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This is a question Cars

"Here in my car", said 80s pop hero Gary Numan, "I feel safest of all". He obviously never shared the same stretch of road as me, then. Automotive tales of mirth and woe, please.

(, Thu 22 Apr 2010, 12:34)
Pages: Latest, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, ... 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, ... 1

This question is now closed.

On the subject of Cars by Mr Numan
I used to press the central locking button in my car every time the line "I can lock all my doors" was sung.

sad but true.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 20:28, 2 replies)
I still like hitchhiking though
Many many moons ago I was hitchhiking on the way back from Nottinghamshire to the much happier climes of South Devon. I hadn't done too well yet, and had got as far as a bit of motorway the wrong side of Sheffield.
Then this chubby bloke picked me up. He seemed a bit nervous and slightly odd, but a lift was a lift after all.
It gradually became clear that he was a few spanners short of a toolbag, gay and he appeared to want to touch my leg quite a lot. Being not gay, recently married and fairly young I didn't quite know what to make of this. Also it's not a good idea punching the driver of a car you're travelling at 70+ in. I resorted to removing his wandering hands on a regular basis and telling him I wasn't interested. I also tried the time-honoured tactic of god-bothering him.

I was starting to get worried by now, because he started asking me what God would do to someone who 'did something bad' to a hitchhiker. I suggested that it probably wouldn't be too pleasant, and that God wouldn't waste his time in punishing him if he did that sort of thing.

And then along came my salvation. The van in front braked quite hard. Scary bloke was at the time concentrating on getting his hand onto my thigh and therefore responded a bit on the late side, slamming hard on the brakes and putting his car into a quite frankly terrifying spin. what seemed like about 720 degrees later we somehow landed in the hard shoulder unharmed.

Scary bloke decided that I wasn't kidding about the wrath of Jehovah almighty and started crying and repenting. He felt so guilty that instead of taking me another ten miles (as he'd said he would) or even killing me and shagging my corpse, he drove me all the way to Bristol, shaking and crying the whole way.

So now I'm not scared of being picked up by bum rapists - I have the wrath of God on my side. Plus I'm a bit beefier now.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 18:27, Reply)
My first Car-ma
My buddy purchased a lovely Nissan Sunny, the first of our gang to get a motor we loved it and used it to take us round to all our social gatherings...

One fine summer's day we piled into it for a beach party and set off to the seaside, happy days! Much amusement was had and I did my usual tactic of going one step too far and managed to heave a massive amphet and brandy fuelled sick in the passenger footwell, "You're cleaning that up" Said my mate to which I incoherently mumbled a bit and proceeded to curl up and twitch in the manner that you do when approaching polydrug overdose and sunstroke....

Fastforward 18 months, all memories of said night truly lost in my cavernous swiss cheeselike mindcogs and I find myself clutching that pink sheet of paper telling me I was roadlegal...Hell yeah! Now I just need a motor, turns out my mate was selling his trusty Nissan and in my excitement I snapped it up right away...

As a young 18 year old with a new toy I got straight to it, ignoring the slightly weird smell as I parked it up on my drive and got the vacuum, polish and hosepipe ready to buff my new baby, it was then I noticed the passenger footwell was blue, green, yellow and very very crusty with an odour that could floor Rhinos. That bastard was right all along, I did have to clean it up. Probably regret letting it mature for 18 months first...Karma is a bitch.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 18:20, Reply)
kamikaze jimmy
i believe this to be a pea, but my memory isn't great, so i can't say for sure.

jimmy was the driver of our school bus. he was a nice bloke, always up for a laugh and would happily look the other way if you decided to sneak on without paying. jimmy's favourite trick was to go around the roundabout outside the school as fast as he possibly could, whilst a number of kids clung to and swung from bars, stairs and seats. everyone wanted to get on jimmy's bus.
one morning, jimmy didn't seem to be his usual cheery self. when questioned, he told us that this was to be his last day, as he'd been laid off. none of us were pleased by this, least of all jimmy, who had decided he wanted to go out with a bang.
halfway up the road that the school was at the top of, jimmy suddenly yelled "HOLD ON!" and floored it. i'm not sure how fast we were going when we got to that roundabout, but it was faster than we'd ever known him go before.
round the roundabout we went. then round again. and again. and again. by the time he stopped, we'd gone around that roundabout 49 times and several of the teachers were standing by the gates, watching us with matching expressions of fury. as the bus stopped, the headmaster strode over to give jimmy a piece of his mind. now, i wasn't close enough to hear, but i was informed by several students that jimmy's response to this earbashing was "you can fuck off, too, this is my last day anyway."
the bus ride to and from school was nowhere near as fun* ever again.
jimmy, if you're out there, you're a legend.

