Latest Blog Post : NCT Calling
My Ford Mondeo is up for its NCT at 8.40am in the morning. Genius that I am, when I booked it weeks ago, I thought that I’d get it over and done with - to get a clear run of the day afterwards. I wasn’t thinking that I might be banjaxed after a weeks work and that I would have to haul two seven year olds out of bed to come with me. Too late now. I’ll be damned if I am going to loose my booking fee.
I got a puncture last week. Mr Tyre Fixer gave me a lecture about getting my tracking tested every six months, to prevent the same thing happening again on fairly new tyres. Forking out €220 for two new tyres and tracking was enough of a lesson for me, to not allow that to happen again.
Other than that, I didn’t do any mechanical prep for tomorrow. But that’s not to say that I haven’t prepared for it.
I’ve only had my new-to-me-car since last Hallowe’en, courtesy of the Credit Union, bless their cotton socks. Until tonight, I haven’t had a reason to open the bonnet … Okay, I probably should have been checking ‘car stuff’ regularly, but I haven’t. I’m thinking of doing a wee crash course in ‘Servicing One’s Own Car For Plebs’ to help me in this problem area.
For the life of me, I couldn’t find the lever to open the bonnet. I consulted the car manual. From the diagram, I still couldn’t figure it out. A good twenty minutes I was, fumbling around the steering wheel. Before consulting Google, I asked the children to figure it out. Mya was thrilled with herself when she spotted it, on the passenger side of the car. Since when were yokes like that moved over that side of cars ??? Just as well that it wasn’t an emergency.
Bonnet opened, I set about checking the oil. Note to self : Never try to check engine oil with two seven enthusiastic seven year olds, thrilled with the dipping and wiping and fighting over who does it, while also swiping my top with a good glug of oil. GIVE ME STRENGTH !! Turns out the Mondeo needed a good glug of oil, so off we went to the garage. The children reckoned that we should buy an air freshener. A Simpson’s cartoon one. ‘We could be on to something here’, I thought. Maybe nice Car Tester Man likes fragrance other than 'wet dog' and surely he gets humour ?
‘We should get the car washed too’, piped up Leon. ‘Agreed’, I thought. Car Tester Man will see that I’ve gone the extra mile. He might have a touch of OCD around car cleanliness. Let’s hope so.
Back home and the still enthusiastic children, who are usually allergic to housework, wanted to help me to clean out the car. At this stage, it was almost 9pm and I actively encouraged them indoors to play on any electronic device they wanted. ‘NOOOOOooo Mam, we are helping you !’. It was not negotiable.
Mya got into the car boot and started hoovering. She was having a whale of a time. Meanwhile, Leon undid all of the nice car wash shininess by hand washing the windows. As I pulled out the children’s car seats to clean behind them, I realised what total mingers my children are. I’m a minger too for not noticing the various decomposed organic matter shoved into the crevices at the base of the seat belts. I tried not to wretch. An entire stand-alone eco system living in my car. I could almost run a travelling science show in it. I could charge in and recoup the money spent on my new car tyres. I temporarily reclaimed the hoover from my daughter to clean this organic matter out. A very strange noise ran up the hose. The dull thud of thick organic stuff, amid the rattle of metal. I wondered if it was my long lost earring, or two euro coins. But it’s never a TWO euro coin though, is it ? It’s always just coppers for me.
Leon suddenly turned into the OCD project foreman and began giving me orders. ‘Get those shopping bags out of the boot Mam !’. ‘I don’t like that cream in the door’. Cream ? I had a look – It was anti-wrinkle cream. Car Tester Man does not need to think of me in that light. I agreed with my boy. It has to go.
I began to think more strategically. Maybe I should try to get Car Tester Man to feel sorry for me. A casually placed bank statement left on the passenger seat perhaps ? My laminate from the MS Patient summit that I attended recently, accidently ‘dropped’ on the car floor ? Medication alongside ? Two bed head children standing by my side, looking all street urchin ? Note to Self 2 : Make sure to muck up their faces in the morning. I was also wondering what nationality Car Tester Man would be, as, to date, I’ve never met an Irish born tester. I wondered about having a strategically placed music track in his native tongue on the CD as he turns the car on, to get Car Tester Man in the mood for passing my wee motor, a bit like baking fresh bread for a house viewing and hope that no one notices the damp on the ceiling.
Will I wear a shorter skirt/tighter top/redder lipstick ? Whatever it takes to get it over the line. I suppose there’s a bit of technical stuff thrown in there too, but you hardly expect me to know about that ?