Have you ever noticed that things seem to happen in threes? Like accidents. I have. It’s been one of those three kind of times for me. Car ones.
Let’s see. It started last week on a Tuesday. Tess and I had an appointment with the beautician. She to have her nails clipped. Me? For other lady things. The day was stinking hot. I parked my little red car in an almost empty car park. Placed the windscreen shield thing on. At least it kept the inside temperature a little bit lower if the windows were left open a teensy bit to allow some airflow. Done.
An hour and a half later, all pampered and beautiful we emerged into the searing heat. A vacant car park next to mine was edged with a white car, windows open, a couple inside. They had moved their car whilst waiting. I opened my car door. “Hey! Is that your car?” called the young dude with his head hanging out the side window, mobile phone in hand. I nodded.
“You *#%@ scratched the car door,” he said glaring at me accusingly.
“Did I?” I asked genuinely confused. I didn’t remember knocking anyone’s car when I arrived.
Lurching out of the car, waving the mobile phone in the air, his voice raised to an alarming pitch. “Too #%* right you did! We got the evidence right here,” pointing at his phone. “If you’re not going to #%*# take responsibility for it, we’ll take this down to the cops!!”
“Now just hang on a minute. That’s not necessary. I didn’t say I wouldn’t accept responsibility if it was me. I just don’t remember knocking your car.”
At this point his friend emerged out of the car. Her demeanour was much more amenable. Turns out it was her car. It was new. She was upset but just wanted to exchange information. Which we did after I looked at her car door, mine, and the photos. I had to admit when I peered closely at her door through my bifocals there was a tinge of a red scratch. And a few micro dots of white on the edge of my drivers door. We parted on friendly terms with each other’s details in hand. I asked her to furnish me with two quotes. I’m waiting.
(This is not a photo of the damaged car)
Now, let’s fast forward to the next Saturday. We had an overseas visitor. Another stinker of a day. Our scheduled departure was delayed due to our collective procrastination. Meandering around in the Adelaide Hills was not so pleasant in the mid-day heat. The kangaroos and other animals were panting in the shade not at all interested in tourist offerings of pats and treats. Our sweat glands were in over drive. As we drove out of the car park – KATHUNK!! Flat tyre. The little country town had no service station. Eventually we found a cafeteria with a petrol bowser. Fortunately for us the owner had a generator which he was happy to for us to use to pump up the tyre.
To this day it remains plump and firm with nary a sign of any reason why on this one day of extreme heat it gave up its air. Perhaps it too, was suffering heat exhaustion.
(This is not a photo of my tyre)
Lead up to incident three:
Now we need to fast forward to a week later. A friend and I were booked in to an all afternoon workshop in the Adelaide Hills this Sunday afternoon. She had a newish car with an inbuilt GPS. So she drove. Another hot day, even in the hills. I am soooo over them! It was a pleasant event free drive. Until, almost at our destination, a little red light started to blink on her dashboard. Given we were nearly there, we kept driving. Having pulled into the front yard, the plan was to reverse and have the car well placed for a quick getaway. The car, however, had other plans. The pedals pushed empty, the gears wouldn’t shift. Taking note of the alarm code, she turned the engine off. Oil transmission overheat was the diagnosis. Treatment? Stop as soon as possible, idle the car whilst it cools down. OK. Try turning it back on. Nope. Dead as a dodo. So we went in. At hourly intervals she went out to check the state of the dodo. It was still dead.
As the afternoon was getting on a bit, it was time to call in road assist from the Royal Automobile Association. The mechanic came surprisingly promptly. Muttering something unintelligible under his breath, he eventually came to the conclusion he couldn’t fix it. It had to be towed to the dealer. Which was on the other edge of town about an hour’s drive away. She would have to wait for the tow truck and accompany it.
I managed to get a lift from another friend to go and pick up my car and drive it to the dealer’s. My friend needed to get home. Address in hand, I made my way through the green leafy suburbs of Adelaide towards the dealer’s yard. Half way there she phoned to say the tow truck had yet to arrive. She was going to find out how long it would take and phone me back.
By this time it was dinnertime. So I headed to the nearest fast food drive by outlet and ordered myself a healthy serve of French fries and a burger. As I was loading my order onto the passenger seat, my mobile phone rang. Nursing the phone in the crook of my neck, I slowly eased my way forward. CRRRUNCH!!! I had ever so slightly nudged the bollard. Then I heard something plasticky sounding fall to the ground. I pulled on the handbrake, opened the door and picked it up. Whatever it was had not been damaged so I tossed it onto the car seat and drove to a quiet spot to eat my dinner. I would inspect the damage later I decided.
(This photo is not of my car. You will notice there is only one photo of my car – the red one. All the rest are courtesy of Pixabay. I did not have the presence of mind to shoot photos. )
Dinner over, I headed down the road to the dealer’s yard. On the way, I noticed that petrol prices were really cheap, so I pulled in to the service station to fill up. Thirty dollars instead of the usual fifty five for a full tank was good value. After paying, I pulled on the door handle to get back into the car. It fell onto the ground with a clang! Oh dear, this is not good, I thought. How am I going to get into the driver’s seat, was the first thing that flashed through my head. I am not very dexterous. And I am a generously endowed huggable sort of person. This makes maneuvering in tight spaces a tad difficult. Clambering over the floor shifts through the passenger side did not appeal to me in the slightest. Stooping to pick up the offending handle, I inspected it, and the spot where it usually sat doing its job like any decent door handle should. There was a smearing of bollard paint on the hand grip. A few scratches on the door. What’s a few more when we already have some micro dots that needed attention! Being mildly mechanically minded I thought I’d give it a bash and see if I could get the handle to fit into the holes in the door. With a little bit of gentle persuasion the handle slipped in. Great! Now for the plastic thingy. I could see where it fitted. And hey presto, it too slid in. Job done. Such a proud moment. Whether it is a permanent fix remains to be seen.
What a relief! I still don’t know why things have to happen in threes. I’m just glad it’s over. And I hope it’s not the beginning of a three cycle for my friend.
© Raili Tanska
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