Burrowing deep into the web of chaos that serves me as a life, I
have been experiencing what the cognoscenti describe as 'car trouble'.
I drive (when that is possible) a Vauxhall Novella (so called
because it is so short). This is more or less half a Vauxhall NO-VA, which, as
any fool knows, means 'won't-go' in Spanish, which is, incidentally or not,
where the poor little thing was assembled from tin-cans and washing line and
youthful rust. Last night I drove this machine in pitch darkness without
lights, as the alternator has ceased to function, for several miles down windy
lanes to my remote fastness in the clinging mud of Chailey, and had it not been
for the undeserved assistance of my mum, your mum, her mum, apple pie and the
flag I should not be with you now, wittering on about nonsense. Ah well.
It is surprising even now how something which has made such a
contribution to personal freedom as the motor-car, (a contribution perhaps only
equalled by the Heckler and Koch semi-automatic machine pistol (capable of
firing 140 rounds per second) or the washing-machine) can suddenly be
transformed into an embarrassment, a problem, a worry, an absolute bleeding
disaster, leaving you worse off than if you had got there on your legs, which
would at least indicate that there was some possibility of walking back again.
Suddenly (as I said) the means of travel is transformed into a static metal
lump, incapable of motion and insensitive to all pleading, an inert mass of
grease, rust, dirt, misery and anguish.