Gear Stick Tooleytale (28/08/2003)

Well, this is all I ruddy well needed.
Isn't it just typical that the moment you go out and spend a sum of money on something you don't ABSOLUTELY require, something immediately breaks which you HAVE to pay for costing exactly equal to the dosh you've just spent . Dammit!

Let me explain for posterity. I have to write this down while I'm still all fired up.
Only a few days ago I coughed up a serious amount of dough on a return flight ticket to Australia with Malaysian Airways. (I plan to join my girlfriend in Perth for 3 months this Autumn)

So, what's the problem you may ask. After making the commitment to part with my hard earned filthy lucre, and thinking I had all my finances for the next few months calculated down to the last penny, Shit Happens!

I get home from work last night, and I'm just reversing my car into a convenient parking space when gears. Not no gearbox gears, just the gear stick floating around with nothing connected to it like the froth on a milkshake. Yep, the selector assembly has just said goodnight, God-bless and thank you very much.

This is not going to be a cheap repair. My car is a very rare Citroen XM estate.
Phoning the Citroen garage to ask what the damage will be, I heard the customary sharp intake of breath, followed by the tell tale 'Kerching' of the money-till going off in the owners mind.

It gets worse, since the car is now undriveable I somehow have to get the vehicle to the other side of Wickham before it can be fixed. Trailering it there would cost megadosh, so I've arranged for my mate to tow me there very early Saturday morning before there is too much traffic on the road. Sounds easy when you say it quick, doesn't it?

First I have to get a tow rope, so my Dads been tasked with that before Friday night.
Now comes the really crappy bit.
My mate lends me a spare car to use for a few days whilst I'm up Shit Creek without a paddle. Great...I'm really chuffed. But, and it's a BIG BUT, the vehicle hasn't been used for a few weeks. Hence the battery is a little on the low side. No problem, we thought. Just bump start her up and leave the engine running for a few minutes, she'll be fine. Famous last words! It had almost no petrol in it and was pretty much running on vapour, so my first port of call was a garage for a top up. "Give us a ring if you need another push" was my mates last words to me as I confidently roared off down the road.

After pouring my last few remaining quid down the petrol tank, I went to start her up again and sure response. Then the horrible realisation dawned that I hadn't got my mobile with me. So I'm now in a garage, at twilight, with a borrowed car that won't start and not a soul around to give me a push. What's more, I don't have the telephone number of my mate to come and help me, or the means to phone him if I did.

After waiting an age, at last a customer arrived who was prepared to work up a sweat at my expense. (Typical, just like buses, you don't see a woman driver for ages then six come along at once.)

After arriving home, I spent a very troubled and restless night worrying whether the thing will start first thing in the morning for work. There aren't too many people around at that time of the morning prepared to be a good samaritan either.

Thank goodness, after a few very laboured and nerve wracking rotations the engine reluctantly purred into life.

I'm now sitting here typing this with a horrible sinking feeling in my gut. I can guarantee this is just the start of it. From this point on till I depart these shores aboard that Jumbo, it is sure to be one financial disaster after another. Sometimes I wish I could simply close my eyes and all this crap would just go away.

I wonder if I changed my name by deed poll to something other than Tooley, my luck might improve?

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