*except the time the sixth formers turned the bus into a giant cake with flour and water bombs and eggs on the last day of term.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 18:17, Reply)
I don't like cars
Especially when the drunkard I have for a father swerves randomly to avoid that "******* *** ****** **** ********".

Being on holiday when a Plymouth fury drives almost straight into you doesn't help, even if it isn't a '58, either.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 18:01, 2 replies)
Red Hot!
I had just passed my driving test. I was happy. I drove to college in the morning to flex my new found freedom muscles.

Being the sensible chap that I am I bought a packet of Benson and Hedges cigarettes as rolling-up-while-driving is an advanced technique not to be practised that soon.

I rounded a steep bend and let the wheel spin back through my hands, exactly as you are taught not to do, then carried on up the road. I took a drag on my cigarette and was surprised to find little in the way of resitance or smoke. Looking at the end of hte cigarette I noticed a distinct lack of hot bit.

It was at this point that the end of my cock reached incandescense. Frankly its the only time I've dropped a red hot cigarette cherry directly onto by bellend, at the last time at that.

Fortuantly nothing was coming the other way as the only possible solution in my mind at the time was to let go of everything and flap my hands round my crotch until the burning stopped.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 17:56, 1 reply)
So many stories... so little talent in writing about them
Let's skip over the time I ran into the back of my boss's car as he stopped at a pedestrian crossing to let someone cross.

And we'll gloss over the time I thought that it would be a good idea to use a kettle-full of hot water to free up the central locking mechanism on one cold night, only to find in the morning that my paintwork was several shades lighter where the water had run down it.

Similarly, the time I discovered that 265/35x18 tyres and rear-wheel drive cause embarrassment in icy conditions is not worth recounting.

So how about the time I was in the outside lane of the M42 (luckily in a hire car), doing 50 through some roadworks, when a lorry in the middle lane kicked up some debris off the road right in front of me.

I barely had time to register what was happening before there came a loud 'thud' from the front of the car, followed by an ongoing grinding noise. The steering had become ridiculously heavy and I had to limp along for about 1/2 a mile until I could negotiate my way through the other lanes and there was a hard shoulder I could safely pull on to.

Expecting major frontal damage given the noise, I inspected the front of the car and found only a 3cm round hole in the rubber air dam under the bumper. Or, I should say, that's what I found when I pulled out the 6ft length of steel re-bar that was lodged in it and being pushed along the road as I drove.

The bar had hit the power steering pump, hence the difficulty in driving the car, but I was lucky on 2 counts:
1. It wasn't my car and
2. If the bar had bounced a foot higher, allowing it to slide up the bonnet, I'd have been wearing it as a new form of extreme facial piercing.

Length - 6ft less what got ground off on the carriageway
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 17:21, 1 reply)
Ecuador is also...
...a place where a taxi driver considers it a distinct advantage in his favour when the car in front in the traffic is side-swiped out of the way at a crossing. A quick shrug of the shoulders and off we went! Mind you this was the same taxi driver that got out to shove a tarantula on its way across the road with his hand.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 17:15, Reply)
Ham fisted
Picture it: 1996 Ecuador, Otovalo market town, half six in the morning at the animal market, a meeting place for hundreds of locals to trade chickens, horses, guinea pigs, animal feed etc. and a place where four burly Chichua indian men can bundle a live, fully grown and extremely distressed sow into the boot of a second hand New York taxi.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 17:13, 1 reply)
A line I never thought I would utter.
Stood in my living room on the phone to a Canadian contact last Christmas (when had all of that ice and snow) sorting out some tedious admin stuff when I was compelled by events to use the less than frequent:

"Can I call you back, a car has just driven into my house."
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 17:05, Reply)
Michael Wood Services on the M5 just north of the M5/M4 interchange
Its the half way point for me when I take the missus to Weston or Brean for the day, so I usually stop for a slash/can/petrol break. However this service station holds the record in my mind for the "strangest cargo" - everytime I go there there's something parked in the car park that makes me double-take.

