Breakdowns come and breakdowns go

(so what are you going to do about it, that’s what I’d like to know…)

“I only crave this stuff when I’m pregnant,” declared AJ, as she swigs on another bottle of (my) root beer. On my first visit to Wholefoods, shortly after my arrival here, I decided to buy a 4-pack of Virgil’s to see what all the fuss was about. Wiseman was always going on about the stuff (he does go on about things sometimes), to the point where I reckon he might have considered moving to the US just to have it on tap. However, he wouldn’t want to be moving in with Alyn and AJ, for several reasons I suspect, but principally because every time he came home he would find the refrigerator ransacked and his supply of rather fine root beer decimated.

Well, purely speculatively, that’s what I suggest might happen. Fortunately this week at the School has been entitled “Healing Life’s Hurts” and I’m here to tell you it couldn’t have come at a better time. Alyn & AJ have not only been teaching this at the School, but helping me work it out in practice, bless them.

This morning was spent back at the DMV, taking my driving theory test. Being of a certain age, I never had to take a theory test in the UK, and so this was a new, and largely unwelcome experience. Although some of the questions did at least provide some humour, like 

Continuous hard braking on snow and ice often:

(a) helps you stop sooner
(b) heats up your brake pads and stops them freezing

I forget what (c) was now but I went for it. Anyway, the theory successfully negotiated, I booked myself a road test for tomorrow. My wheels for this auspicious occasion have been loaned to me by the very kind Charlene, who is able to lend me her car since she is currently driving a car belonging to a rock’n’roll friend who is currently away on tour. Ah, Nashville. Now, Charlene, I mean no disrespect, and I am enormously grateful for the generous loan, but it does rattle a bit, this car. I’m not entirely sure that the shock absorbers are currently absorbing anything. Had I been driving it in and out of pot-holes in Edinburgh, as one is wont to do there, I would have booked myself into the dentist by now. But apart from that it’s a fine car, if you don’t mind the deer-shaped void where the front grille used to be, and the cable tie keeping an undefined part of the engine attached to the chassis. 

And lo, did her car not break down this very afternoon, even while I was in Starbucks (I knew that judgement was coming). Shifting the stick into Reverse or Drive was simply not enough to persuade the transmission to engage. 

The nice Tow Truck Guy that appeared after a short wait drawled that there was nothing with the transmission (buddy), and with a reckless disregard for the consequences, detached the cable tie from the engine part and attached it to another engine part. Having checked that the transmission now engaged successfully, he drove off and left me shortly before the car broke down again. Distance travelled: 12 feet. A quick phone call to Charlene saved the day and helped me open the hood/bonnet (not as straightforward as you might think), whereupon I reattached the thing back to the thing, minus the cable tie, which had fallen off, and hoped I would not be repeating the process every 12 feet for the 3 mile trip to the garage.

Tomorrow’s test will now be taken in Alyn & AJ’s minivan. Maximum credibility awaits.

5 thoughts on “Breakdowns come and breakdowns go”

  1. Consider the root beer recompense for stealing my sweet mini van on a 5 hour round trip tour of TN. Admit it, you want one.

  2. to clarify, the zip tie wasn't holding anything in the engine together… it was holding my bumper or headlight in. Clearly a difference here in TN. Clearly a difference.

  3. To be honest, I'm just amazed that Mr Q knew where the engine was…

    Grace and peace for the journey in the mini van. I reckon you should take the test in cricket whites.

  4. The other thing about the old UK licences is the automatic qualification for 22-seaters. The New South Wales Motor Registry is a little kinder in transferring the car licence but couldn't be persuaded to let me drive a bus. Probably a wise move based on my past experience inflicted on the good people of Hampshire.

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