Here was the dealer stood at the gate, after him paying me €200 to take the haype of shite of a Peugeot away, now he’s going selling me a new yoke. By all accounts it was a reliable wagon, NCT and taxed with good tyres, electric windows that worked and it even had the added bonus of a dashboard. Like, you could see things like: how fast you’re going, if the indicator is on; or if it’s overheating and the engine is about to explode or is contaminated with weedkiller. All benefits, features and perks, that were noticeably absent in the Peugeot. We took it for a spin. The oul fella said: ‘Even the lights work on this one…’ and he was right. Fulls and everything. Another tick on the gem spectrum. Plus, the car had come directly to the door. There was no country road spins to bumpy car parks to horse deal in the rain about well washed scrap with Flintstones fanatics. Hard to bate it. 1.4 petrol. “…easy on juice…” and high spec for the year (15 years ago.)
We brought it back. Let cars go by in traffic, watch us looking at it. Clouds floated above us, people walking dogs, trees swaying lightly in the breeze. There was two keys that weren’t keys. They were some kind of sensor, activator, important pieces of black plastic with a watch battery. The real key was in the ignition and never left, but the car wouldn’t start unless you had one of the two independent keys with you. Like I said, high spec. With a dashboard. It was time to talk about money. Permutations sang in the whistling wind, monetary fairies haggled in the heavens while the real business was delayed through silence and looking at the footpath while we waited for the moment to begin. Eventually he gave a figure that was too high, and I gave a figure that was too low, and we met in the middle with the figure we all knew was probably right. Then it was logbook o’clock and he wasn’t great at writing so he asked me to fill it out while we all sat in the house. He counted the money while I did the admin. No PCP mountain of paperwork here. Just a calm old school logbook and a tenner back for luck and off ya go. A new journey in a new wagon. No distant dreary towns that smelled like oil and rubber and emigration and listening for rattles and bangs the whole way home and the ghosts of the famine laughing at you over the country walls. There was she was, already in the drive. A Ford Focus with two sorta keys and a right one inside and even a drop of petrol and a bottle of Holy Water in the glovebox. At first, I thought it was the passenger door trying to fall off but no, eventually found it, a plastic bottle of blessed lovely usice banging off the hollow plastic like a suitcase on a plane in an empty luggage compartment. Surely I must be in good hands now, might even use it some day when stuck for petrol. She’ll probably go forever on that stuff. Lot better than the fuckin Roundup anyway.