Highlights include Goth-filled coaches, live chickens (most of which had escaped a lorry and were flapping all around the service station, being fed biscuits by amused picnickers) and a massive steam engine that had fallen off a low loader and was buried in the tarmac.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 17:04, Reply)
My other CAR
is a CDR
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 16:47, 1 reply)
And you HAD to be following me...
The sheer unbridled joy and relief I felt at somehow managing not to skid into a suddenly-stationary line of traffic on a dual carriageway was very soon replaced by an overwhelming sense of disappointment when I looked in the rear view mirror and realised I was about to wear a Clio as an arsehat.

All things considered though we both fared pretty well; ok so I couldn't open the boot and the exhaust was lying on the tarmac, and her radiator was wrapped neatly around the engine block, but neither of us was actually hurt.

Nevertheless the poor girl burst into tears the moment she got out.

Well it turns out I'm a sucker for people crying in the fast lane of a dual carriageway so I ended up hugging and consoling the person who had just totalled the back of my car. Granted this might have looked a bit odd to the increasingly long queue of people behind us but crashes make you do things you wouldn't normally do and I was probably in shock a bit myself and it was almost certainly a coincidence that she was quite cute.

"Don't worry" I say cheerily, "we're both ok - the cars did what they're supposed to."

"It's not that" she sobbed "I hit a Land Rover last week."

Felt a lot less huggy then funnily enough.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 16:32, Reply)
Why do some drivers have no clue about speed limits.

(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 16:00, 8 replies)
Oh god, I almost forgot
When I was involved in ahead in a head on crash with some old codger who was on his way home from his daughter's house (for drinks and dinner) with his regular cocktail of angina tablets doing the rounds in his system and his dog running loose in his car. His addled brain clearly decided it was best if he pull into the oncoming traffic's lane.

I wasn't the driver so I didn't even have the luxury of an airbag. I did, however, have the luxury of minor injuries: broken ribs, bruised kidneys (apparently!) and the usual bruising and scuff marks from the seatbelt and a free ride to A&E on a spineboard, yay me! Missed a game of five a side too which was almost as annoying.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:50, Reply)
Near death...
Driving along with Little Miss No.5 in the car going home from the hell that is her Reception age ballet class...it is dusk and I am pootling along when I see the lights of what is clearly a large tractor trundling along in the other direction, as it nears I ensure that I ease over away from the white line (narrow roads where I live). What I fail to see is the solid steel bar on the tractor trailer that has slipped loose of its mooring and swung into my lane at chest height a fact I am only aware of when my wing mirror vanishes with accompanying crash bang and wallop. Manage to haul on the anchors and turn around to, ahem, 'discuss the incident politely' with the farmer. He has stopped some 100 yards up the road and is standing under streetlights looking whiter than even the most Dazzed of sheets. It is only when I look at the horror laden mess of my car exterior I see why. A foot closer to the centre line and I would have been decapitated almost certainly crashing the car into the granite walls lining the road and taking my daughter to the pearly gates with me. The shock didn't kick in until I got home. I imagine it was as bad for him when he got the £1000+ bill for my wing mirror and bodywork.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:41, 2 replies)

(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:38, 4 replies)
Why you should keep to the 2 second rule
The 2 second rule: Keep at least 2 seconds between you and the car infront of you. It's saved me from avoiding a few accidents but this one is still the best.

Driving along the motorway one fine day, keeping my distance from the car infront, when I notice hte traffic getting alot heavier very quickly. Everyone siuddenlt slams on their brakes and I follow suit. As I;m franticly braking I start to hear a rythmic "crump" ing sound and notice through the windows of the cars infront of me bonnets and boots popping up. As I come to rest I find I'm still a safe distance from the car infront (I can see their rear tyres) luckily the car behind me also manages to avoid ploughing into the car infront, but the not the car that one, or the one behind that.

