Monday, 10 October 2011
“One of the sparkling plugs must be loose!” I said confidently to my wife sitting beside me. I really didn’t know what it meant … I had read it somewhere and I thought it would make me sound intelligent and knowledgeable. It’s good to build up your confidence in the eyes of your spouse … after all, she know you more than most!
“Should we call the Emergency Repair Services?” she said reflecting her confidence in my mechanical abilities.
“Not at all … it’s a simple matter … I’ll soon have it sorted,” I replied getting out of the car and leaving the engine running.
I lifted the bonnet (car hood) up like a professional would. Quickly and smoothly!
Now I should explain that this is an old car … and it has a little metal rod on the side which you have to pull out vertically and hook it under the car hood so that it holds it up. In modern cars the car hood opens up smoothly and stays open by some clever pneumatic device. But my car is old … so old that the Instruction Manual is written in Latin. You have to lift the car hood by hand … then pull out the metal rod … hook it under the hood in a special place and it keeps the hood up whilst you work in the engine. If you’re a wimp that is … If you’re macho like me you just lift the hood up and hold it firmly with your left hand whilst working with your free hand in the engine.
So there I was holding the hood up in my left hand and looking down at the vibrating engine going tat … ratatat … tat … ratatat … There were wires everywhere but no labels or signs telling you which bit of the engine does what. I mean … what does a sparkling plug look like? Is it a light that sparkles on and off?
With my right hand I just pushed and prodded all the cables and wires confidently.
And that’s when I got the most horrific electric shock you could imagine. It went straight up my right arm through my chest and up my left arm holding the hood. It was like those cartoon videos you see when a character touches a live wire and sparkles on and off.
In my agony I let go of the hood which fell with great weight and a single thud on my head knocking me down into the engine.
I could not decide for a moment which hurt the most … the electric shock I’d just received or the clunk of heavy metal at the back of my head.
Neither of these pains soon mattered because the little fan that goes round and round inside the car engine compartment caught my tie and dragged me in further choking me all the time.
The whole scenario looked like a car eating its driver as the hood bounced up and down as I struggled to free myself from the fan’s throttling grasp. I was slowly being eaten up by my own car as my legs were flying in all directions.
At that particular moment my cat decided to come walking by beside me and I must have accidentally kicked it.
Instead of running away … the cat decided to attack my legs by scratching hard at them and shouting “Vengeance is mine!!!”
This attracted our lazy dog who usually lies on the mat in front of the TV watching the Dog Channel.
Not this time … there was something more entertaining going on outside! So out he came and decided to jump on me biting me several times …
Luckily my wife switched off the ignition and the engine reluctantly released its grasp on my tie. I was still stuck head down though as I could not loosen the tie enough to slip my head out.
The tie was eventually cut with a sharp knife and I decided to phone the Emergency Repair Services after all.
I told them the tie must have been left in the engine by some careless mechanic at the workshop where I took the car for a maintenance service. That’s probably what caused the odd sound in the engine.
They agreed that this was a distinct possibility although they wondered why I had the remains of a similar coloured tie round my neck.