Lost for Nerds

The New Eric

There was, it has to be said, a disappointing lack of fanfare and spectacle on receipt of my latest middle class, planet raping alternative to public transport*. I suppose the fact it’d transcended the metaphysical state of ‘it could be here, it could be there, it could be lost at sea‘** was enough of a triumph to trigger parting with huge wads of the company’s cash.

A transaction quickly completed once Steve The Salesman briefly apologised for multiple fuck ups best summarised by ‘well I suppose I could have looked out of the window, but that wasn’t making me any money‘. I ran around the car looking for the point of difference representing thousands of pounds when baselined against the very similar car that’d transported us here in the first place.

Well it was a different colour. A few bits had more edges. One or two showed pointless curvature clearly wrought by a man with a carefully trimmed beard, the gear stick was missing as were a few horses under the bonnet. They could have been well hiding in the vast empty space where a proper engine would be normally affixed.

Having spanked the credit card to within an inch of its elasticity, our two Yeti convoy headed homewards with 50{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} stomping the phantom clutch pedal at every junction. Still things were going well until the phone rang – causing all sorts of ‘media events‘ in various displays suggesting God might be on the line. It was in fact Carol’s concern proxied by my mum enquiring exactly where the stupidly expensive tow bar might be.

Not sticking out of the car, that’s for sure. My first thought was to consign it to collateral damage endured during the confusing period of ‘where the fuck is my car?’, before rationality took the driving seat, and suggested something a little more instruction based.

We read the manual, it didn’t tell us much other than suggesting that ‘inappropriate deployment of the tow-bar would result in injury and possibly death‘. Which assumes a caravan maybe attached and mobs would attack with flaming torches. I approve.

We parked up and called the garage. Which was a difficult conversation mainly because the phone was mired in a love triangle between two bluetooth receivers and an irate middle aged man. I’d be shouting at a sales person only to find he was responding to my blameless mum in a car some 30 feet away. It’s fair to say this led to some awkward exchanges.

We split our resources, sending the sane and logical half home while my ire was irked even more when the new funky SatNav said a big no, demanding maps and reference data somewhat unhelpfully located in the salesman’s drawer.

Turned round, went back, got the navigation fixed to the point where it worked although clearly designed by a man in his underpants who’d never left his parents spare bedroom. We found the tow-bar buried in the depth of the chassis down a set of rickety stairs, hidden behind a door enpostered by ‘beware of the tiger‘***

To access the mounting point – oh really, is that what it’s called? It is? Just give me a minute here – a hidden panel must first be removed through the kind of manipulation and brutality suggesting something of extreme importance lay behind this shattered exterior trim.

Maybe a microfiche with the ‘destroy the world machine’ perfectly etched? A hard drive of MI6s ‘pictures of important people sleeping with goats’ perhaps? Failing that some digitised hedgerow grumble buried with sticky fingers? No, no and thrice no – out excavations revealed nothing other than a big hole apparently configured for the hermaphrodite phallus lump weighing down my right arm.

We, *ahem*, stuck it in,so locating it with a mighty click ensuring the bike trailer would likely remain mostly attached even under the burden of spirited driving.

No idea what to do with the acres of trim now lying in the drive. Or the complex electronics self-marketedas the cars ‘informational interface’. I’ve ignored almost everything other than locating Test Match Special on the DAB radio and favouriting a station promising ‘80s rock classics’. Really, I couldn’t be happier.

The gearbox is clearly a work of elven magic. As is the engine which punches somewhat beyond it’s tiny weight. Everything is just a bit nicer, but really this sits somewhere between financial propriety and shiny vanity. We have four cars on the drive and that’s bloody stupid. I don’t even like cars.

Still I love bikes and I have seven of those. Maybe this is less about selling cars (which I really have to do) and more about buying bikes (which I really shouldn’t be doing). I spend far more time in my car on my way to stuff that pays the bills, stuck in jams where thousands of others are doing the same, than I do on my bike in places where people are not.

Only one of those has any kind of quantifiable value. And I know which one it is. Which may explain why a lack of excitement about a ton of expensive metal doesn’t feel as if I’m missing the point at all.

* Having spent both £50 and 65 minutes jammed and slammed into a First Great Western Sandwich yesterday, I’m kind of okay with my decision making criteria. At least in the car I can sit down.

** Schrodingers supply chain. It could be alive, dead, or more likely SAP. If you don’t get this joke, think yourself lucky.

*** Stolen from Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy. If you’ve never read that, stop wasting your time with this shit and get on it immediately.

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