There she is. The little Nissan. Limping off into the sunset.
Lou and I packed up the contents. Loads of cardboard. An old duvet. Sleeping bag and bivvy. Golf clubs and shoes. A horn cup with silver rim. A single fencing foil. Pack of tarot cards. Small China bowl. Holy water. Tigers eye. Spare petrol canister. Umbrella. Two hardwood African carved heads. Gaffer tape. Old linen. Log book. The usual stuff. We left that piece of gaffer tape attached to the window for no reason. It’s lucky. I got behind the wheel and gunned the engine one last time. Me and the car limped unevenly northwards to some bloke’s house. He has a business called “Sussex Car Buyers Limited“. Does what it says on the tin.
I’ve got very little cash left. But I’ve got enough for a basic pair of wheels and so I asked him if he sells as well as buys. Likelihood is that he runs a small business flipping cars. I’ll do better for part exchange with the Nissan with him than I will if I sell here, get a train home with all my crap, and spend the next week refreshing Gumtree in London.
We hammer out a deal. He does most of the hammering. I haven’t got much choice. It’s a Golf with buggered central locking and a dead battery that he’s trying to insist is fine. And it’s an Audi. I take them both round the block. The Audi has new wheels.
Fifteen years ago it was BMW you didn’t want to see coming up in the rearview mirror. Now it’s those four rings. The asshole badge of the Audi driver. The police have got an acronym for it. CIAFA. Makes it easier to write down. C*** in a F****** Audi.
That’s me now. I drove it off with it. I’m the Chap in the Flippin’ Audi.
“Now I’ve paid for it and it’s all signed off, come on, be honest – what’s wrong with it?” I ask, as I always do.
“It’s nice, actually. I like it,” lies the dude’s brother who has been pushing the thing on me for about two hours non stop. He has honest eyes. I immediately mistrust him as I always do with honest eyes.
Five minutes into the drive the service light comes on. Bing. Service! Here we go.
Some sort of diesel filter needs changing. It’s winter and its been stationary. Might be workable. I’ll blow it through, keep an eye on the temperature, and see how close to next October I can get before the exhaust catches fire. It might just need to be run to clear it. Either way it’s always nice to add a soupçon of adventure to a drive. Possible fire? I’m game. No way I can afford to go get it fixed.
I’m insured on it this time, BEFORE I drive it home – and it’s raised my premiums. Once bitten twice shy on the uninsured driving though. I’m not making THAT mistake again. And it drives nicely. It’s a big tank of a thing despite only having two doors. The seats are in the finest murderer’s sweaty pleather. It was tuned to Kiss FM. Other options were Radio 1 and Galaxy. The previous owner was likely done for driving it drunk or stabbing people, and had to sell it off fast. It’s a car that reeks of idiot. I wouldn’t like to see it come up behind me. But if I’m sitting in it I don’t have to look at it. And I can be the one doing all the aggressive and stupid ridiculous stuff that those four rings appear to incite in drivers.
I doubt the capacity will be much more than the Nissan. You can’t put the seats down, I think, so filling it with boxes of antiques will be harder. But it got me home. I can sell it on if I must and if I’m patient I’ll get about half of what the guy charged me, (although that’ll go less and less the closer we get to October 2021). But fuckit, he took the Nissan. It’s a problem solved.
Bless him, he tried to make it look like I got a good deal by keeping the Audi price high but offering more than the Nissan was worth in discount. I played along as there was a car at the end of it. I won’t throw him out for repeat custom either despite spending a few hundred more than usual. Just so long as it doesn’t die in the next three months because of this filter issue. It’s a great big asshole of a car for great big assholes. It hasn’t got enough doors or space. But it’s mine. All mine. Broom broom.
All achieved whilst remaining outside and within two meters from one another.