Day 514 - The Banger

AKA - Kings and Sky TV Engineers



I’m at a local car mechanics with the car that I’ve owned for only a hand full of weeks.  At first the car seemed too good to be true.  It was surprisingly cheap, looked good except for a smattering of dog hair, and was easy to drive.  But sadly, after only a few weeks, the facade was removed and I’ve discovered that the car is, in fact, a complete dick (I could easily be describing one of my ex-girlfriends here).  Basically the car won’t start in the mornings, or at the very least, it takes a fair bit to get it going.

“Maybe it’s just not a morning person?” Zsuzsa had helpfully suggested.

And now here I am.  At the local mechanics.  Over the horizon the mechanic appears, the whiff of tax free cash in his nostrils.  Naturally I’m wary.  You hear countless horror stories about mechanics taking advantage of gullible customers and over charging them.  There are obviously loads of good ones, but there are also many that are not dissimilar to feral dogs.  They may seem all warm, cuddly and friendly, but give them the slightest hint of vulnerability and they’ll nip your hands and run off with your string of freshly bought sausages flapping in the breeze.  I’m determined to avoid having my sausages stolen so I decide that I must exhibit an air of confidence.  I mustn’t show weakness.  I need to convince this potentially feral hound that I’m nobodies fool.  I will not be taken for a ride, although I fear that I may have to unless I can get this banger fixed.

“Alright mate?” says the mechanic, although he seems to be allergic to the letter ’t’.

“Yeah mate.  Motors playing up.  Dunno whats wrong wiv it mate?” I reply, unexpectedly channeling Danny Dyer.

I suddenly remember something that I’ve seen in a film and give the tire a kick.  He notices and is obviously in awe of my motor knowledge, although he’s trying his best to hide it.

“Bleedin' swine takes an age to get started in the mornings.  Wondering if it’s the crank shaft?” I add.

I have no idea what a crank shaft is.

The mechanic stokes his chin thoughtfully.

“Hmmm.” he says.

From inside the car, there’s a little noise.


Oh yes, Mila has accompanied me to the garage.  Nothing says “This fella is savvy around cars.” like a baby companion.

I look at Mila.  She returns my gaze.  She doesn’t say anything, largely because she can’t, but I can tell that she’s impressed by the way that I’ve been handling myself around this car man.  This is also not the first time today that she has witnessed me, like a chameleon, adapt seamlessly to my environment.  Only an hour or two previously she had seen first hand, how I dealt with the Sky TV engineer who had come to provide myself and my family with wondrous TV.  The engineer was about twenty five and probably from Essex.  But did I panic?  Did I bollocks!  I simply, but expertly, dropped an obscene number of “bruvs” in to conversation and before we knew it, the Sky TV engineer had been at ease, feeling as though he was around one of his own species.

“Dada!” says Mila once more, which I believe is Milanese for “Father.  I am so proud of you.  You are a man who is equally at ease conversing with kings as he is Sky TV engineers.”  

I chuckle like Ray Winstone, turn to the mechanic whilst pointing at Mila, and say “Betta get ‘er owt!  Be in the dog house with the Mrs if I forget the blinkin baby!”.  

I now appear to be channeling a 1970’s British sitcom.

The mechanic gives the car another thoughtful glance.

“Okay.  Leave it with me mate.  I’ll have a look today.  Should be sorted tomorrow.”

I collect my infant child and strap her to my person.

“Cheers mate.  See ya tomorrow!” I reply, turn and walk briskly away.

One week later and the car returns.  I’ve been charged £345 for a new sensor, a minor leak and to move the exhaust pipe down slightly(?!).  The next morning, I turn the key and it still won’t start.  

I bet it’s the sodding crank shaft.