Clint failed his annual M.O.T. test last Saturday afternoon. Because of that, I was not allowed to drive him away. He had to stay in the garage compound through the weekend and into Monday. The garage needed a special part - available only through the main Hyundai dealership. They couldn't provide that part until today - Wednesday afternoon - when the problem was finally solved.
Modern cars have washers for the front windscreen (American: windshield). Clint has two. The one on the passenger side was working fine but the one on the driver's side was either blocked or there was a pumping malfunction. I had previously tried to clear it with a needle but that had not worked. It never occurred to me that a washer refusal might take my vehicle off the road for five days.
And do you know how much that part and its fitting cost me on top of the M.O.T test? £10! Ten measly pounds - that's all (American $13). It's hard to believe. It doesn't seem so long ago that cars didn't even have windscreen washers.
When I left Clint in the compound last Saturday, he screamed plaintively, "Don't leaver me here Master! I am scared!"
He was sandwiched between two of those vulgar petrol-guzzling SUV's - the kind that yuppies like to drive or yummy mummies with Tarquin and Isabella in the rear child seats squabbling over slices of dried mango and Fair Trade chocolate peanuts.
I turned back to look at Clint's headlights. They looked so sad - like the eyes of a lost bloodhound - but what could I do? I had to steel myself and walk away. Like leaving a favoured son at a boarding school.
I need not have worried about Clint and what the big cars might do to him at night, locked in that compound next to the shady car wash business that seems to be manned by a succession of Albanian holidaymakers with plastic buckets and wash leathers.
As he watched me approach, he yelled "What are you doing here? Why don't you go home? I'm happy here!"
A red Ford Fiesta growled at me while a cute duck egg coloured Fiat 500 called Carol flashed her seductive headlights in Clint's direction.
It seems he had been having a grand old time down at the compound with the other stranded motor vehicles. The stand-in manager Kyle from Pontefract said he'd been watching their nocturnal behaviour on CCTV tapes and could not quite believe what they had been getting up to. They had partied like there was no tomorrow putting compressed air in their tyres and getting well-oiled. At the heart of it all there was Clint singing Clint Eastwood's greatest hits, including "Honky Tonk Man":-
An English car, an Italian car and a Korean car drove into a pub...ReplyDelete
A least Clint should be grateful to you for having his weeing problem fixed.
Now Clint can spray like a red kangaroo at a billabong.Delete
Clint is a cooler dude than that trippy car in the Stephen King story.ReplyDelete
No Clint, no great trips to those windswept moors, no lost Yorkshire towns.
Clint reminds me of the first time I saw Dirty Harry.
I was impressed not just by Harry but by his nemesis Scorpio played by Andy Robinson, a baby-faced Jack Palance.
Harry's mistake was killing off Scorpio: baddies that good never come again.
Everything Clint Eastwood does interests me. He even plays jazz piano.
I fell out with Tom Paulin when he rubbished The Bridges of Madison County on BBC 2 Television, mocking Eastwood's breathy voice.
Paulin didn't understand cinema or what it takes to give a great screen performance.
*Don Rickles Roasts Clint Eastwood.* YouTube.
In his prime Clint Eastwood had a magical aura about him. He didn't need to say much.Delete
Eastwood's masterpiece was Billion Dollar Baby.Delete
Shirley is Clint's masterpiece: You are the chauffeur, old boy.
Note: I did not say 'just' the chauffeur. Drivers deserve respect.
Billion Dollar Baby was based on a terrific short story by F.X. Toole, real name Jerry Boyd (1930-2002) who worked as a boxing trainer and who died before the film was made.
If you want to read about English amateur boxing get Brian Turley's *Journeymen*.
I wish I had written it.
