I was buzzing along in the old Bockmobile the other day, idly thinking up ways to cause a nuisance, when suddenly there was a loud noise. Not a BANG! exactly. More a Whooomff!! And suddenly I had no power. No engine. No anything except a silent Bockmobile coasting to a halt at the side of the road.
This doesn’t look good, I told myself.
You’re right, I replied. Not good at all.
So I phoned my mechanic. What do you think?
Not good, he said. Not good at all. Wait there, he said. I’ll come over and tow you back to my place.
Grand, I said. How long?
About an hour and a half.
An hour and a fucking half? In the freezing cold? At the side of the fucking road?
Look, he says. You’re not far from a pub. Get yourself into the pub and read a paper. Go on away now and relax yourself.
Relax myself? I spent the next ninety minutes chewing pieces out of the sticky carpet in the filthy flea-ridden pub, until eventually, Mechanic-Man arrived. Well? Where’s the patient?
After a close examination, involving a stethoscope, he looked up at me. What do you think? he asked.
Well, I said, you’re the fucking mechanic, but I think we have a broken timing belt, and I think all the valves and rockers are shattered like a mouthful of broken teeth, and I think the whole thing is kaput. That’s what I think.
Mechanic-Man stood up from the engine and rubbed his jaw. He was wearing a huge grin. Do you know what? he said, laughing.
What? I said.
You’re bollixed, he chuckled.