Listen to Karen tell the story…
One of the days last week, as I got into my car and switched on the engine, a warning light lit up on the dashboard with an accompanying sound to indicate there was a problem. ‘Jaysus’, I thought, ‘what now? Reaching for the glove compartment to get the car manual, to see what that particular warning light meant, I sighed once again, as I realised it wasn’t there. God himself only knows where I had put it but if I was to solve the mystery of the warning light, there was nothing for it but to use the powers of the internet. Switching the engine off again, I grabbed my huge bag, which appears to be bottomless at the best of times. How I haven’t disappeared in there myself is beyond me, there are times when I have literally put my whole head and shoulders in, looking for something, come back out five minutes later, put my hand in up to the armpit and eventually found the elusive item. The car manual might even be in there, but sure it’d be quicker to look on the internet as the phone was the first thing I put my hand on when I reached in. After some faffing about on the internet, I managed to find the explanation of this light, only to discover that it was an indicator of a decrease of tyre pressure. Basically I needed air in my tyres, but which tyre?
Looking at the rain pelting down on my windscreen, I was a frustrated aul one. I wasn’t dressed for this weather, it wasn’t forecasted and sure I had brought a coat to protect me from the cold but nothing else. I’d be drenched checking all of those feckin tyres to find out which one was the offending article. Unless they were all low. Nah, likely the one on the driver’s side, I’d put on a bit of weight over the festive period and hadn’t managed to shift it, the weight on that side of the car had likely put pressure on the tyre. No upgrade needed for my car to tell me which specific tyre needed air, though it’d be handy. What if I lost so much weight this year, that the tyres had too much air, but sure I’d still know which one, sure it’d still be the one on the driver’s side. My bestie’s car practically tells her when she needs a bit of air herself. I should have asked it where I’d parked my own car, when I lost it recently. I can just imagine the answer. ‘Ah you stupid aul one, get out and get some well needed exercise, it won’t take you long to find it’!
Deciding to err on the side of caution, I resolved to solve the problem immediately and drove to the nearest petrol station. Parking up beside the air machine, I climbed out of the car in the teeming rain to read the instructions. I wasn’t even sure if you actually take the cap off the tyres, sure the last time I’d needed to do this, one of my obliging sons had been in the car with me and had done the honours. Following the directions posted on the front of the machine, I attempted to squat down to unscrew the cap and promptly fell over to the side…into a huge puddle that had formed. Jaysus, how unfit was I? Sure hadn’t my physio applauded my squatting abilities not long after my knee replacement two years ago. All that time in bed with shingles last year hadn’t done anything for my muscles, time to return to the gym. Recovering myself enough to stand up, I didn’t attempt the squatting position second time around, instead I bent over, comfortable that my coat covered enough of my backside not to reveal anything untoward to passersby. Extending my arm towards the wheel rim, my hand touched on the cap and though encumbered by my chubby digits, I managed to unscrew it and take it off. I was just about to congratulate myself on having accomplished stage one when, Mother of Divine Jesus, how clumsy can an aul one be, I dropped the cap in between the rim and the tyre.
Straightening up to mutter a few expletives into the now torrential rain, I bent over once more, rainwater dripping from my hair onto my glasses, as I attempted to retrieve the cap from its resting place. Thank God for the sense of touch, because with impaired vision, with or without the specs, the article wasn’t going to be found by sight alone. Mission accomplished, cap in hand, I put it in my pocket, for safe keeping while trying to check the air pressure, but sure I hadn’t a clue. There was more air coming out of the tyre than anything else. Whether this was the one that had flagged up on the dash or not, it was going to need some more pressure by the time I’d finished with it. Realising that I was doing more harm than good and having used the requisite pound in the machine to no avail, I decided there was nothing for it but to drive to my son’s house for some help.
Being the obliging young fella that he is..Jaysus, he’d be delighted to hear me calling him a young fella. At the ripe old age of 35, still with a face as smooth as a baby’s bum, he thinks he’s an aul fella. Anyway the obliging young fella that I call ‘son’ didn’t hesitate to help me, even brought a load of change with him and sure the air in the garage near him was cheaper than the air in the one local to me. Have you ever heard the like of it. I wouldn’t mind but he lives in a posher place than I, so if the air there is supposed to be purer, surely it should be more expensive.