I wish that vehicle inspections wee done here. Many vehicles would e off the road and the country would be much safer.ReplyDelete
It is amazing that an advanced nation like Canada doesn't have such a programme or maybe they forgot to tell you Red!Delete
Must be a provincial thing - we have safety inspections in Nova Scotia!Delete
Nobody much likes MOT testing but sensible people realise that it is a necessary inconvenience. Too may people have died or been seriously injured on the roads because of poor vehicle maintenance.Delete
We have no inspections in our state though others do. If it turns on and moves, our state says it must be safe to drive.ReplyDelete
In Great Britain we have had strict Ministry of Transport tests since !960 but today it is only for vehicles that are over three years old. Driving without an M.O.T. is a serious offence. Tyres, brakes, steering, suspension, lights and other stuff are all checked.Delete
Clint had a nice vacation with friends and now it's back to work!ReplyDelete
I must fill him up with petrol very soon (American: gas).Delete
Did you promise to take Clint back from time to time to party?ReplyDelete
If one's vehicle fails safety inspection here, one has ten days to rectify the problem; after that, if the problem isn't fixed, another inspection (and resulting bill) is required. I'm glad you were able to get the required part quickly. I waited months for one part for my car last year due to rotating production stoppages in the U.S. because of the pandemic. I fortunately had a second vehicle (my late husband's) but if I had not, I would have needed to use taxis all that time.
Sounds like Nova Scotia should have a word in Alberta's ear. I will not be taking Clint back to party as I believe they were all sniffing petrol additives.Delete
So Clint likes to party when you aren't there to watch?ReplyDelete
I guess it's like having your parents at a teenage party.Delete
I am confused - you went to the compound yesterday, right? Aren't you and Shirley under some kind of quarantine rule right now, or have such regulations been abandoned in England?ReplyDelete
Here, if your neighbours see you outside your flat when they know you have covid, I wouldn't put it past some of them to report you to the Health Office.
In England, the legal requirement to self-isolate for five days was lifted a couple of weeks ago. However, out of courtesy, I told Kyle that I was positive and he said he didn't mind as long as I came in wearing a mask. We remained a couple of metres from each other as I paid the bill.Delete
Thank you for explaining. April might see the lifting of almost all restrictions here, too, but many do not agree with that and will keep wearing masks on public transport, in shops and so on.Delete
By the way, good photo. You and Clint make a great team.
Thanks Meike. Shirley and I are very careful too. We wear masks where most others don't bother any more.Delete
At least we know you are now in safe hands (wheels) when out and about on the roads consuming petrol.ReplyDelete
Trouble is that Clint has to return to the garage on Friday for his annual service!Delete
Wow, I didn't realise Clint was such a goer! Has he had a complete make-over? I'm sure in the photos that you've shown us of him, albeit from a distance, he was just a pleasant, mild mannered, family car. The type your Great Aunt Aggie would be happy to ride in!ReplyDelete
The Fiat 500 in the account was also a "goer" according to Clint.Delete
Well I'm glad Clint was able to live it up in the hospital! I can't believe a car would be taken off the road just for a windshield washer malfunction. That seems quite draconian.ReplyDelete
I have yet to meet a child named Tarquin, but I know about a million Isabellas.
Tarquin Reed has a nice ring to it... or a teacher might yell to a talkative pupil with that first name, "Tarquin! Read!"Delete
You won't sell much ice cream driving that fast.ReplyDelete
Sponsored by Aunt Bessy's Yorkshire puddings.Delete
In France we have to return within two weeks to show that the repairs have been done. We aren't stopped from driving. The French 'MOT' is done every TWO years as well!ReplyDelete
To parrot George W Bush, I wonder if the French have a term for "laissez-faire" arrangements.Delete
My Heidi is a Hyundai. I'll have to watch what she gets up to when I'm not looking!ReplyDelete
Wasn't there a comedy show about your car - set in a holiday camp?Delete
Do you suppose that with age Clint will settle down and become more mature in his private activities?ReplyDelete
No way! His philosophy of life reminds me of the song by Mr Dylan..."Forever Young".Delete