Car Wars

Radiator_2 Yes, it’s that radiator again. It’s living at the top of the stairs now. I think it’s probably trying to work its way out of the house gradually – maybe it’ll make it back to the garden shed, and from there, who knows? The world is its oyster. Perhaps it’ll join the circus, make its fortune on the stock exchange, or dry towels in a traveling show? God knows, ANYTHING BUT THIS, says the radiator-come-towel-rail. And also: WHY DID I NOT GET OUT FIVE YEARS AGO, WHEN I STILL HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FULFILL MY DESTINY AS A DRIER OF TOWELS. WHY?!

The towel-come-radiator will have to wait a little longer, though, I’m afraid, for although the plumber did finally turn up on Wednesday (two hours late, natch), he spent only thirty seconds in the presence of the radiator, during which he stared at it aghast and then adopted that look doctors on TV dramas always get, right before they utter those fateful words: “I’m sorry, but you’ll never dry towels again.”

This plumber didn’t say that exactly, but he may as well have, because it all seemed to boil down to the same thing. Our humble radiator-come-towel-rail, you see, is a “two man job”, according to the plumber. Specifically, a “plumber AND joiner” job. He would need to consult a joiner about it, he said, and oh, by the way, we better start trying to sell the family heirlooms to pay for it. These were grave tidings indeed, not only because we don’t got no family heirlooms (although we’re thinking the radiator-come-towel-rail is swiftly turning into one. Maybe one day we’ll be able to take it to the Antiques Road Show, who knows?), but because we had not the slightest intention of paying more than the radiator cost to have it fitted.

Luckily for us, a reprieve came in the form of ANOTHER plumber, who Terry once made a website for, so who is less likely to try and fleece us. He had been off sick during our original round of phone calls-to-plumbers, but is now back in action, and is coming round on Monday morning, at which point we’re hoping that the radiator-come-towel-rail will finally be pinned down, ideally in the bathroom. I mean, I say, “we’re hopeful”, but actually, we’re thinking of putting a sign above the bathroom door reading “ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE”, that’s how UN-hopeful we are.

Yes, this was almost an exact repeat of my last entry, wasn’t it?

Just to add to the deja-vu (and to explain the title of this entry, which I actually didn’t intend to be about the radiator when I sat down to write it, but I figure I’ve lost my last few readers anyway now, so what the hell), my car broke. Again.

This time the car broke down much more dramatically than it did when it wanted a new exhaust, first refusing to start, and then cutting out altogether when we were stopped at traffic lights. Terry, who was driving at the time, managed to work out that the car only wanted to cut out when the speed dropped below about 30, so if you happen to live in our town and saw a couple of lunatics in a green Honda Civic racing around town looking absolutely terrified on Tuesday afternoon, don’t worry, we’re not just a couple of assholes, we were trying to get home without ever having to slow down or stop.

We took the car to the garage the next day, and would have heard no more about it had we not called them up late last night to remind them that they had my car, and could they please tell us what was wrong with it, how much it would cost to fix, and whether they accepted radiators-come-towel-rails as payment.

“Oh, that,” said the garage. “No, we don’t know what’s wrong with it. You can come and pick it up – just don’t ever try and drive it again.”

Or words to that effect.

OK, what they actually said was that they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So we picked it up today, and it seems fine, although I just KNOW that next time I drive it on my own, and have forgotten to take my phone with me, it’ll die again. Current thinking is: “It was just a bit cold. And maybe wanted some more fuel.” Ah, who knows. Is it the weekend yet? IS IT?

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  • I'm thinking your car is just jealous of all the attention the radiator-come-towel-rack is getting these days.

    And also, my mom used to put a blanket on the hood of her car in the winter. She was convinced it needed to be warm over night.

    February 2, 2008
  • I had a plumber experience myself recently. Actually two of them (which makes me worry because bad things come in threes, and our appliances and pipes are like the Jets and the Sharks.)

    What I want to know is, why is it that the first time a plumber comes to look at your pipes, the first thing he says is, "wow, who did that to you?!" Have plumbers never seen a job they admired?

    I'm waiting, actually pining, for the day I get to answer, "well…you."

    February 3, 2008
  • Hank – I've always wanted to be able to say that to them too 🙂

    Kristbella – the more I think about it, the more that blanket sounds like a good idea…

    February 3, 2008