Wednesday, November 23, 2011

National Car Test

I had to take the car for her NCT yesterday.
It's a necessary evil and one I could well live without.
I feel like I am re-sitting the oral Irish in the leaving cert every time the notice comes in the door.
Palpitations, butterflies, sweaty palms, breath catching in my throat, you name it I had it.
Not quite the full panic attack yet but well on the way.

I decided I had better take her to the doctor and get her the once over.
The Hubster did his bit and changed windscreen wipers and checked oil and water.
My garage man is a small set up and generally I think he treats me fairly well.
He gets me sorted and usually he doesn't charge the earth.

This time he gave me a bill for 300 euro
Shock, grabs chest, wants to vomit.
You can't be serious!
300 euro for changing a few light bulbs!
6 weeks (ish) before Christmas!
Are you going on a cruise or something.
Of course I don't say any of these things to him.
I mumble something about waiting to see if she passes and then I'll get him his filthy lucre.

My car runs on diesel so I was particularly worried about her emissions,
I was afraid her brakes were wonky.
Isn't there a timing belt that can explode and turn the whole car to dust?
(OK even I recognise that doesn't make any sense)

I got to the test centre in Little Island in plenty of time and pulled up into the queue.
A small wiry man in his 50's (lets call him Joe)
checks a clipboard and marches up to my open window
'Hello BJ' says Joe
'Aren't you clever' says I ripping open an envelope
(my tax disc which I'd bought and paid for at the start of November but kept forgetting to put up)
Who'd have thought my name would be on that clipboard.
Who'd have thought you could read.
'Don't worry about that ' says Joe 'We'll test it without tax, insurance anything'
'That's great' I say not really knowing what's so great about that. At that stage the butterflies were giving me a real problem and I had difficulty swallowing.
I had some selection boxes on the back seat which I thought I would have to lug into the test centre and out again because they are so touchy about leaving 'valuables' in the car.
But Joe reassured me they'd be fine. 'The lads might eat a few, but don't worry about that'
Ha Ha what a riot.

Inside there is a queue which the lads behind the counter chew through pretty nifty and before I know it I am in the waiting room.
It's stuffy in there and they have a huge TV screen high on the wall.
I can't help it, my eyes are continually drawn to it and my neck begins to creak.
They are showing Coronation Street Omnibus.
I hate it, its driving me crazy,
They won't break me I think. I'll stick it out.

Who am I kidding?
I'm off out the corridor heading for the fresh (as cold) air outside where the smokers are.
At least I don't have to watch any more Corrie.

I ring my friend who tells me about being sober at a birthday party the night before.
I can hardly concentrate on what she is saying , they have finally brought my car in to the warehouse test centre for testing.
A full 25 mins after my appointment time.
So much for being penalised if you're late.
They get you for being early too.

I watch as they check her lights (with their expensive bloody bulbs) in the mirrors.
Then they drive her on to some roller thingys and rev the hell out of the engine.
My friend is still talking but all I can manage is the odd hmm here and there.
They hoist my car up under the ceiling- people walk about and take no notice .
My baby is up in the air and nobody cares.
Something distracts me and I look away.
When I look back she is gone.
I hang up on my friend abruptly.
I need to find out what happened.
I see the skinny guy with glasses who's been abusing my baby.
She's Passed
Woo Hoo
I can't hardly believe it.
I can breath easy again for 2 years .

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