I was a bit anxious about it all because I'd not even had a test drive in it (Tertarus: 'It's a mini. You've got a mini. You don't need a test drive.') and I would be required to discuss some code words with the bank to prove that I wasn't a drug baron laundering money on small cars. If anything is designed to make you sound shifty, it's discussing your passwords with the bank on the phone.
Alan, the salesman, is very sweet...and very young. He is talking to me slowly as though I am bound for the Home for the Bewildered. He thus leads me through the maze of paperwork and then we have the payment to make. Card goes in the machine. Type in number. It all whizzes away. I relax - wayhay! Looks like I'm off the Fraud Phone Call hook. Wrong.
Alan passes me the telephone.
'Good morning, this is Strict Banking Services Fraud Prevention Department. Date of birth?
Me: 'oh - that's easy....' (gives date -and relaxes slightly)
Fraud man: 'Mother's maiden name, first two letters.'
FUCK - out of all the passwords and code numbers that I have scrawled up my arm, Tertarus's mother's maiden name isn't one of them. I pull up my sleeve to double check that I haven't written them down.
Alan's eyes are round with wonder, and possibly alarm.
Me: 'Is it my mother's maiden name or Tertarus's?'
Fraud man: 'Can't give you any clues, madam.' I can almost see him rolling his eyes at me down the phone. Luckily, I am aware of both mother's maiden names. I give him the right one. Eventually.
Alan then hands over the keys and my good chum who has run me to the garage (let's call her B) comes out with me. Alan sits me in the car and explains how the keyless system works. B nods sagely. She's into cars and speed. She should have married Tertarus.
I can hear the blood pounding in my ears. I'm either going to run around the forecourt screaming with excitement or faint. I look at Alan's earnest little face, explaining every button and light patiently: I pray for his sake that it's the 'faint' option.
Alan: 'OK, Hestia, if you could just put your foot on the clutch. No. The other clutch. No, not that one either....The other clutch.'
I can see him wondering whether B is actually my day carer.
He runs through every thing that the car does. I am nodding, but it's all going WAAAAY, over the top of my head. All I can think is 'I'VE NOW TO DRIVE THIS CAR ALL THE WAY HOME. ALONE.'
Alan waves B and I off the forecourt and I creep out at a snail's pace. The car is lovely. B and I have decided to go to Tescos.
We get to the car park and B parks, quite sensibly, a good bit away from everyone else.
Maybe she thinks I need a day carer too.
I pull in beside her. Too close. I reverse out. Ah. Fuck. Where's reverse? There's an extra gear in the Clubman where my old car, Alice, had reverse. I find it, next to first gear. I select reverse and look expectantly over my shoulder.
The car shoots forwards.
B is now out of her car and standing in front of me waving madly: 'Reverse! Reverse!'
'I'm *trying* to reverse!!!
I get back into neutral and confidently and deliberately push the gear stick downwards and then batter it as far left as it will go.
Again, I look behind me, checking for traffic.
I hop forwards.
B comes to the driver's door and hauls me out. 'Let me try.'
Effortlessly, B slides the gear stick into reverse and the car glides back a couple of feet.
She steps out smugly. Alan might have shown me how to change the inside lights from blue to orange, but I could really have done with a practical in REVERSING.
This time I succeed. I look up at B who is grinning and giving me the thumbs up.
As are the three White Van Men standing behind her....
I suspect that I might be on Youtube, even as I type.
Edit: Have put a poll up on the right hand corner of m'blog page - I need a name for my new car. It's the same as in the top picture. If the options listed aren't what YOU would choose, put your suggestion in the comments.
|Mine has no sunroof. I live in Scotland - don't need one.|