21 Aug 2007
So, I've had some requests to explain the line in my last blog about my car leaving a muffler behind. On the face of it, not an interesting story. Unless......it happened to me!!!
We're going to call this blog.... "The Day My Car's Bum Exploded"
(Incidentally, I am aware that this is the second consecutive blog about my car. I'm likening it to a wake, where you tell stories about the deceased. Unfortunately, my finances aren't allowing the trusty Daewoo to die just yet, but effectively, it's brain dead!)
So here goes....
I was doing some training to become a basketball coach. I wanted to be a wheelchair basketball coach, but I had to do the able-bodied course because there is no chair course. Our instructor was quite strict. If you missed half a class, you had to make it up at the next course, so you couldn't qualify until the next course was finished. If you missed a whole class, you had to repeat the whole course. It was the third class, and we still had three to go.
I was driving down Dandenong Road at peak hour, on my way to a little school in the back blocks of suburbia. The kind of school where one wall is covered in graffitti, and all the others say "we take pride in our community" and "welcome to tidy town".
On the way (cos it was a REALLY REALLY long way from mine), I was chatting to my brother on the phone (handsfree, of course. I still had to steer and brake!). We chatted for a while, and I told him that I could hear a strange noise. He told me to turn the radio up, so I did....and all was well.
I hung up from him, and stopped at a set of lights. As I took off, the radio wasn't enough noise to cover the loud scraping sound from my ass (well, my car's ass). I stopped at the next lights, and people were remonstrating, flashing lights at me, yelling advice, and generally attempting to get my attention. "I'm not that bad a driver", I thought.So, I took off again, and then I saw a tail end of a muffler grinding along behind the car.
Turning into a side street, I thought, "bugger, I'm going to be late for my class, so I'll have to repeat the course". I hoped the RACV (roadside assistance) was not busy that night.
The next hour went a bit like this (I've summarised it for you, but please note, this is not drawn to scale!! )
- I picked up my phone to call RACV, but I was out of credit (the one and only time that this has ever happened)
- I got my visa card out of my purse so I could call vodaphone and get more credit, so I could call roadside assist.
- I placed the visa card on the steering wheel console while I looked for my RACV membership number
- I lost my balance as I was reaching for my bag, and grabbed the steering wheel console
- The visa card slipped into the console, behind the wheel, not to be seen or heard from again
- "Bugger", I said
- I tried to MacGyver the console open, using just an old chuppa chup stick, and an apple core.
- Nothing happened, but I did find 50 cents. (a coin, not the rapper)
- "No problems, I remember my visa numbers", I says to myself
- Called vodaphone, and it was all going swimmingly, until she asked, "and what is the 4 digit verification code on the back"
- "Bugger", I said
- Then I may have used the disability to gild my lily, because after a while, she believed me, and let me have credit
- So, I picked up my phone to call RACV, dialled the number and got through
- Then, just as the operator said, "Welcome to the RACV. How may I help you" my phone's battery died due to the prolonged conversation with my brother on the handsfree, and the prolonged begging to vodaphone
- "Bugger", I said
(Let's now take a moment to have a nice deep breath. Good? Ok, on we go)
So, I'm stranded in the middle of the burbs, late for a class, with a car with an exploding bottom, and the muffler still hanging on so I couldn't just drive away.
- And, a car full of hoons has just driven past twice. They look a bit scary
- "I know. I'll use the public phone box which is just near the top of that hill"
- I lift the wheelchair out of my car, and wheel up to the phone box....which has a giant step to get into it, and is out of order anyway
- "Bugger", I said
- I head back to my car, hop back in and try and remember where I left my thinking cap
- "Those car full of hoons have just gone by again", I said to the steering wheel
- "Bugger", it replied
I sat there for a while, listening to contemporary adult rock, wondering about my next move.
- The car full of hoons drove by again, and did a u-turn to park right behind me
- "Ooh dear", I said. I was in a suburban local street, at about dusk, and, let's face it, I'm not really built like a bouncer.
- "Bugger", I bet you're saying now!!
- The chief hoon walked over to my car, looked me up and down and said, "Lady, do you need some help? We're apprentice mechanics on our way home from TAFE, and we reckon you're car is stuffed"
- "Why thankyou my knight in shining armour", I said (under my breath because otherwise they'd think I was an idiot)
- For about 20 minutes, they tried to reattach the muffler, but then decided a better option would be to cut it off and I'd drive without it.
- "We need a knife", said the 2IC-hoon. To which, I quickly produced a spatula from the boot.
- "No lady, we need a big mother of a knife to cut through this rubber and metal"
- "Bugger", I said.
- "No problems", said the chief hoon, and pulled what could only be discribed as the mother of all knives out of his glove compartment!!!
- "You never know when you'll need a weapon", he said
So, they cut the muffler off, and then escorted me all the way to the school. They played their sub-woofer-mate really loud so that I "wouldn't be noticed by the cops". Lovely boys.
I was 45 minutes late for class. The instructor told me to go home because I was going to have to repeat the course now.
"Bugger", I said.
Then asked what I had missed.
"You missed doing some extra learning on footwork and running technique"
But don't worry. There was a happy ending
- Neither the hoons, nor myself got nabbed by the cops (well, that evening. I can't vouch for the rest of the hoons' driving careers)
- I was allowed to pass that section of the course without repeating it
- I bought a new muffler, which I could afford because.............when I arrived home, all of the vibrations in the car had jostled the visa card out from behind the steering wheel.
- "Bugger me", I said