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Crash Test Mummy

I was at work last Monday morning, when Mrs.B called me. The moment I heard her voice, I realised something was wrong. 'Bart, I had an accident with the car. I'm fine, but the car is a total wreck!'

It took a moment for that message to sink in.

She had been to the horse riding club that morning, and on the road home the car started to act funny in a curve of the road. Things got much worse however at the next bend: the car drifted to the right, but when Mrs.B tried to correct it suddenly swerved to the left - which is in this part of the world the wrong side of the road. With oncoming traffic approaching fast, she tried to turn to the right again, at which point the car veered off the road, down a slope and sliding into a ditch. During that slide, the roof made contact with a wrongly parked tree that gave no right of way.

When I saw the pictures of the car later that day, I could feel cold sweat seeping down my spine:

Granted, from the back it doesn't look that bad. But then the tow truck came along and pulled it out of the ditch:

That tree had made a mess of the back of the car, and the roof, which meant that it is beyond repair. Notice that little red children's seat? That's were Wolf is normally strapped in. Luckily, he was at school that day.

The tree in question had taken a beating, but was otherwise fine. Well, at least it was in a better condition than our poor old car.

Well, the most important thing was that Mrs.B was ok - shaken and stirred, but otherwise unhurt. As a matter of fact, the moment she arrived in the garage with the tow truck, she inquired about buying a new car. We're going to France in six weeks time, you see. So on Wednessday she looked around for a car loan - while I was enjoying a nice old gastric flue - and on Friday we went to the bank to sign for the car loan and today the car was delivered to the garage and tomorrow we'll get the plates and on Wednessday we can go get the new car. That's how Mrs.B deals with car crashes!

We opted for the new version of the Peugeot Partner. We were quite pleased with our previous car, apart from that minor tendency to violently swerve all over the road at random moments. The garage made us an offer we couldn't refuse on a car they had in stock. It's army green, so the next time we have a collision with a tree we can just let it there because it will blend right in with the scenery. Saves us the cost of a tow truck.

Car killing tree

Car killing tree

Peugeot Partner out of the ditch

Peugeot Partner out of the ditch

Peugeot Partner in a ditch

Peugeot Partner in a ditch

French limo

French limo

I Don't Like Mondays

Monday mornings are a creation of the devil, everyone knows that. But last Monday really made the grade. It started with me having to organise a tow truck, because the car stubbornly refused to start. Not because I'd left on the lights, mind you. At first it played dead, then the warning lights did light up when I turned the contact key a notch, but when the engine was supposed to start it slammed everything shut. However, it insisted on making the windscreen wipers go, although they were not on.

So it took me all morning to call the garage, wait for the tow truck, drive to the place where I'd left the car and then get back home. Luckily, my boss was flexible and granted me half a day of leave, and by noon I was back behind my desk. The friendly people from the garage called in the afternoon to say it was repaired. They'd made an effort because I had explained to them I really, really needed that car in working order because my wife is disabled and ready to give birth at any moment (in the next five weeks or so). So after work I took a train and a bus and to get the car and drove it home.

You'd guess that would be enough misery for one Monday, but there was more in store. After dinner, when I'd rinsed all the plates, I went outside and discovered a small lake on our lawn and a small tributary river coming from the sewer pit in the middle of the terrace. The smell that greeted me when I lifted the lid was indescribable!

The problem was very obvious, the whole pit was clogged with a single mass of putrid muck. To be honest, I'd noticed that the water wasn't running away like it should lately, but things were so busy these last couple of weeks that I'd never got around to check out what was wrong. But now there was no other way around it: I had to get on my knees and scoop that goo out.

The rubber gloves I was wearing helped a bit, until I had to reach deep into the sewer and sludge from the sides of the pit seeped in. When I got all of the vomit inducing muck out, I tried whether the drain was still blocked with the garden hose, but alas, the water did not recede. So now I had to scoop all that water, that had turned into foul smelling sewerage immediately, out again. Then, with my face perilously close to the entry, I had to reach inside to reach far into the sewer and feel where it was still blocked, and then pluck out the chunks of ewchchyechblarf. In total, I removed two whole buckets of it, together with four buckets of raw sewerage.

Despite the gloves and washing my hands several times and taking a long shower afterwards, the smell still lingered in my nose until I fell asleep.

And that is how I spend my Mondays.

How Clean Does Clean Have To Be?

'Didn't you notice anything when you came in?', asked Mrs.B when I returned home from work today. Her stern look tells me that I better had noticed it, but what can it be? It's not that she has a new haircut. Not that I'd notice that, but luckily I remember that she has an appointment with the hairdresser's tomorrow, so that can't be it.

'The car', she says in a voice that tigers use to inform their prey that they're going to pounce... right now.

'Go look outside.'

I obey, like the good little strong independant man that I am.

'Ah, I see. You've cleaned the inside of the car. Very good, it was so dirty.'

The tigress' look tells me that insulting her right before the pounce will do nothing for my chances at survival.

'I! Did! The! Outside! As! Well!!!'

'Really?', I reply while digging my grave even deeper than it already was. 'At first I thought you had, but then I saw the roof was still dirty.'

'Well yes', Mrs.B admits, 'I didn't clean the roof.'

'Look, and there's dirt on the bonnet too, and on the windows. And on the wheelcaps.'

'I did all those, but I can't get the dirt off! Look, it's etched into the paint!'

'Maybe we should wash the car more often', I reply while trying to remember when we've last spunged it down.

We did wash it since we bought it, three years ago. I mean, at least once.



Peugeot Partner

Peugeot Partner

Oil Shortage

Faithful readers of this weblog will know that it’s been quite the year. First we had to organise the wedding, and halfway through preparations we were told that the place where we were going to organise the wedding party got sold. So we had to look for a new place and organise (and pay) much more than expected. Then in February we were told that the apartment building we were living in was going to be sold, so we had to look for a new place. We decided we wanted to buy something, and luckily we quickly found a nice house. So we barely got off the plane from our honeymoon to Ecuador before we had to start redecorating the place, which included some re-plastering half the dining room. But finally, last weekend we could move to our new home.

And that was it. No more to do for the rest of the year, apart from redecorating the occasional room if and when we felt like it. No more pressure. No more major projects.

So yesterday she-who-makes-the-streets-unsafe-in-her-Nissan-Micra took her little car to the garage, for a routine check-up and small maintenance. This included changing the oil, and it was there and then that the mechanic noticed that the oil filter needed to be changed too. So he changed it and sent my wife merrily along her merry way to check upon our mare that – as you all know – is staying with a handsome yet riper gentleman (stallion) to get pregnant. Until she noticed that the oil warning light blinked. She quickly pulled over and called the mechanic. Says this Galactic-Class idiot: ‘No problem madam, just come back and we’ll fix it’.

For those who are not aware of the exact problem: NEVER, EVER drive a car when you discovered it has an oil problem, because your engine NEEDS oil like you need air to breathe. Without any oil, the pistons in the engine will block, or rather fuse with the rest of your motor. And that’s exactly what happened. So end of car, game over.

So now my wife is going to sue the garage, and we are temporarily out of car. Unfortunately, we are also temporarily out of money, since we already paid for a wedding with five million guests and for a luxury villa with five bedrooms, a lush garden and room for scores of ponies.

Maybe we can earn some extra money with our new circus act: my wife is so stressed up from all these recent events that she can walk straight up a wall and dance on the ceiling. We’re also available for business parties!

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