Car Says No

Cold mornings and my life simply don’t mix. That might sound unnecessarily definitive, but I’ve come to this conclusion after some fairly rigorous observation. For starters, my body just isn’t designed for the cold. Maybe it’s my Mediterranean ancestry, but I’m essentially a basil plant. Frost is not nourishing to me; my system was not built for it. 

Neither was my car, it would seem. The poor thing is really struggling to get started lately, which is a problem because I need it to get to work. Actually, it kind of is my workplace, since all my gear is rigged up to my custom-designed service body. It’s not like I can just trade this ute in for another one; a lot of thought and energy has gone into making it what it is. 

I guess I could have taken more care to book a pre-winter trip to the car service centre. In the Bentleigh area, it really pays to be able to use your car on demand – the place is kind of built for cars – and in retrospect, I’ve sort of sabotaged myself by skipping out on my annual maintenance. So, yeah. Maybe it is a stretch to say that cold mornings and my life are fundamentally incompatible. If I’d sucked it up and got the service, we’d surely be somewhat less incompatible, at least. 

It’s not just the car not wanting to start. There’s something amiss with the lights, too, which are kind of important on a 6am drive out of Bentleigh. Local auto electrical specialists: recommend yourselves. I really don’t have time to deal with all of this. Then again, I also don’t have time to not deal with it. I have an 8am in Footscray, and want to stop for one of those cayenne hot chocolates from Jimmy’s on the way. It’s the only thing that can get my frozen hands going.

Junkmobile Needs Servicing

My brother, Sergei, is basking in the glow of owning his first car after buying a third-hand van from a mate of a mate a couple of months ago. At least, that was the case until this morning, when the actual reality of car ownership hit home. The junk bucket stopped working somewhere out near Mitcham while Sergei was on his way to have a surf.

This came as a surprise to precisely nobody, except for young S, who had been blithely turning a blind eye to the less desirable features of the van’s condition – I’m talking rampant rust and its disinclination to start. Honestly, I don’t even know how this thing has a roadworthy certificate.

Fortunately for Sergei, there are plenty of car mechanics in Ringwood, and he was able to have the issue taken care of with a minimum of fuss. The problem is that he’s now totally maxed out his bank account – he hadn’t anticipated this brand of expense, and didn’t have much in the way of savings tucked away for the cause.

In my opinion (that of the wise/smug older brother), budgeting for emergency car services is something he needs to come to grips with, especially if he insists on getting around in a van that’s coming apart at the seams. If he doesn’t do this, he’s going to expect me to help him out every time something like this happens, which – let’s be real – is going to be pretty regularly.

Besides that, what’s he going to do when his mobile pile of junk needs urgently fixed closer to home? I mean, in Ringwood, brake and clutch repairs, brake pad replacements and things of that nature can be arranged pretty easily, but who knows what the deal is out where he lives in Nar Nar Goon? I’m sure he’ll figure it all out in his own good time, by which point he’ll probably have upgraded to a vehicle that’s a tad more reliable.