CAR STORY – Part 1

In the beginning.

Lo, she is a terrible Goddess and I thoroughly enjoyed going to see Spamalot. We’d gone to the matinee so it was only just getting dark when we set off from the car park [£13 for less than 3 hours …. eeeeek] to return home.

We wended our weary way out of Brighton and started zooming home. It was the rush hour – very busy with headlights glaring and exhausts steaming in the frigid air. I started humming as I looked forward to a cup of tea and a bite to eat.

On a particularly fast and busy stretch there was a ‘ping’ and a rattle from under the bonnet. The engine died instantly. It’s a road we know well on the Pevensey marshes with narrow verges and deep ditches. I steered as far as I dared onto the grass verge and hit the hazard lights. About a third of the car was still on the road.

We sat there like lemons waiting for inspiration, but I knew the cam belt had pinged and we were stuffed.

We have never been members of a “Oh dear you’ve broken down we will come and rescue you” service.

The TG whipped out the mobile, phoned directory enquiries, was put through to the AA [Automobile Association], joined under their Emergency Join-up Extra Specially Expensive Roadside Rescue  scheme, and they said they’d be there in 25 minutes. Excellent – I started humming as I watched the traffic zooming by and the TG snuggled under a couple of the rugs she keeps handy for just such an emergency as the cold took over in the now heaterless car. 20 minutes later our saviour arrived.

“It’s too dangerous to put your car on a loader here, I’m going to have to tow you.”

I spent the next 50 minutes staring at the back of a very stripy truck, trying to anticipate when it was going to turn a corner, apply brakes etc etc, getting colder and colder. I always find that humming helps me concentrate. The TG was warm in the truck, no doubt beguiling the driver with fluttering eyelashes and exotic stories.

Eventually our car was unhitched outside the house and we waved goodbye to our saviour.

The TG started making a cup of tea and supper whilst I sat on the sofa humming and trying to get warm.

“We’ll probably need a new car now. Breaking cam belts allow the pistons to bash the valves and they get bent and it’ll cost more than the car is worth to mend them and we haven’t got a car to use to look at new cars and the old car is stuck outside [annoyingly with a full tank of petrol and anti-syphon technology incorporated] .” I started to panic.

“We’ll hire one and then start the search tomorrow” she replied calmly “and BTW, if you don’t stop humming ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ – I’m going to kill you.”

To be continued

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