Monday, June 11, 2007

Car Trouble

It has been a long search for the perfect car. I have been reading surveys, browsing magazines and scouring price guides. I have registered with websites, and automated emails have filled my inbox with likely candidates. I have spent days going to look at these, only to find each one fall at hurdles such as not having been serviced at the correct intervals, having a rather worrying sticker on the dashboard warning me that the mileage might not be accurate, or having more scratches than a flea-ridden dog.

Finally, we have found The One. It is the right make, model, age, condition and price. It has the correct stamps in the service history, and my detailed multi-part mechanical inspection has confirmed that it does indeed have four wheels.

My girlfriend goes to find a salesman just as I decide to perform one last check.

She returns, the salesman taking one look at me and instantly upgrading his monthly bonus expectation.

“Actually, I’ve changed my mind”, I say, as I sprawl casually against the side of the car.

“What?” asks my girlfriend.

“Yes. There’s a problem with the...” Damn, the car is perfect. “The colour.”

“But you’re the one who wanted silver.”

“It looks different in this light.”

The salesman looks around, confused, as there has not been an unexpected eclipse in the last two minutes. I lean further back, desperately trying to mime something to my girlfriend.

“We’ll keep looking”, I say, sending the salesman back to mentally cancel his foreign holiday.

“What was wrong this time?” my girlfriend asks with a sigh. It is true that I have been dragging her around lots of garages when, to be honest, we could have already been driving around in something perfectly suitable for the past month.

“I wanted to see if it had a lock on the petrol cap, and this came off in my hand”, I say, showing her part of the fuel filler flap that I had only managed to hold in place by nonchalently leaning against it.

I sort of wedge it back on, and we continue the search.