I have the NCT tomorrow and I’m a bit anxious. What will they discover? Will they find the bodies in the boot?
By the way, do you know why the Americans call it the trunk while we call it the boot? Simple. Boot is just a variation of boîte, which means box. Cars in the old days had a box on the back. A boîte.
But as usual, I digress. Tomorrow, I have the NCT. I’m reasonably happy about it after a sizeable amount of effort, brought about largely by the incompetence of main dealers. My mechanic is a Russian, an excellent fellow who understands everything about motor vehicles, and what’s more, he charges a reasonable amount of money for his work.
This is a very good thing The Irish mechanics I used to employ charged an exorbitant sum for precisely the same work, and while I realise that some people will berate me for not employing local labour, I have one simple reply.
For years, you’ve been boning me up the arse, and now I have a reasonable man who knows what he’s doing. I’ll stick with him.
And if anyone should seek to take me for a fool, let me tell you this. I know everything there is to be known about motor vehicles. I’ve stripped them down and built them back up. I’ve lain in the cold and the rain on the side of the road fixing shaky automobiles, and I’ve crushed my knuckles in the process, so I’m fully qualified to know if my mechanic is a good one or a bad one.
It was an engine mounting this time. Not a big deal, you might imagine, but it still took me weeks to get the right one because the motor factors kept ordering the wrong part and even when I got on to the main dealers, they had the wrong schematic.
Good. Main dealers are thieving bastards, the world over.
Years ago, we had Minis, old-fashioned Minis of the old-fashioned kind, and they had a habit of shearing their engine mountings which was fun. You could be driving along and when you put your foot on the accelerator, the engine tried to jump out through the bonnet. KLA-KLOONK!! How many happy days did I enjoy lying on the ground in the pissing rain with a small stone sticking into my shoulder blade replacing Mini engine mountings?
I’m not doing that stuff any more. I’m too old. Fuck that shit.
One time, I had a beautiful car that I drove home at 85 mph because we were in a hurry. The passengers were dear friends and close family, but as we slowed down and approached our house, the front wheel broke off due to the failure of a ball joint. If that had happened three minutes earlier we’d all be dead. Figure that out. I sat down at the side of the road and fitted a replacement lower wishbone, but that was then and this is now. I wouldn’t do it today.
I’ve worked on all sorts of cars. I’ve changed engines, swapped clutches, routinely done the brakes, taken out half-shafts, and I’ve always been confident about my work. Do it right and it will be right. But as I said, I’m tired of all that shit. Let someone else do it.
For myself, I’m happy to let the Russians do the job. I like them and we get on well together. But most of all, they don’t rob me.
NCT tomorrow. Isn’t it a horrible feeling as they poke around among your junk? I don’t like it. Usually I find a way to wander off and come back later instead of moping around doing the waiting walk which is never a good look.
I used to be a serious mechanic. There was a time when a house with a pit might have persuaded me to buy it, but those days are gone. Today, I’m just another lunatic, reaching out to my fellow madmen.
Woo-hoo! It passed!