I managed to squeeze my way out into another lane and survey the damage. 7 cars infront of me all bashed in bumper to bumper and an unkonwn amount behind me.

I drove off feeling overly proud of myself.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:32, 10 replies)
A few years ago
My mate had a Citroen XM and had fitted a leather interior in it. He couldn't get the door cards for it to match until he saw another XM, a diesel, on eBay which also had a leather interior.

I was without a car at the time so we agreed that if he bought the car for £250, swap the doorcards for his black fabric ones I could buy the car off him for £150. You get a lot of car for your money with the Citroen XM nowadays and for £150 it was a real bargain. The other part of the deal was that I do an airport run so he could collec his Slovakian girlfriend from Stansted Airport. So even being £100 down, plus the cost of the fuel, he was still quids in compared to going on train.

I paid up and took receipt of the car. That was when I noticed the problems. It was an automatic and wouldn't drive off in 'drive', you had to start it in gear 1 and then change to 'D'. The gear shifter was stiff also.

Then the hydromatic suspension was a bit ropey. It would suddenly drop at the front with no warning. I changed the spheres (old Citroens didn't have regular suspension with springs and shockers), it sorted it but it was still a bit temperamental.

Then it developed an electrical fault which caused it to drain the battery on standing so unless I wanted to have to jumpstart it every time, I had to pop the bonnet and disconnect the battery.

I approached him about these issues but he said that I should put them right myself and that I'd still have a bargain, which was true I guess, I just wished he wasn't so smug about it. But I have no skill with cars whatsoever.

But I really liked the car, as did Mrs SLVA. It looked like the batmobile and because the pump that controlled the power steering, the brakes and the suspension was old, it made a wheezing ticking noise, so we christened the car Chitty Chitty Asthma.

I began to get disillusioned with it though, it was spending weeks at a time in a lockup whilst I tried to figure out how to put things right. I wanted a car but I ended up with a project.

After a few months, I thought 'fuck it'. I was going to cut my losses and scrap the bastard. I looked on eBay and noticed that there's a demand for parts. The car has quite a following it seems.

I began to strip it apart and eBayed the parts. The interior, all of the dashboard components, switches, headlamp units, read light units, gear lever, sunroof motor... I gutted the thing. The alloys with the nearly new Michelins on them went for a fair penny. As did the window regulators (the motor, wires and rods that control the electric windows) - they were fought over hard as they are rare and desirable.

Finally, I phoned up some guy called Rob in the local paper who buys cars for scrap. He showed up, winched it onto the back of a trailer and gave me £120 for it.

All in all, I'd made almost £200 clear profit. When I told my mate he wasn't best part pleased.
"If I knew you were just going to break it for parts, I'd have kept it. It's a shame to scrap it." he moaned.
Bollocks, I thought, he was just pissed off because I turned a profit instead of him.

Nice car, I'd get another if I could find one that had been well looked after.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:25, 7 replies)
Truck. Rhymes with...duck. Yes.
When my grandfather died back in ‘86, he left my dad his old pickup truck. That bastard vehicle – in ‘baby diarrhoea green’ - already had about 100,000 miles on it when my dad took possession.

The bottom of it rusted clean through, so road debris would ping through the truck’s carriage. My father tells a fable of when he couldn’t swerve around a dead deer and covered the inside of the vehicle with ‘sploosh’. Rancid ‘sploosh’, which he hosed out after crackin’ a case of Budweiser for courage. We also had a lot of Amish living in the area, so their ‘buggy exhaust’ (horse shit), would often find its way onto the passenger seat. Previous to that, I had to sit in the passenger seat with a blanket protecting me after my sister almost received a nasty injury from a wooden missile that had ricocheted into the truck off its front wheel. You’d have thought that my parents would have disallowed my sister and I from travelling in this vehcile, but they just put down a piece of plywood over the hole to keep us safe, because we were poor, we were rednecks and it was the reckless 80s.

