It’s A Lonely Road




My car’s a mess.

The poor girl has suffered an accumulation of misfortunes recently that have left her quite literally bent out of shape. It breaks my heart to see her. The poor lady should not be going through this.

It started quite innocuously. She was parked outside the New Vision offices, through no fault of her own. The pajero that was parked in front of her, well, let’s just say, it sort of unparked on top of her.

The result is that her front got a bit squashed up. I remember when I discovered it. I walked up to where she had been parked and noticed something odd in her countenance. She looked as if she was grimacing. Or sneering. Then I realized that the effect was caused by the fact that her front was no longer symmetrical. Things were bent and dented. And when I reached her I saw the blow of blows — a dent the size and shape of a grown man’s head right there on the bonnet.

Of course I was going to tell absurd and outrageous stories about that dent before it got fixed.

That part will be easy to fix, though. The only delay is in gathering paperwork for the insurance people, but while that was taking its sweet time, the years of washing with detergent that all these unschooled washing bay staff had subjected her to, their toll has become too visible to miss. The chemicals have eroded her paint job. Her complexion was scabied. She looks like she has a nasty disease.

So dented and scabied and then, just when you thought no more affliction could befall this benighted innocent…

One morning I turned the key, after sighing to myself at the thought of having to take her through the city looking so far from resplendent, and waited.

She sputtered and hacked frailly and then nothing.

A crapload of money handed over to a grinning mechanic later and I believed I was  ready to pick up my newly-serviced and freshly-rebatteried car up from the garage.

I walked to the bay, noticing with some disconertment that it was empty. The shaggy man in the oily pants who was napping in the corner when I arrived told me that Alphonse was somewhere “around”. I asked him to tell Alphonse, when Alphonse returns from the nebulous “Around” he had journeyed to,  to drive the car to my place. I mean, if he wants to joyride my car, let him joyride it to my house.

I then walked away. Up the road to look for a boda.

And that is when I see a car a few metres away. It looked familiar, familiar in a chilling way.

Because there was one headlight missing. Alphonse, the mechanic, had taken her out and crashed her into something.

So that’s her. Dented, scabied, and one headlight fixed on rakishly by a scowling mechanic who is pissed off at me for catching him in the act and you have the sorriest, saddest vehicle in the parking lot.

Then we add the fact that she hasn’t been washed in weeks…