Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Control Technique

Every two years, after the age of four, a car has to undergo a control technique. The English equivalent of an MOT. So off I went to the garage. At the very moment that I walked through the door a huge clap of thunder shook the building and made the mechanic jump. You couldn't have choreographed it better. I apologised and said that it happens wherever I go, but somehow I don't think that he believed me.

The chap in front of me asked me what time my appointment was. 'Eleven,' I said. 'That's the same as me,' said the man. 'Oh no,' said the boss to the man, 'you were suppposed to be here at 10.30.' Inside I groaned, I knew what was coming. In England the chap who was late would have to wait and as I was on time I'd take my slot. It doesn't work like that in France. If you're late you get rewarded. If you're on time you get pissed off. The new chilled me now deals a bit better with these situations but more to the point I didn't want to fall out with the mechanic who was about to conduct the test.

Anyway, at the last CT two years ago, the car passed the test but they mentioned that there was something not quite right with one of the front brakes. Having done nothing about it since, because I'd forgotten, it was with interest that I watched the test machine. Sure enough at every test the front and then the rear nearside brakes showed red on the machine. Bum. But then what could I expect?

I wandered back into the waiting area to hear the bad news. I started to prep myself for the onslaught of incomprehensible technical details that I was going to have to comprehend. The mechanic came back in, took a couple of phone calls, and chatted to another waiting lady about his feckless son. It's his age I heard them saying to each other. Never mind his bloody age, I said to myself, has it passed?

It's passed he said. Flying colours. Nothing to report. For once in my life doing nothing about something, actually worked. Strange.

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