The car exhaust started making a wheezy noise the other day. A few miles later (I’ve been bimbling around Bristol getting stuff for picture framing) it started sounding a bit like a doodlebug. You can hear what a doodlebug sounds like if you go here, by the way. You can’t just assume that people know what you’re talking about, when you’re the wrong side of fifty – I told Katie she looked a bit like a Gonk yesterday, what with the evolving hairstyle which I think is a nod in the direction of goth/emo.

“What’s a Gonk?” she asked.

Probably a good job she didn’t know, or there might have been trouble.

Anyway, the exhaust had completely broken off from the back of the silencer. So I tied it back on, as you can see above. When I emerged from under the car I met my neighbour, who is famous for being stuck upside down, once. He’d just got his driving licence back, and was very chirpy. He enumerated the various ways that the world is going to hell in a handcart, while I tried to remain cheerful. The recycling lorry appeared around the corner, and proceeded along the road in fits and starts, as the collectors leaped out and emptied the black bins into the back of the lorry. They missed my bin.

“They’ve missed my bin,” I finally managed to say, just before they disappeared round the corner.

We walked towards them, calling. I carried my box of bottles and tins. The waste collector man was very large and slightly tetchy. “You should put things out by 8 o’clock”, he said.

“It was out,” I said in a mildly outraged tone. It was evident that he didn’t believe me. With a palpable air of ‘pull the other one, it’s got knobs on’, he accepted the black box and chucked the stuff into the lorry.  I replaced the box on the garden wall and went on my way, feeling wronged and somehow slighted.

Off I went to the Morris Minor Centre to get a shiny new stainless exhaust system. When I got home, I saw that the nylon cord that I’d used had melted cleanly apart, probably a few minutes after I’d started the engine. Hey ho.

In other ‘things fall apart’ news, my Microsoft Outlook inbox refused to open, a few days ago. I’ve finally managed to repair it by following useful online advice, and it was a big relief to see all the messages from the last three years back on my computer screen again. I celebrated by going through them and deleting ones I don’t have any more use for, like the huge pile of correspondence between me and P&O’s hired lawyer. Sometimes it’s good to move on.

There’s also the mails from a good friend who died. It would have been a shame to have lost them.

I started thinking about the friends I have and don’t see much these days. It’s tricky, when you’re not living in the same place; to see each other, it means taking time out from what you’re doing, which can be nice, but I started thinking about how friendships come about, and decided that friendship is what happens when you’re busy doing something else.

Which can be my thought for the day.

This entry was posted in Morris Minor mechanics. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to exhausting

  1. Delia says:

    And a jolly fine thought for the day it is, too.

  2. Peta says:

    and thanks for “bimbling” and “gonk” – I had to look them up …. Bimbling is a delightful word.

  3. Federay says:

    It’s perhaps only a shame that with those unpleasant emails one can’t have a jolly burning ceremony. Sometimes I would like the delete key to come with a sound effect – perhpas the satisfying crash and tinkle you get in a BBC radio drama when something large is thrown through a window.

    That is a comforting thought for the day, that thought about friendship. For me the last ten years of child-rearing have seen a lot of friendships pared down to the odd catch up, email or card if I am feeling especially energetic. But alongside that so many new ones too, and not by any means because of children, just because things move and change. Which is all good, really.

  4. Lillput says:

    You probably know this already, Dru, but it’s important not to let Outlook mail files get too big – particularly in some of the older versions.
    Have several different files into which to decant incoming mail

    As someone whose friendships have also changed a lot over the last few years, I find some of the minimalist ones just as valuable and pleasant as those that are more intense.

    Friendships, like friends themselves, are different shapes, sizes and colours I guess…

  5. Caroline says:

    So old I have no need of a dictionary to read your posts Dru, in fact they are a joy to read.

    If you have a mac you get a satisfying paper being crunched up sound when you empty the trash. Thankfully they finally decided to risk driving along my street to collect the SIX week supply of rubbish in the bin, recycling is very much diy round here.

  6. anjiknut says:

    A very good thought for the day.

    A gonk? What colour is she? I wonder where I put mine.

    I drove through sleepy Pershore in the early hours of one morning with a tied up exhaust. Tying up didn’t stop the noise.

  7. Liz says:

    I once drove a Ford Capri down the Llanberis Pass with the exhaust in the boot. That made a very satisfying noise indeed, but nothing like a doodlebug or an inbox. Louder, much louder.
    What I think I like best about social media is how many friends from other times, other places have shown up. Sometimes there’s not much to talk about any more but it’s nice to know what became of them. Those youngsters who don’t know what gonks are won’t know what it’s like to mislay a friend either.

  8. Philip Watson says:

    My late father recommended carrying two wire coat hangers and a pair of side cutters for dealing with reluctant exhaust systems; if ambitious, you can include also a baked bean tin, a pair of side cutters and a couple of Jubilee clips.
    I was driving Froggie into the 4×4 parking bit at the Honiton Show a couple of years ago, just going past a policeman, when the silencer box and rear pipe decided to part company with the rest of the exhaust system. He looked shocked (as, I suspect, did I).
    For sheer volume, try standing near – but not too near – a Scammell recovery wagon, when the exhaust goes walkabout: 10.3 litres of Meadows petrol engine isn’t exactly stealthy.

  9. Dru says:

    glad to spread the word, Peta. Bimbling is something I started doing on a motorbike on summer days- that seems the absolute ideal version…

    That is a good idea, Federay; we do indeed need a more dramatic way of consigning nasty e-mails to oblivion. I shall do some researching. My brother had a ‘weapons system’ on the dashboard of his car, with buttons for several space-type weapons to make BING and ZOOSH noises when he wanted to strafe the car in front. Strange lad, that…

    It is something I now know, Liz, after the event. I’ve now created little caches of e-mails, like a jay with acorns. Or a me with e-mails.

    When I’ve sorted out the sound effects, Caroline, it’ll be like the ravenous bugblatter beast of Trall having a serious attack of the munchies.

    Her hair is now very black, Anji, and her fringe is very low. She looks rather like Gone Gonk, as seen on this pattern here


    …which is the self same pattern that my grandma used to furnish us all with gonks back in the day.

    I wasn’t so bothered about the noise as the possibility of the exhaust falling onto the road. That happened with my Ford Sierra one night on the M5, v embarrassing, had to dash out and retrieve it, and subsequently stuck it back- with, Phil, a bean can and Jubilee clips!

    I’ve now got a small reserve list of old friends I’ve not yet reconnected with, Liz- as a result of thinking “I wonder what happened to them?” -there are a couple I’m unsure about, thinking “That can’t possibly be J, surely- who’d’ve thought they’d end up doing that?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s