How not to fit a towbar.
I’d like to start by announcing – in a channel 4 pre-movie stylie – that this post will have foul language from the start.
Today my life has been strewn with cowpats from the devils own satanic herd. Firstly the local railway station has, in its infinite wisdom, decided that for 350 car parking spaces, they can employ a single octanarian know to all as ‘daft deaf doris’ to man (or rather troll) the ticket counter. Triple D is know through the f*cking county as the all-bucks slow motion ticket dispenser. Entire f*cking epochs can pass between a polite request for ‘single to marylebone’ and the actual production of said travel permit. And don’t even consider f*cking credit cards because DDD accepts only ration books and hair oil. Since the queue resembled – as usual – some kind of illegal gathering, I went for a DDD bypass known as the electronic ticket machine. Again as usual it was displaying in high res colour rounded fonts “out of order”. This is actually a step forward since most of the time it’s f*cking turned off because someone forgot to feed the meter. For those IT bods out there, it runs (or to be more precise limps like an arthritic hunchback) Windows so like I say it doing anything is a f*cking improvement. The backup ticket machine laughably proclaims it accepts most noted currency values. This may well be true if you’re Bulgarian or from a planet several million light years beyond the milky way. Those earth bound misfits such as myself must resort to voice activation thus: “come on you f*cker, it’s got the queens head on in, stop f*cking giving it me back”. Obviously this doesn’t work so I am left to assume that it runs bills finest software as well.
Eventually with a slightly hysterical “f*ck it”, I barged my way onto the train sans ticket waiting, just waiting, for the fat conductor with his f*cking stupid ,hat and a gut that says “dead at 50″ to challenge my ticketless status. I was ready to espouse my theory of “useless f*cking train companies and their staff” but even this small pleasure was denied me as, I assumed, he’d passed away chowing down on his 20th pre-breakfast donut. Thankfully my anger had been winched up to white hot by the drivel of a couple in front of me who insisted on violating the noise/boredom convention and declaiming to anyone within 30 miles of the carriage on what type of caravan they should buy. There was nearly the first case of “death by ‘Which Caravan’” ever recorded
Getting off the train some child dressed up in his dads uniform and associated stupid hat asked for my ticket in a plaintive whining tone, I unleashed both barrels of vitriol and angst. Rather than call the railway police, he let me thru without a ticket after my robust response to his question of “where did you get on then”. I think he’s still looking for a station located at “likeI’mgoingtof*ckingwastemytimetellingyou”
The day went from bad to dreadful with taxi drivers taking diversions from the north to the west of London via Southampton and laughably asking me to pay for privilege, customers being – well – customers, lunches being missed and computers (there’s a theme here) deciding the best way for me to be productive is to let me type for 15 minutes and then shuddering to an electronic halt and sulking thereafter. As I have a computing degree, I beat the laptop to within an inch of its life shouting “I’ve f*cking warned you, it’s not like you haven’t been f*cking warned” in my best John Cleese before deciding a pencil and paper was a simpler solution. Then the lead broke. I was upset. I may have blasphemed – in fact I think I’m up for the award for “most impressive use of the word ‘f*ck’ in an open office where the partner who signs the invoices sits”
When the going gets tough, the tough go home. My 6 day old car was at the specialist tow bar fitting garage in Aylesbury. As it was new, I’d paid an amount that would essentially fund a programme to irrigate all of Africa, to have the said attachment professionally fitted. Remember those pg tips adverts staring amusing chimps attempting human like activities? Well it was like that except the PG chimps were alot more f*cking intelligent. My car was returned to me looking as if the entire workforce had partied in the back leaving newspapers, chip wrappers and assorted car parts that may or may not be integral to the vital running of the engine. This was merely the precursor for – those of you who ready Terry Pratchett – a Bloody Stupid Johnson attachment. The towbar was there and fitted, I’ll give them that, but usable? No, but fitted yes. It was so perilously close to the bumper that even the towball sheath only just fitted. I reckon there is a good 3 thousands of an inch worth of clearance to the bumper. JUST WHAT THE F*CK DID THEY THINK I WAS GOING TO USE IT FOR? Show? Some kind of vertical tow hitch? Their installation skills didn’t finish there, oh no. As the ball was so close to the car the bolts that attached it were grinding away at a 400 mile old bumper both vertically and horizontally. Don’t get me wrong, these guys aren’t unskilled, it takes f*cking precision engineering to get it that f*cking wrong.
No wonder the f*ckers locked the door behind me as I left some 20 minutes after closing time. I feel the call of the pub or (as they were all about 11 years old and shockingly wearing long trousers) a bit of light mugging may have been somewhat more important than finishing or even starting the job at hand. My feeling of unease started before the true horror of their skills has presented themselves as being surrounded by big bore exhausts and speakers the size of parcel shelves had given me an inkling of the type of people I was dealing with here. People were now avoiding me as my forehead veins were making a break for freedom “scanners” style. I called their office ready to leave a pithy evaluation of their work along with barely veiled threats but was instead forwarded to a call centre manned – apparently – by one scouser. He was a nice scouser because he didn’t send his mates round to nick my f*cking wheels as most of them do but could do nothing other than “forward my call to the on call supervisor”. However, on closer examination it became clear this “on call” resource was actually not available. We played a semantic game whereby I quoted the dictionary definition of “on call” was and how comically absent of said definition was the word “unavailable”. He sympathised I think but even now I can hear the sound of tyre irons outside.
I went to the pub.
I came home and broke my mobile phone again. This time with new expensive parts. I’d despaired of the experts so assumed I couldn’t do any worse. Clearly I was wrong.
Finally a doorjam separated my little toe from the rest of my foot in a way not biologically designed. The pain was (and is) similar to repeatedly twatting my bollocks with a red hot poker, Not that I’ve tried that but frankly I can’t see how it could hurt anymore.
If you read the headline “raving Yorkshireman admits firebombing local garage” tomorrow and you can’t get hold of me, the two may be linked.