On long-distance rides, my dad never bothered to stop at a rest station or a nice shaded tree for a wee, he’d just keep driving and piss out the gaping hole in the bottom of the truck. Later, when I learned to drive, one of my girlfriends was ‘caught short’ miles from anywhere and used the hole as a slightly uncomfortable makeshift toilet, thus protecting her dignity. Later, she was arrested for selling sex to a farmer for weed and beer, but that’s another story.

I thought I’d done the truck in as it approached its 20th birthday. Coming over a large hill just outside of town, I forgot to perform the required hill manoeuvre to prevent death, the truck bounced on its front wheels and fell into a ditch. Luckily, it lived a few more months until my best friend and I decided to teach an exchange student how to drive. This ended with the truck rolling through a cornfield and coming to rest on its roof.

It was several inches shorter and the lights were blown out, but once we got a tractor out to flip the damned thing over, it started right up. Dad decided it might be time to retire it, so he drove it to our back acre on the fishing lake and laid it to rest.

It still lives there. It’s 34 years old, has over 600,000 miles on the engine and does a real slap-up job of putting boats on the lake ever summer, despite the fact that it has a screwdriver where the ignition once existed.

Oh, and it still has a bottle of egg nog in it from 1996.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:19, 1 reply)
A Buick called Bismarck
So Des and I decided we would buy a car to travel to the Carnarvon Gorge. Des didn't want to drive his recent model Holden and we thought my rather more elderly Simca Aronde would be too small. We went for a drive along Ipswich Road where all the cheapie car yards were. After looking through four yards and finding nothing much, I spotted a Holden utility, a pick-up for the American readers,a bakkie if you're South African. What the English call them I do not know. It was about ten years old and looked clean and tidy. From a distance.

I stepped up and opened the passenger door. Bright green carpet on the floor. No, that was grass. There was a rust hole a foot square in the floor. Sales bloke reckoned it would be alright, but I suggested that since we intended travel over some dirt roads, the interior would become rather dusty. Not too pleasant. Frankly, I wan't keen about a possible Fred Flintstone impression.

So it looked as if our search was fruitless. Yet over to the side I spotted a vast black bulk.

"What's that?"

"Oh, that's an old Buick. It's just come in. The motor's good."

It was a genuine bulgemobile. A Buick Special, built in 1947. Straight eight engine, whale's teeth grille, seventeen feet and six inches long and taller than I am. Body by Holden (not Fisher). The front mudguards extended in a generous curve half way across the front doors. There was a rust hole beneath the left tail lamp right through to the boot, the front floor was two inches deep in muddy carpet and tattered rubber. The upholstery had seen better days. It had that indefinable "old car" smell. A huge dent marred the right front mudguard and the black paint was spotty. It was love at first sight.

The engine was silky smooth, all but silent at idle, the transmission, steering and brakes were good. All the windows wound up and down, the doors closed with a snick and the electric clock was the only part of the electrics that didn't work. One tyre was bald.

"A hundred and seven dollars" said the sales bloke. We bought it. Des said it was a Yankee battlewagon and christened it "Bismarck".

I drove it home and parked it in my parent's driveway. They were a little surprised at the vast vehicle their son had brought home. Over the following days I scraped the front floor clear of decades of dirt, drained the cooling system and filled it with clean water. Took out and checked all eight spark plugs, they were good. The carburettor was from a Ford V8 and it has a "sports" air cleaner. When you put your foot down you could hear the engine slurping fuel. It did 15 miles to the gallon. On a good day.

Saturday morning Des phoned to say he'd got a replacement tyre. For five dollars. I should have asked him to get something else, but the Buick's sixteen inch wheels were big buggers then and suitable tyres were rare. So we toddled off to have the tyre fitted and along the way bought a big jar of engine oil. That afternoon we parked in a patch of vacant land, dug a little hole and drained the engine oil into it, then topped up with new. Who said you needed a garage?

Came the big day and we were off. Drove it most of the way up the Tollbar to Toowoomba in top gear, but when we got to the top it was boiling like a kettle. After twenty minutes it had cooled down and we filled the radiator again.

