Saturday, 3 July 2010

Is Vic there?

As a kid I used to play monopoly, the game of life, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging and all the pitfalls you have with property and finance all encapsulated in a board game. One card always intrigued me, a community chest card, pink I think, simply stating Bank error in your favour, collect however much cash. As if. If only. If only life were like that.
Well it is, or was, its happened. Bank error in our favour, collect enough cash to buy this nice shiny Volvo called Victor, a humble chap, understated, having a lovely leather interior, more electric switches than you can shake a stick at, a new clutch and cambelt, original Volvo LPG built car and a full service history. Flush with filthy lucre we didn't know we had we gave up a day on the ranch to go and collect him. Under normal circumstances it would have only been five hours, but nothing is ever normal here. Car was waiting for us, a really nice chap showed us around it, he apologised for the dog hairs in the boot but we were getting a Volvo dog guard as an extra so no worries mate. We went for a test drive, the HPI checks were clear, all was well in the world. Once paid for we set off and stopped at the garage to fill up. It wouldn't start.
Nothings happening, just lights, no action.
Phoned nice man, he said something about the battery and would be right over.
It started.
Cheers Vic.
Phone nice man, its started, will see how we go.
Vic purrs through the city traffic and heads out onto the motorway. All is well. The cd player is calling me, some heavy metal to help the motorway miles. Stereo not too bad, will need upgrading in the long run but as Vic and I ate up the miles with Tracey following in Fifi I pondered on how after all these years of abusing Volvo drivers from the saddle of superbikes here was I, one of the enemy, and I didn't even have a frontal lobotomy.
The CD player skipped. Doh. The promise of unbreakable music collections has never transpired. The flimsy silver discs only have to have a gnat land on their surface and they skip. Ah well.
Oh dear the ABS warning lights on.
And the red airbag will not operate light. Musics back on, good times.
Off again.
Its hot now, aircons stopped, ABS light off, airbag light off, fuel gauge suddenly goes to zero, music back on, headlights are on, electric seat moves, music off, ABS warning light on and so this continued without any pattern for the next 60 miles.
I stopped to speak to nice man, probably the battery mate, its happened before on a similar car.
By now every light is randomly flashing, all except the indicators which obviously are not working because Tracey has been wondering why I haven't bothered to signal for 75 miles. Back in out own little town we stop on the forecourt of the local garage. No one home. Decide to take Vic back to Rock HQ. He has other ideas and refuses to move any further. Even with the addition of the new battery borrowed from Rene it refused to start. Still, at times like this at least you can rely on your friends. And this was no exception, Stable Sprite appeared, as if by magic, with his clan and made things so much better with a non stop barrage of witty quips and side splitting one liners. Once I had reached the point where they couldn't cheer me up any further we abandoned Vic and came home where I consoled myself with ginger beer and the thought that the car in reality hasn't cost us anything so far other than wasted time, stomach ache from a rubbish forecourt sandwich and lots of embarrassment.
If you ask me Rene was gloating when I put his battery back. He was feeling smug anyway having got us a ton of feed first thing.
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