Tyre pressure sorted, the rain now having given way to clear blue skies, I bade a cheery goodbye as my kind son drove off. Looking in the rear view mirror, at my soaked hair, I thought of the hot shower I would have when I got back home later. However, no sooner had I turned on the ignition than that familiar beep emanated from the dashboard as the feckin car was still telling me I needed air in my tyres. What the…!! Another phone call to the son ensued. ’Hey son, you know that air you put in my tyres…well could it be bad air..you know instead of fresh air’…there was silence on the other end of the phone..then I heard what could only be described as a snigger…’Eh Mum…’ he began, stifling a laugh, but before he got any further I burst out…‘I know you think I’m a crazy aul one, but sure don’t you get dirty petrol, like when you let your petrol go too low in the tank and the new petrol mixes with the dirt at the end of the tank, or even cheap petrol that can give you problems..’Mum’…he interrupted, but I was on a roll ‘Well why can’t you get cheap air, sure the air in that garage was cheaper than the first one I was at’…I stopped my tirade as I heard howls of laughter at the other end of the phone. ‘Mum…more giggles, erupting into raucous laughter, which despite myself, brought a smile to my face. I love to hear my kids laugh. Even if they are adults, they’re still my kids. So being a sappy aul one, I forgave him his obvious entertainment at having a thick aul one for a mother and listened to what he had to say. ‘The reason you still have a warning light on your dashboard for the tyre pressure is that you have to reset it’. Jaysus, reset it, how the feck would I do that!!
Sure the clock in the car is still an hour ahead, I’ve never got around to sitting in the car long enough, when it’s stationery, to sort that out, so I just take an hour off when I’m noting the time. On more than one occasion, I’ve had a passenger panicking when we’ve been on our way somewhere, surmising that we’re over an hour late. When the clocks go forward again, it’ll be right. My phone is another thing, I haven’t zinced or blue toothed it, or whatever it’s called, to connect it to the car. The amount of times I’ve parked up, looked at my phone and realised that I’ve missed a call, sure I never hear the phone, whether I have the hearing aids in or not, because it’s usually still on silent from the night before. But sure that’s grand, it means I can’t be distracted by it, when I’m driving. The family despair of me where tech is concerned. They’ve written me off at this stage, as a tech impaired. Sure if I was a whizz of an aul one at all of that, they’d have nothing to take the mick out of me for. Nah, that’s not true, they’d have plenty of other things to tease me about, it’s a national sport in our family, but sure I love it.
Speaking of cars, I have a friend who has an MX5, and recently when we were at a lovely get together, one of the guests advised her that he also used to have one and like herself had been part of the MX-5 club. They have little outings, go to different places as a group, all driving behind each other, a bit like the trucks who drive in convoy. only posher, they all being sports cars ‘n’ all that. I believe it’s the done thing for one MX-5 driver to wave to another as they pass in the road. Isn’t that lovely!
Hearing all of this, I considered what it would be like to start a Ford Fiesta Club, the FF club. Nah, that doesn’t sound right, that could be a slimming club for Fat Feckers. Jaysus, maybe I should start one of those instead, to get some support in my battle of the bulge. Ah sure there’s enough slimming clubs around and if I haven’t joined one by now, I’m hardly going to run a good one. I’d have to be losing weight to give a good example to the members. I’d be better sticking to a club for cars.
So, how about a ‘Red’ Ford Fiesta club – RFF – doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as MX-5 but it’s near enough to the RAF to sound posh. People might think it’s the Royal Ford Fiesta club, now that’d be special, we’d just go by the letters, no need to use the actual words. Booking somewhere for a day out under the name ‘RFF’ would be cool. Mind you I have a left hand drive red Ford Fiesta so if I was a member of the RFF club and tried the aul waving lark, sure the other members mightn’t see me as they drive past as I’d be on the left hand side of the car. Sure they’d think I had one of those self drive cars and was just a passenger so didn’t belong to the RFF. They’d likely presume I belonged to a more elite group such as the SDRFF, the Self Driving Red Ford Fiesta club and I wouldn’t get a wave at all. I’d feel really rejected then. I’d have to form a new club…the RRFF, the Rejected Red Ford Fiesta Club.
No matter which club I belonged to, how cool would it be if we drove in convoy, all red Ford Fiestas taking over the road. They may not be as cool looking as the MX-5s but it’s the whole ceremony of it, isn’t it. Sure we could be like those lads in the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit, ‘Is that a 10-4’’, on our CB radios. No need for that aul bluetooth mallarchy, just chat to each other over the waves. And if that sign came up on my dash saying the air was going out of my tyres, to be sure, one of the other RFF members would know where to find a garage that sells clean air.
“… neither Jesus, Mary, or even Joseph would have been of any use to her, because they were outnumbered.”
“…However, these fights were the exception rather than the rule”
“…As long as that guy was working in the vegetable shop, there was never a lack of potatoes in our house”
“…Ah sure, for us, there’s always a hot toddy (Irish slang for a hot whiskey, not to be confused with a really attractive man called Todd with the nickname ‘Toddy’)”