R & R halted on the ‘rubble run’ . . .

Coffee_and_cake Should have been on a course this weekend but it was cancelled.  After the travel trauma of Friday, decided on some R & R with friend.  Explain car disabled.    She says she doesn’t care where we go as long as it involves a piece of cake.  We decide on the Designer Outlet in Swindon and have a good natter and ‘catch up’ until we’re nearly there.

Then the world exploded . . .

We were on a dual carriageway in a little red Ford ka, nearing our destination when the car ahead swerved and something not unlike a meteorite shot out from underneath and was travelling towards us Redfordka_2 like the space rubble on StarTrek.  It hit the road.  50:50 chance of avoiding us.  It hit the offside front wheel and shot underneath making one hell of a clatter.  Hissing sound ensues and I know it isn’t my friend.  Luckily there was a side turning and we took it.

We leapt out to inspect damage; not only is the tyre flat as a pancake, the wheel rim is severely buckled.  We open the boot but can’t find spare wheel.  Apparently, it’s strapped to the underside of the car.  Why?  Am I missing something here.  Can’t find release catch.  I ask if she’s in the RAC – Brian, where are you now??  She’s in the AA.  I suggest we call them and don’t just say we need the tyre changing but sound knowledgeable and say we would like the fuel line checking because of potential damage by space debris.

Leave friend on mobile to AA and I set off towards dual carriageway.  Why do I think retrieving said object would make a difference?  Traffic is hurtling towards me but, for the moment, I’m safely on the pavement.  Look for gap.  See two other cars pass over offending hazard and think there’ll be a fatality soon.  Seize my chance and launch myself into the carriageway, scoop up the (deceptively heavy!) alien clump like Johnnie Wilkinson on a good day, run back to pavement with prize and return to side road. 

Guess what?  I’m greeted by a young woman in a sports car who reports that she has a flat tyre.  Show her why!  She’s parked dangerously close to the junction and at rather a jaunty angle, but she declines my offer to help push her car further into the sanctuary of the double-yellow-lined side road.  (With my record with parking tickets this month, prepare to stoutly defend my position with any passing traffic warden.)

Usefully passing time, we clear accumulated clutter from the boot and await the AA ‘man who can’, reported ETA 35 minutes.  At that point (30 minutes early!) AA van pass down opposite carriageway.  We wave frantically and see a look of disdain pass over the man’s face.  Just knew he wasn’t going to be like my Brian!  Could almost hear Brian say, in his thick Scottish accent, "I canna believe it, hen!  It’s only twelve hours since I fixed you up and you’re in strife again!"   Informed sporty girl about rescue vehicle but she says she’s ‘phoned a friend. (Does she watch too much telly?  Resist the urge to ask her if she wants to ask the audience!)

AA van swings into road, narrowly missing collision with sports car!  Little man jumps out and is keen to prove who’s in charge.  AA operative (no name badge or introduction) tells us he was in the B & Q car park on the opposite side of the carriageway, parked up waiting for a job.  Stroke of luck there.  I show him the cause of the problem and he announces that the builder’s rubble run to the tip is down the dual carriageway.  Why, oh why did we decide on the West car park and not the North?  Mentally register change of parking site next time. 

Worked his way through his whole socket set before he was able to release the spare underneath and that was only because he twisted so hard the restraining pin sheared off!

He tutted about state of rim on spare but quietened down when told Quik Fit has passed it fit for purpose.  Told him about my Brian and how he’s done a mod to get me home.  Loud sucking noise filled the air as he drew air through his teeth.  At this point, I have to admit I cannot confirm teeth were his own!  "We don’t do that sort of thing", he said.  Now I know it’s wrong to label folk, but I mentally presented a Jobsworth Award to this chap and decided to write to the Chief Executive of the RAC about my Brian.  This bloke would have had me on the low loader immediately!

Meanwhile, ‘the friend’ arrived for Miss Sporty.  He was about 6′ 4" and I guess no more than seven and a half stone, wet through.  Covertly watched.  Pointed out to friend just how man-like his behaviour was.  He walked round to the flat tyre and kicked it, almost as if proving to himself that it really was flat, then stood looking at it for the next 15 minutes and ate chocolate, magically produced by Miss Sporty who displayed Kylie Minogue proportions.  We weren’t offered any to calm our nerves.

We established that she was also in the AA and friend ‘agreed’ that perhaps it would be better if AA man did the work.  No surprise there, then!  By this time ‘the man who can’ was strutting around like a turkey cock in front of his captive audience. 

Couldn’t believe he put on our spare and said we were free to go without checking the air pressure.  Friend asked him whether this should be done.  He agreed he’d forgotten.  Went to his van for paperwork and said we could go.  Reminded him about pressure.  Said he’d forgotten . . . in ten seconds?  Announces he’s put in 30psi and clearly thought he’d blinded us with science.  Oh Brian, you really are a giant among men!

We leave and head for The Outlet.  Park and head straight for coffee shop.  Well, sugar’s good for shock . . .

   

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  1. Herb Marocco says:

    Rattling wonderful visual appeal on this website, I’d value it 10.

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