Postaday 2011: Trusty Rusty Car
We would go everywhere together. He wasn’t exactly supposed to be an off-roader, a winnebagoe, a mobile wardrobe, a freedom moped out of nowhere city – he was, pretty much a Volkswagen Golf. If only everything in life was as
reliable versatile as a Volkswagen …
My trust in this car broke. He let me down several times.
With cars, you often don’t have exactly the car that you want. You think to yourself, “Ah yes, but as long as it gets me from A to B, that’s the main thing.” Every morning I would get in the car, hoping to get to my work. I would think “Hmm I am not sure if I will get from A to B today.” But it was the only car I had – so it was worth a go.
Once, I was going over the Kingston Bridge into Glasgow and the car started to judder and spurt black smoke out of the exhaust. The steering wheel was shuddering under my hands, so I thought I should pull out onto the hard shoulder with my hazard warning lights blinking. So I did this and shoogled along with my juddery engine at a snail’s pace. Then I realised that I was actually overtaking all the other commuters in the rush-hour traffic. I was consumed with guilt and then pogoed my way back into the carriageway with the others. I think I actually made it to work that day.
I seemed to have more trouble getting home.
One day, I broke down and freewheeled into a petrol station. I called for assistance and the breakdown service very efficiently got me moving again – some kind of “clutch” issue… – all Greek to me – and then a few weeks later I broke down in the same place, freewheeled into the same forecourt and called for help again – same kind of “clutch” issue… – and he removed a paper-thin temporary thing I was supposed to have replaced by then. Oops. Can’t have been listening…
And then there was the A93. It’s my favourite road, but not one to be attempted with a dodgy car. It’s plain sailing as far as Perth (which will be a whole other topic some day) and then it’s a matter of optimism to take the leap of faith up Glenshee. As you whizz through the snow gates at Spittal of Glenshee, something happens to your ears. It all goes thundery and oppressive and the car sounds more and more panicky as the gradient gets steeper and steeper and steeper… And then the anxiety transfers onto the brakes as you come down through the ski area, dodging deer and walkers – eventually to arrive in the serenity of Braemar. Ahhh…
Eventually, my Golf became so unreliable I traded it in. I was very glad that we made it to the dealership that day. It was touch and go.
I can’t blame the car. I took it down roads that turned out to be, well, not even tracks…. I took it up hills that should have been scaled only with the vehicular equivalent of crampons.
Eventually, I could trust the car no longer.
It went to the retirement home for well-loved and well-travelled cars.
I drove off up the A93 in a shiny new Ford Ka. Smashin’.