Wednesday, May 20, 2009


So there I was by yesterday afternoon. Broken down on that very very tricky lane from Grayston onto Katherine Street. I nearly caused everyone’s worst nightmare. The lot of you would’ve gotten home an hour later. But somehow I had managed to will the old girl 5 metres more, out of the one lane into 1 ½ lanes, where her battery jerked to an end.

Dusk. Peak hour traffic. Broken down car. Not keen for an AA 45 minute wait. Laptop in boot, phone in hand, & wallet in cubbyhole. This would not be an opportune time to cross paths with an opportunist thief.

Did you see me!?

Never have I actually been calmer.

But sometimes, all you can do is be calm and laugh.
When 3 precious hours of your day is wasted. The time of the panel beater’s driver is wasted. And the time of 2 mechanics is wasted;
At the stereotypicality of the mechanics’s brash but genuine ways about them, when they arrived to your rescue. Forget Knights in Shining Armour & think greased men with greased overalls being bravado in their assumptions & driving and flokking in a language that would make their sailor cousins cringe;
Laughing at the complete disregard for you & your wellbeing that the panel beater agents had;
The ridiculousness of where you now sit, without even being able to put the hazards on because they won’t even work;
That the cops just cruised past you & didn’t bother to stop to ask if you were ok... or if you were scoring a bankie from under the bridge;
And the looks people give you of “Lady, what the hell are you doing in this place at this time in this situation. And why are you laughing. Lunatic!”

I was less calm just minutes before that as I drove on Grayston from Wynberg with my car not showing revs, telling me my ABS brakes were malfunctioning, and then choosing to stop showing me what speed we’re moving at.

It was FuN!

The mechanics and I took about another half an hour to move us all back to Wynberg. Break down. Recharge. Restart. Race to next safe spot. All while the bonnet is open & the booster battery charger hangs out. The mechanic in my car was screaming to “do something about this, “they’re” lucky you are such a nice customer, you must be mean & shout, if I was your boyfriend...”

What really made me chuckle, in the way that my chuckle parallels My Guy’s calls for throats, is that I had especially asked three people if I really could get home from the panel beaters with a befokked alternator. Are they reaaaaallllllllly sure that a fked-up alternator can work long enough. Cause I have had experience with alternators before, I know their wily ways well; in the rain, pushing a car up the hill, with my driver’s foot looking like it should be amputated by now it is so green from gangrene... but that’s a different story from a different era.
I was advised to “just not drive at night because the lights will drain the battery”.

5 minutes out of their shop and it ain’t only the alternator that is befokked, but me as well.

The moral of the story – never ever get into a bumper bashing. It’s not the insurance or the time without the car that tests you. It is the time back WITH the car that will really kill your sanity.


Tamara said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog - it made lots of sense.

Breaking down SUCKS. Breaking down in Sandton sucks more. Breaking down in Sandton on your way home in traffic is less fun than stabbing yourself repeatedly in the eye with a fondue fork.

Don't believe a word I write said...


Not so much of fun, sorry man.

Tell us about the gangrenous green foot. Go onnnnnnnnnnn....

Champagne Heathen said...

Tamara - only a pleasure! Please Visit again! What the breakdown did do was at least get them to finally fix my car AND deliver it to me, rather than me fetch it. That was a decent perk!

DBAWIKKKI - EUgh. No. I try to block out the puss & gore of it all. The rain. The uphill. The handbrake still up!!!!! And finally eating spare ribs broken down by the side of the M3 in Cape Town in defeat.

Don't believe a word I write said...

The handbrake still up.

p.s. lovin' my moniker