I managed a brief respite from worry during the school rush and managed to delay the trip to the garage by a few more minutes when I popped next door to get breakfast ready for our elderly neighbour, who is currently semi-bedridden after fracturing her hip the other week. She’s quite chatty and it normally takes at least half an hour to leave the house after saying ‘bye’, as she always has something else to say. Mud has disappeared for hours, before now, when she’s asked him if he could possibly change a light bulb for her or some such thing and I’ve been on the point of reporting him missing but yesterday morning, mindful of the MOT she was ushering me out of the door, almost as soon as she had her coffee by her side and her breakfast on her lap.
“No! No!” she reassured me,”There’s nothing else I need right now. You get yourself off. I know you need to get to the garage.”
Cheers! Thanks! Great!
With nothing else to delay my departure, I grabbed a book (well it’s an hour at least waiting time) and last years MOT certificate, jumped in the car and tootled off, towards sure and certain doom. Handing the keys over, I made my way to the waiting room, opened my book and tried not to think about what was happening in the workshop.
“All done,” the MOT inspector said just over an hour later.
I looked up and waited, steeling myself for the bombshell that was about to be dropped, “And……?”
“It passed,” she said.
“It passed,” She repeated,”Only 1 advisory but other than that its’ fine!”
It passed! By some miracle our tired old Jap’ truck had passed his MOT and had given Mud the much needed breathing space needed to finish Ciggy. As the Inspector went off to print out the test certificate I reached for Muds mobile which he had insisted I take with me, and dialed home.
“Hello,” Mud said as he picked up the call.
With the worry and tension of the last few days lifted and dispersed, the mischievous me came out to play and so in a serious and unsmiling voice I asked him if he was sitting down?
“Go on tell me,” he said, expecting the worst.
“You really need to be sitting down” I said in an emotionless voice.
“Just tell me,” Mud demanded.
I took a deep breath (I really should have been an actress) waited a couple of seconds (the tension was palpable) and then delivered the news neither of us had expected to hear.
“I don’t believe it!” was the stunned reply from a relieved Mud and then he laughed.
I have often heard people say that they would never buy a Japanese car, preferring to spend their money on American, German or French (why?) cars. Yet the reliability and durability of a Japanese car has been proven time and time again, unlike the BMWs and VWs of this world. Even Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear team couldn’t ‘kill’ a Toyota pick-up truck, despite trying to drown it and they even set fire to the thing as I recall.
Dear old Thomas has survived well beyond the life expectancy of a modern car, being 8 years old and having passed the 200K miles mark in just the last few days and whilst we wont be putting him through the trials and tribulations of a ‘Top Gear’ style test, he will be expected to do at least another 20k miles this year.
In the last 8 years most of our friends and Muds colleagues have changed their cars at least once (probably twice in the case of Muds work mates) and yet our valiant old truck, made in Japan and built to last, is still trundling along.