FEEL free to indulge in as many “Keep Death off the Road” jokes as you want to.
Regular readers of this column (I know that there are some of you out there – you keep asking me who the Yummy Mummy is… Sorry, I’m sworn to secrecy and the threat of facial lacerations if I reveal her true identity) will know that my superb friends clubbed together and raised more than €1,000 to buy a car.
I was so dumbfounded by this act of generosity that I was literally speechless for hours afterwards – an impressive achievement in itself.
After said Yummy Mummy had used her (considerable) feminine wiles to extract the promised funds out of my friends – another impressive achievement itself – it was time to go looking for a vehicle.
With the strict proviso that my new car ‘was not a f**king Freelander’ I enrolled the help of an Iraqi friend who also happens to be a dab hand when it comes to motors. Together we scanned websites, social media and the classified ads of the local papers.
I’m more than used to scanning the classified ads, but usually in the ‘Relax’ section, so this was a whole new experience for me…
My friend quickly put me off getting another 4×4, shaking his head at the various ones I had underlined as being likely to spend more time in the garage than on the road.
We decided on something sturdy and cheap to fix if something went wrong. After several weeks of dealing with various Andalus versions of Arthur Daily – (Arturo Diario perhaps?) we finally found a great Seat Ibiza.
What’s more, it had a two tone paint job and flame details in the interior carpets that awakened the inner boy racer in me. I immediately went on the internet to search for furry dice.
Car purchased, it was time to transfer my insurance from the late, not lamented at all, Freelander to the Seat. ‘Let me take care of this’ said my friend, and for the next 30 minutes he revealed his Arabic penchant for haggling as he harangued the hapless broker on the other end of phone to get the price down. Job done, he handed me the phone.
‘I think you should go and get a Gin and Tonic’ I advised the broker.
“Do you know how we say that each call may be recorded for training purposes?” a trembling voice replied. “Well, my manager just told me that he is going to save me dealing with your friend and play it at our Christmas party at the end of the year!”