Across the plains of the Darling Downs it would still do an indicated 80 miles per hour. But it was a little shaky at 80. It is still the most comfortable car I have ever driven long distance and I have one of Stuttgart's finest now.

We rolled through Oakey, Chinchilla, took a side trip to see someone drilling for oil near Moonie and got a look at the oil geologist's laboratory. Near St George I started to worry about the fact that the fuel gauge was bumping the bottom. So we stopped and took out the jerry can and funnel. Emptied the can into the tank, drove over the rise and there was St. George. Oh well.

Imagine Sydney Harbour emptied of water and filled with a clear cool stream, towering eucalypts, aboriginal rock art in the sandstone overhangs, wallabies, possums, fern trees, side canyons and little waterfalls. Sunbaking goannas, screeching cockatoos, strolling emus, fish jumping in the big pool near the camp ground. That was Carnarvon Gorge.

We had the place to ourselves apart from the ranger, his pet wallaby and two Swedish blokes who had been working on a Bass Strait oil rig. We had to lock the food in the car to keep the possums away from it. We climbed cliffs, got lost, swam in the pool below the falls in Angiopteris Ravine. By night we went to the hotel just outside the national park, drank retsina and played canasta with a man and his 19 year old daughter. They were the only guests.

By day at the hotel Hector the emu would sneak up behind you and put his head in your pocket looking for slices of fruit. If you have never seen the neck of a giant bird disappearing into your trouser pocket, you haven't lived.

But it all ended. We headed north from the gorge and after an hour or so we got a flat tyre. No problem, on went the spare. We passed through Springsure, population maybe 1000, keeping our eyes peeled for a garage open. No luck, it was Sunday afternoon. But it was only 45 minutes to Emerald. We'd stay overnight and get the tyre fixed in the morning. No worries.

I was driving. Near Minerva there was a loud bang. I thought it was a rifle, but there was nobody in sight. Then the Buick started to lurch. Des said,

"Don't brake. Don't brake."

So we rolled to a halt. It was Des's $5 tyre, now rubber confetti. Through a process I shall not elaborate, we managed to get a new tyre. Just one, it was the only one in Emerald that size, and was 12-ply and meant for a truck. We changed it after dark by the light of a hurricane lantern using one tyre lever, a large screwdriver and a ball peen hammer. We could not get the other flat tyre fixed, there was no tube in town big enough.

Spareless we continued on our merry way. Just a mile or so from Banana on a detour a stake went through the side wall of our nice new tyre. Des hoofed it to Banana and phoned his uncle, who was expecting us and lived another 80 miles on. We spent the night on the side of the road. In the morning his uncle arrived with assistance, somehow we got the tyre fixed. (I drove the same road 15 years later and ruined another tyre.)

On that trip home we had two blowouts and three flats, most of the time without a workable spare tyre. It taught me something. Never buy cheap tyres.

We eventually sold the Buick for $55. Three years later the old car craze hit and I saw a mere Chevrolet in far worse condition sell for $500 at auction. Bugger!
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:11, 1 reply)
As my old dad used to say
If you're tired, get out from in front of the car; if you're exhausted, get out from behind the car.

Still not funny, is it?
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 15:07, 4 replies)
Slow Mo Snow.
You know those moments where time seems to slow to a crawl; on reflection you wander if there was more you could have done, but in the moment, despite time seemingly stopping, you find yourself stupefied with mong-like inaction. One such moment happened to me during the snow fall of this recent winter...

I'd walked to work, enjoying the crisp air and the crunch of snow underfoot while around me the mentally impaired ignored the blanket of white dung that littered the ground and attempted to make their usual journey; seemingly unaware that the world was far more slippery than it had been when they'd returned home the previous eve.

Along a particularly icy stretch a dim-witted cyclist skated hither and thither about the road, while an impatient buffoon drove close in their wake, ever eager to pass as though their life depended on it. As the cyclist slid past me gravity conspired with the ice and dragged them from their seat, causing the snarling motorist to suspend logic and stand firmly on their brakes.

