatic. I do see the logic of this since most of my driving is done in heavy traffic but I have never found changing gear a problem in the past. What problem there was started with provenance. Where was I to source a suitable replacement? Picture it: there was I, ashamed to admit I mourned my twelve-year old car, not at full physical strength and, as it turned out, emotionally challenged, too. That arithmetic added up to my going to the dealer who had furnished and serviced the crashed car. It seemed an easy option. A vehicle was found, at another branch so some delay in seeing it. You can imagine, festivities looming, wheeless and low on bother, that I put pressure on them to hurry things up. Several fraught days went by but we got there eventually and I took delivery of a cheeky little car, electric blue and automatic. I had not test driven it. Dear Reader, when I did sit behind the wheel  of this car I now owned and went to start off, I found I could not squeeze the gear-shift to move it in to 'drive'. Surely my hand was not that arthritic. It was. A comparatively short version of the story is that I presently found myself behind the wheel of a manual car that lacked the spirit of the other but was conventionally co-operative. A deal was struck  and I went off leaving the skin of my teeth behind in the hope it would be ready for Christmas. It was.

Here enters the 'you-couldn't-have-made-it-up' element. It transpired that the car I had tried was actually already sold to someone else. An identical was available so all seemed well that ended well. It didn't: end well, that is. The twin car was duly delivered, without having been driven by me, so test free, as it were. I sat, for the first time, behind the wheel of my second attempt, wrong colour, wrong gear system but acceptable enough, to find - deep breath - that I couldn't turn the key in the ignition. You have correctly understood. I had bought a second car which I couldn't start. No, not test driven neither because it seemed self-evidently identical to the one I had actually driven. There was apparently no explanation as to why it should be different. The dealer agreed the key was seriously stiff but he could turn it. As I tell you this, I begin to see why my only recourse was to the black dog. I had bought and paid for two cars I couldn't start. Since the humour in the situation is a bit hard to hold on to as I unfold my tale to you, I think I may have to leave it there. However, for those of you who, like myself, would always like to know what happened next, I can say that a new system for starting the car was installed, at a further stringent cost. It operates by pressing a button which starts the engine from outside the car: not only from outside but from inside the house when the car is parked in the street some distance away. Enough! I am using public transport and avoiding those areas which require more than one change of bus or more than half a mile walk. When the black dog and I are on much better terms I may find the mojo to drive again. Bore da

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