I don’t need a car. It’s an unnecessary luxury. But I’ll likely be going to a couple of festivals this year. And I have a gigantic tent. And a table. And then I can carry loads of beer and water. And a stove. And a box with 100 glowsticks. And I can transport friends…

In days gone by I’d go to festivals and buy things like booze and water on site. I’d sleep in a tiny little tent like an oven and stagger out in the morning to buy a coffee. It was an expensive business. One sad day I paid five pounds for a glowstick.

Then I had a few consecutive years where I was paid well to go to lots of festivals. So I bought a load of kit to make it more comfortable. Flasks and kettles, tents and mattresses, stoves and tables. I found a site that sent me lots of glowsticks for cheap so I could give them to people who might otherwise waste five pounds. I had a few lovely strange bright summers in fields making things and laughing and dancing and giving away glowsticks. But recently my paid festival mojo appears to have slipped, partly because my availability is not as good as it used to be so I can’t commit to a festival in advance over the possibility of something longer elsewhere. So considering nobody is paying me to go to a festival yet this year I certainly don’t need a festival car. Which means that I shouldn’t have bought one today. But I’m calling it an act of manifestation. If you buy it, they will come. Now I have the car, bring me the job that needs the car.

I’ve bought a car every summer for years. I’ve got it down to an art. Go on Gumtree. Set filter to cars 150-300 pounds. Monitor for a few days. When something seems legit, go and buy it with cash as soon as it’s listed.

I bought this one for £300. I’m a little worried as the guy seemed shiftier than usual. Part of me is curious to see if it vanishes in the next few days as his professional team of carjackers follow the GPS, take it back and relist it in time for another mug like me to buy. But so far I’ve had about 6 and I’ve never been burnt. This one is a Suzuki. It runs beautifully. The air conditioning smells like catshit and the wipers scream as if they were babies being dragged across the windscreen, and leave as much shit behind as they go. But the MOT is good until March which is what matters. And there’s half a tank of fuel. I’ll have it sold by March for at least what I paid for it, unless it gets jacked back.

Driving a car with this rib though – that throws up a whole new range of problems, mostly around reversing and changing gear. Braking hurts too though. I can’t look behind myself. And I don’t want to reach down and change gear. But thankfully I managed to get the thing to a friend’s place out in West London where there’s unmonitored parking and it’s still fairly easy to get home. I had to rush to audition for a commercial which would pay enough for me to buy a fleet of stinky cars. I had to be sensible and grounded for the casting. Win.

So I have another fucked car. Apart from the stink, as long as it doesn’t get jacked back- “Do you have the spare key?” “No, there’s only one key, sir.” “hmmmm” –  then I’ll be fine. I don’t need a car. But that’s the nature of this society. I’ve got one. So I should use it. Anyone need anything driven?

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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