It was at this point that the viewer switched to slow motion. Something about the faces in the scene grabbed their attention, and with good reason as we: the prone cyclist; the aggressive driver and your humble narrator, standing all too helplessly nearby, gurned uselessly at one another, tense and petrified about the seemingly inevitable meeting between heavy, solid car and soft, squashy person. The viewer must have found great amusement in our pathetic, snarling expressions as they slowed the image almost to a standstill; taunting us with snail-like speed yet knowing that we could do nothing to alter the chain of events already set in motion.

Fortune, however, beamed a sympathetic grin at the hapless peddle-pusher and the car gained sufficient purchase on the slippery surface to steer marginally aside and spare the lucky cyclist from a painful, heavy demise. Time returned to a normal tempo and the white noise that had filled my ears eased away leaving me pondering just how worthless I'd been during the past hour-long minute, while cyclist and car driver gingerly went about their day with augmented heart beats and no doubt soggy underwear.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 14:54, 2 replies)
The first day after I'd passed
my driving test, I hit a rather large pheasant. Not on purpose, but they really are stupid birds; rather than move out the way of oncoming cars, they try to outrun them, looking over their shoulders every now and then to see if they are getting away. The inevitable always happens.
I checked my rear view mirror to see if it had survived, but I couldn't see it in the road. I assumed that I'd merely clipped it and it had run off. I got home and parked up, and when I got out of the car, the reason why I hadn't seen the pheasant lying it the road was clear. It was hanging out of the grill on the front of the car, like a mass of feathery bagpipes. I had to scoop it out with a stick.

I also like doing shuttle runs on pelican crossings to annoy people in their cars.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 14:50, 4 replies)
We don't have cars in Australia,
but once my brother rode his kangaroo into a billabong.

When the police found out that he hadn't been drinking he was deported to New Zealand.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 14:50, 2 replies)
The most dangerous song lyric I know is
"I'm heading north; I'm heading home, doing 125,
Close my eyes and count to ten - ha ha! And I'm still alive"

Because if ever I am behind the wheel of a car, to do this will be such bittersweet temptation I'm not sure I could trust myself.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 14:50, 5 replies)
Post group test...
Me and the Art Ed left the mountains just outside of Nice on the Route Napoleon at midday and arrived at Calais in time to get the 10pm Eurostar.

Emptied the tank of an Impreza STi in an hour.

In case you're wondering, that's an average speed of about 85mph, including (lots of) fuel stops, toll booth stops and lunch.

It's a miracle that we didn't get nicked - easily the most tiring drive I'v ever done.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 14:33, Reply)
Brett is my wife’s nephew and a total cock. Despite the fact that he is nearly 30 I can personally say that my 3 year old son is more mature. The main reason for his attitude is that both bretts parents divorced a while ago and have done nothing but tend to his every financial need due to emotional blackmail of going to the other parent as they would do it (I have personally seen him do this at a relative’s funeral where Brett performed a full on tantrum lying on the floor banging his fists and wailing just because his dad was too busy speaking to the deceased’s widow rather than give him his weekly allowance- I offered to give him a running kick in the bollocks but wifey didn’t want me to cause more of a scene).

Anywhoo a while back Brett passed his test after numerous attempts and was bought a shiny new VW as a present from his dad. The VW he bought was an older model but was soon modified with the latest bodykit, sound system and all the other things that turn it into something that looks like a nuclear powered ice cream van. Many a night Brett would drive around the town centre attempting to attract the local chavettes with his gaudy wheels.

One night on his way into town Brett had picked up a mate and was en route when his pal quotes that the “choonz” were not “banging” enough so aforementioned pal tried to get into the glove compartment where brett stored his collection of happy hardcore CDs. It turned out that Brett had locked the thing the previous night and had forgot to unlock it when he got home (do they still make cars with manual locking glove compartments that require the car keys to open?).

