Sunday, November 02, 2008
ello john, gotta new motor...
well readers, it seems we have a new motor. i have yet to see it because it appears that young dave and i are too hairy and too badly behaved to travel in it until it has protection. the picture above is of a similar one but ours did not come with a free herd of horses. i suppose this is because it was second hand and in the 8 years of its life it has mislaid them.
why do we need a new car? because our car is a special disabled person car and now himself is an almost-not-disabled person we will have to give back the car. luckily herself had foreseen this likelihood and saved enough of her redundancy money to purchase a car. in fact she had saved quite a bit. herself has bought enough cars at auctions to know that the more you spend when you buy the car the less you spend on people under the bonnet with spanners later.
anyway, herself had planned to buy the new motor in january, when himself went back to work. however, this failed to take account of the joys of hospital transport. himself has to go to london 3 times a week to have blood removed from his arm so the pills he takes can be adjusted to make sure superkidny is having fun and that himself doesn't go green. or yellow. but to have the blood taken and the other stuff he has to get up at 5am to go up to london. and then they do all the medical stuff. and then he has to sit among a load of germ-ridden folks in the patient transport lounge until someone is willing to take him home. so herself decided he needed to drive himself as soon as he was allowed to drive. but she needs to take my boy to meet his taxi and to do this she needs a car. so until himself can go locally for his blood to be removed, which will be after christmas, the peeps need two cars.
so herself stepped up to the challenge of car purchasing. she researched all the possible vehicles that fitted the bill - big boot for yours truly and young dave, big engine for herself, not too rattly or tinny for my boy, fuel efficient. you get the idea. a suitable car was identified and herself got on the net to find one. suffice to say that the type of car that had been identified was like gold dust. but herself is not easily defeated. a car was found in a town some 60 miles away. last week herself went to test drive it. it went very fast and stuck to the road like glue. and it had leather seats. herself was in love.
"i suppose i ought to kick the tyres or something," she said to the car salesman, "but you know and i know that i am smitten, so there would be very little point." a deal was struck. herself would collect the car in a week's time.
the week went by. mrs snake-charmer kindly offered to drive herself to fetch the new car. herself made the necessary arrangements with her bank account, moving the money across from her savings account to her current account so she could pay for the car with her plastic card. everything went according to plan until the salesman put the card in his machine. the machine decided that such a large amount of money on the card was slightly unusual. the car salesman had to phone up the bank and herself was taken through a lot of security questions. as herself had been a victim of identity fraud not long ago this was comforting, if rather long-winded.
eventually the bank believed that herself was the person she thought she was and after more paperwork she was the proud owner of the car. by the time she got home it was dark and raining so the family outing in the new car was postponed until the following day. in the style that only my peeps can manage, the family outing involved a trip to lidl to stock up on food and other goodies. himself has not been shopping since being in hospital so he was quite excited. my boy was persuaded to join them to help with lifting heavy things. he did not need much persuading as he wanted to suss out the gadgets in the new car.
things went swimmingly. the new car was pronounced a huge success by everyone. a trolley full of shopping was collected, including tasty morsels to tempt himself's appetite, and lots of teenage food for my boy. then came the time to pay. herself's card was declined. a large queue built up while herself explained to the checkout lady that it was probably because of the new car. but lidl, being a no frills supermarket, did not have a telephone and could not call the bank. the lady behind the till suggested that herself go to the cashpoint and get some real money.
herself rang the bank on the way to the cashpoint to explain that lidl did not sell cars and that she was only buying food this time. after going through endless security the lady told herself that her card had been blocked because the transaction for the car had gone through twice. as the car cost £5,000 and herself runs to a pretty tight budget this meant that her account was now £5,000 overdrawn. the lady on the phone at the bank said that this mistake was the fault of the garage who had swiped herself's card twice. herself pointed out that she had been standing there when the car salesman had dealt with the card and that he had certainly not done this. herself also pointed out that even if he had, the bank ought to have security in place to prevent people helping themselves to large sums of money like that, and that the car salesman had been given an authorisation code that presumably only worked for one lot of £5,000.
the lady at the bank was having none of this and insisted that the bank was not to blame. given how banks are getting something of a bad press at the moment i can understand her defensiveness but herself was furious by this time. as the call had taken so long she was now back by the checkouts at lidl. there were large queues of people, all watching herself on the phone to the bank with interest. when herself finally admitted defeat and hung up, several customers and one checkout lady said to herself that the same thing had happened to them. but this did not help to pay for the shopping. himself by now was feeling decidedly ropey and he and my boy retired to the new car to wait. in the end herself was forced to admit defeat and join them. by now she was in tears.
"why us?" she wailed, "all we were trying to do was have a family outing and buy some shopping. its not a lot to ask!"
himself agreed that it was not a lot to ask but that this sort of thing was only to be expected. my boy raged and ranted about evil banks and hatched plans to blow up the bank. fortunately for the bank it is situated a long way away and the peeps would not have been able to get there without buying more diesel, which of course would be impossible.
when they arrived home, young dave and i did our best to cheer them up. but it swiftly transpired that among the shopping was a large bag of dog food and a small packet of dog treats. the latter are essential in the 'get young dave to pee in the garden' campaign. i foresee more puddles, and not just of tears...