Thursday, July 27, 2006

Love and Hate For The Colonel

I have few extravagances in life, however the one I know I don't need the most but still love is The Colonel, aka a 1992 sky blue Volkswagen Golf.

My car is called "The Colonel" not because it's seen any military action, but because when we used to get hire cars we always went to KFC (yeehaw we is so classy, we is gonna eat our food outta bucket and and not outta da sink like normal people!). When I got my car, it seemed only natural that it should be named after its spiritual leader, hence "The Colonel". He is kept company at nights by Lumpy, the pink Hefalump elephant that came from a MacDonalds kids meal I had the first week we got the car (I don't really eat that much junk food.. it just seems I do). Just another small aside, not everything I own has a name.. For example, the couch, no. The bean bag, yes (Steve. Because that's what it said on the wrapper when we got it). My bike, no. The bookshelf, yes (The Bartlet Memorial Library). My handbag, no. My small overnight suitcase, yes (Rover. Because that's the name that's on the case.. go figure.)

Every year the gut wrenching ritual of the government MOT test rears it's ugly head, which means The Colonel gets grilled by mechanics to check if he's road worthy. Last year I took The Colonel to a VW dealership, where they prompty sent me a 3 page report of everything they believed need fixing, coming to a grand total of £2000. And these weren't even dangerous life threatening things, like faulty steering or lack of break lights or anything that could help knock over old ladies in the street. This VW dealership wanted to charge me £180 to replace a seat belt because it was "worn". And when I mean slightly, I'm mean it had 2 threads hanging off it. ON THE EDGES. How fucked up is that?! When I pointed out to the mechanic the ridiculousness of their estimate, considering the car was bought for £300, and I clearly am not made of money because if I was then I wouldn't be driving around a 14 year old car, they backed down and just replaced the brake pads. For £230. Yup, 70 less than the car is worth.

This year in an attempt to not get ripped off again by a dealership that clearly can't see that if the car is 14 years old and it's bonnett paintwork is so severly faded that it's gone from a sky blue to a pale sick bluish/grey, then it's owner isn't loaded to the eyeballs, and maybe she does have a little bit more sense than money. So I've taken it to a government MOT station, and then then waited frantically by the phone for them to call, hoping to god that I wouldn't have to sell one of my kidneys to be able to pay for the repairs.

And did it pass so that The Colonel can go and tear up country lanes, terrorising local wildlife and children? Of course it bloody didn't. Their reasons?
  1. Lost the pin that keeps the back seat from locking in place
  2. Need a new rear tyre
  3. Need a new windscreen wiper.
These are the things that are keeping me and The Colonel from another year on the open roads.

It's funny. They failed my car because they picked up that I've got slightly bad windscreen wipers. However, the fact that The Colonel doesn't start sometimes if it's been driven around for a while and it gets too hot, thus requiring me to convince people to help me push start it? Nah, that's not a problem at all..


Anonymous said...

I know a very helpful dad, who's well acquainted with said brake pads who'd be able to advise you or at least help you change the windscreen wiper blade (not a difficult job) only problem is he doesn't accept major credit cards, just a bottle of scotch ;-)

Trying to "Panda" said...

Dam! I forgot about that brilliant scotch run service!! In the end, the mechanics who did my MOT decided to help me out, and got me a new tire, fixed the windscreen wiper, and actually built a new bolt for the back seat....... I guess sounding like a girl really helps sometimes!