Saturday, 6 December 2014

A Wheelie Good Deal


I have a beautiful car.  Well, it looks beautiful when it’s clean and vacuumed.  However, within twenty-four hours of being valeted you can guarantee the sun will go into hiding, dark clouds will gather, and my car will get caught in a cloud burst of biblical proportions leaving it muddy and generally disgusting.  Thanks to dire weather in recent weeks, I’ve been driving a filthy Mercedes about.
          ‘Mum, isn’t it about time you cleaned your car?’ asked my daughter as she gingerly climbed in, avoiding the grubby sills.
          ‘Yes,’ I agreed as we set off on the college run, ‘but I’m too tight to pay ten quid and then watch the heavens open and make it dirty again.’
          That evening, as I was driving home under a starless sky, a motorist flashed me.  I checked my lights.  Nope.  Not on full beam.  A few minutes later, it happened again.  Once home, I looked at the headlights.  No bulbs out.  I decided to book the car into the garage and get the headlight alignment checked.  The following morning I rang Mercedes.
          ‘Hellair?’ said the posh woman on the other end of the phone.
          ‘Hellair,’ I replied.  (I can be posh too.)  ‘I need my lights sorting.’  (Sometimes my poshness slips.)
          ‘Yarse, okay. I’ll book an appointment for you, Madam. We’ll also do a courtesy vehicle health check followed by a free valet.’
          ‘A free valet?’ I beamed.  Deep joy.  My car was going to be cleaned inside and out at long last, and it wouldn’t cost a penny.  ‘Yer on.  I mean, yarse please.’
          In due course I visited the garage.  Ninety minutes later the mechanic sought me out.  ‘I’ve dun yer lights, luv.’  (He wasn’t posh.)  ‘And I’ve dun yer visual health check.  Three of your tyres are knackered.’
          ‘What do you mean, knackered?’ I gulped in alarm.
          ‘I’m amized the Old Bill ain’t pulled yer over with the front one, and the two at the back are cracked to buggery.’  (Like I said, he wasn’t posh.)
          ‘Cracked to–?  Right.’  I pondered.  On the bright side, at least I was having a free valet.  ‘How much for the new tyres?’
          ‘If yer let me do it now, it’ll only be four ’undred an’ fifty quid.’
          I nearly fell off my chair.  ‘If you don’t mind, I’ll get a second quote.’
          ‘Oh.’  The mechanic looked put out.  ‘Okay. I’ll bring yer vehicle round to the front for yer.’
          Needless to say, when I was reunited with my car, it hadn’t been valeted.  Marvellous.  But you know what?  Every cloud has a silver lining.  The following day, whilst driving through an unlit country lane, I hit a deep pot hole and had an immediate tyre blow out.  Thank the Lord it wasn’t one of the brand new tyres the mechanic had wanted to fit.  I limped home and called a local tyre company who promptly came out and fitted three new Firestones at half the price.  The new tyres look beautiful.  All black and shiny.  Shame about the rest of the car.  Yes, it still needs cleaning.  Which reminds me.  What part of a car is the laziest?  The wheels, because they are always tyred.,, 

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