Monday, October 30, 2006

Things Abandoned on the Pavement Within 100 Yards of My Home That I Have Taken a Photograph of #1

Many things are abandoned on pavements around my home. At one end of the scale there are the old fridges that regularly line my local streets. If Eddie Grant lived around here he might write a song called Electrolux Avenue. (I think I should take the rest of today off – I’m clearly not going to come up with anything better than that gag.) But that is quite commonplace, and also not really abandonment. Lots of people don’t have cars in which to take large items to a municipal tip, so it’s perfectly acceptable to put old white goods out on the pavement, phone the council and let them do the rest.

There was also a problem in recent times of abandoned cars, but again it’s usually pretty clear how they got there. This isn’t even a great place to abandon a car – it’s actually at quite a busy set of traffic lights.

And then there’s the irrefutable fact that it’s only half a car. I’ve seen abandoned vehicles stripped quite efficiently, and I concede that it’s fair enough that people recycle spare parts like this (so long as the car is actually abandoned, otherwise it’s technically carjacking), but this one looks like piranhas with Asbos have been at it.

The only explanation that I can come up with is that someone drove up to the traffic lights, very pleased with their new car. Perhaps someone who had a long and sad history of being ripped off by unscrupulous salesmen, but this time nothing was going to go wrong – they’d got an absolute bargain. Windows down, radio on loud. The lights turn green and they pull away, only for its cut-and-shut nature to become suddenly and indisputably apparent. But maybe they had the radio on very loud to some kind of industrial techno station that plays music mainly made up of sampled metallic bangs, and didn’t notice anything till they got home. (The Mini is front-wheel drive, so this is quite plausible.) They might have thought “It does sound like there’s a small hole in the exhaust, but I can get that fixed at Kwik-Fit – the car is still a bargain, make no mistake about that. That draught? It’s just because the windows are wound down. The sparks that seem to be issuing forth from the bottom of my seat? Er...” I just hope there wasn’t anything important in the back, like some shopping or a small child. Or a fridge that they were taking to the tip.

What would be fantastic is if someone found the front end abandoned on a pavement somewhere. If we could match the chassis numbers we could devote the next year of our lives to reunifying the two halves into a whole again. If we are going to do this, then you should perhaps know that all I know about cars is how to fill the windscreen washer, so you’d better be prepared to do all the other stuff. I’m guessing there will be quite a bit of welding involved. But it will have a really clean windscreen.