Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ignition . . . but no blast off!

I was puddling home in peak hour traffic last night, running late actually, work is very busy these days. The empty light on as usual. At $1.39 a litre, I let the tank run down to empty. The old Honda was behaving normally as I pulled into the little car park adjacent to our local shops. Into the Welcome Mart for 2 litres of low fat milk and then into the bottlo for 2 bottles of high sugar plonk. All is going well for now except I’m busting to go to the loo (I never go at work, I hate public toilets – in fact I once went to the Big Day Out and had a 10.00am start and a 1.00pm finish without a single wizz!). Get into the car, keys in the ignition and oh oh . . here we go. The car chunks over but doesn’t catch. I turn it off, turn off the radio, lights, rear window heater – all electrics but the battery is firing fine, just no combustion action. Crank her up again . . . chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk! I try to turn her off again thinking I’ll call ClareBear to rescue me while I wait for NRMA Road Service to crank up the old girl. (The car, that is).

Turned the car off but the chunking kept going. After bout 30 seconds it was quite obvious to other shoppers that I had a problem. I even removed the keys from the ignition and the bitch is still chunkin along chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk. A very nice Italian man came over and asked if I was alright and nearly had a heart attack as I stepped out of the car with the keys in my hand . . .the old girl is still chunk chunk chunk chunk chunk. The only thing to do was to disconnect the rather sparky battery terminal and cut the juice. He was very obliging and sweet and I'm grateful that he was just there as a sounding board.

I was struck by the kindness of particularly the male shoppers walking in and out of the bottle shop and the fish and chip shop. About six asked me if I was alright, needed help, needed them to call someone. Quite a surprise for such a ‘comely’ lass. On the other hand, I nearly had my toes run over by a bitch in a 4 wheel drive and the women just ignored me. “I hope your babies keep you up at night and menopause is cruel to you – selfish cows!” Of course I was fine. I was close to home, armed with champers and fags and had my mobile . . .a weird sort of heaven!

By the time the NRMA guy arrived, I’d collected myself. Told him the problem. He said he’d never heard of anything like it and that I probably had a ‘short’ in my ignition “You think?” was my blondesque retort (I am a brunette). Anyway, when he reconnected the battery terminal and gave it a tap, the engine had stopped chunking and was behaving normally. I drove home OK and managed to start it this morning so I’m not sure now whether to just let it be and make sure I don’t get so low on petrol or whether to bust a move on an Auto Electrician. It sounds expensive in a month when Rates and House and Contents Insurance are both due. I so need a new car! I guess one positive to come out of this – it was so late by the time all this kafuffle was over that Clare and I went out for dinner and have a lovely meal and a chat at Arthur’s Restaurant

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