Any normal person would choose to either 1) Tune the radio into something better or 2) pull over, turn the engine off and use the car keys to unlock the glove compartment. Unfortunatley Brett is not a normal person. He realised that they were travelling downhill at a decent speed (around 40 – 50) on a pretty decent gradient and therefore he didn’t need to use the car engine, therefore he turned the car engine off took out the keys and passed them to his mate to unlock the glove compartment and get the CDs. Anyone with half a brain can see what’s going to happen now but for some reason Brett was oblivious to the matter. As the car picked up pace Brett made a manoeuvre around a parked car, the dayglo VW turned but for some reason the steering locked (as it does in most cars when you try to do anything with a steering wheel when there is no key in the ignition). The car then span around it the road, mounted the kerb and took out a couple of parked cars before coming to a stop.

I would love to say that this stopped his idiotic behaviour and he learnt something from the experience but instead he went to his mother in tears and she bought him another car instead while his dad happily paid the increased insurance fees.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 14:33, 6 replies)
Ok, so not quite a car but...
With my trade within our Majesties Armed Forces initially as a tank driver I've cocked things up a few times. Mostly in Iraq.

I once ran a dead sheep over out of boredom. What I had forgotten was that I had to sleep next to that wagon for the next 2 weeks. My god. Rotting sheep is not a nice smell to wake up to. Especially when it's so humid.

My First Road Move:
So I'm not acclimatized as well as maybe I should have been. It was mid-summer in the desert and I was about to embark on the most awful day of my life.
We awoke before the sun rose after a night of stagging on (2 hours on, 4 off from about 5pm) and begin to de-cam. Nets packed up, weapons stowed, kit put away and provisions loaded. Ate breakfast from my rations and would be getting fresh pack around lunchtime once we'd met up with the rest of the battalion. Sausage and beans. Nice!

Time to set off.
Everyone rolled around in to a convoy formation, engines growling, dust trails everywhere. Off we went.
At first it was quite exciting. It was my first time out of camp and here I am in the middle of Iraq driving my tank about, loaded rifle, underslung grenade launcher. The works.
Now as I mentioned before, it was mid-summer. We're talking serious heat. What didn't help was the fact that the wall to the right of the drivers cab is about 1cm thick and behind that, at head height is in fact a turbo. I'm sure the more mechanically minded ones of you will know that they get extremely hot.
So I've been driving now for about 10 minutes and already I've drank a large bottle of water and my 2nd one was warm enough to make tea. The CVR(t) Scimitar cabs are like little ovens.
"OK, OK...I'll be fine. Only got to push a few hours out and I can rest a little"

A few hours past.
A few more hours past.
We turned around. We turned around some more.
We had a short break.
Well, it wasn't actually a short break. It was more of a 'sat here with the engine ticking over while someone figures out where the hell we're actually going and where we are in relation to this mystical place'.
I managed to lift myself out of the cab (which even on the best of days is not an easy task when wearing Osprey bodyarmour and have radios/pouches all over the place). As I clambered on to the decks, gasping for cooler air I went very lightheaded and jumped/fell off the side of the wagon. I felt so drained. I climbed back up ready to set off again doing a mixture of laughing and crying.
About 6 hours later; all crews water reserves empty after drinking warm/pouring over self and it's dark.
My commander Dave kept falling asleep up top so it was just me and my gunner having a chat on the intercom. Things went quiet. Things then suddenly got very bumpy.
I look over to see the convoy about 130m away to my left and us then realise I'm foot to the floor going cross country somewhere else.
Yeah, we'd all fallen asleep and were in a runaway tank.
Quite a scary moment as I slammed on the anchors then slowly crawled back to my place in the convoy.
We got away with it though as it happened a lot that night. 5 Land Rovers drove in to the back of each other that night due to people falling asleep.

This was by far the hardest and most grueling tour I've done. 4 weeks living in the desert off the wagons, 3 days back at Basrah with everyone else (pizza hut, subway, showers, aircon...electricity) then back out again. Long range desert patrols for the first time since the original SAS did them. I think I'd rather it be left to them in future.

EDIT: Oh yeah, we eventually found them and arrived around 3am. Up again at 6.
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 13:26, 1 reply)
Used to have a really REALLY nice CRX and some twunk decided to drive into it and try to blame me. Stupid Cunt.

Glad I got that out. Thanks
(, Fri 23 Apr 2010, 13:17, Reply)

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