We’ve had more than our fair share of car accident dramas this past month. (Three to be exact…)
For those who have read my very early posts, or know our family in the real life, you will be familiar with our family car, affectionately known as Barney the Blue Beast.
Unfortunately, the most recent prang happened last Saturday and has left him having a much needed respite at the car wreckers.
Even before the weekend’s dilemma, last Thursday saw its lead up.
You see, Barney runs on LPG. But his petrol gauge is doing all sorts of funky stuff these days.
When we fill it up, the empty gas alarm automatically lights up. Surprisingly, when it’s running on empty, it tells me that I have 384 kilometres of gas left.
Taking the boys to daycare, the gauge told me I had 257 kilometres to go. In whacky Barney language, I quickly calculated that I was close to being in danger, but could definitely make the 10 kilometres to my destination.
I was half way there, ready to go at the green lights at the bottom of a hill, when Barney started chugging like a sick train.
Panicking and shaking, I looked at the rear vision mirror to see that I had an endless sea of peak hour traffic behind me. And the hill was just getting steeper.
The twinlets were oblivious to what was going on, which was a huge surprise because my parenting skills were thrown out the window as I was shouting all sorts of profanities.
Cars sped past me (no obscene honking, thank goodness) and I needed to just make it to the next turn off onto flatter road.
I eventually managed to pull over. It was only pure luck that Mr Surfer, who was still at home, picked up my call.
When he finally arrived, Mr Surfer took over the wheel. And there was the four of us; in this bright blue beaten up Ford Falcon that was just on the borderline to conk out on us for once and for all.
We still had a kilometre to the nearest petrol station. As Mr Surfer drove, both our heads started jerking back and forth in time to Barney’s coughing and spluttering and I just started to laugh. In fact, it was a belly laugh.
It must’ve been contagious because Mr Surfer, despite trying to concentrate on the road and letting irate drivers pass us by, started to have a chortle. Then, the boys caught onto it. They were totally beside themselves, happily sitting in their car seats, completely in sync to Barney’s spasmodic movements.
Next thing I knew, we were having a family crack-up.
You know, for all his faults, Barney is truly one awesome, loyal beast of burden.
He almost made the entire last leg, only to finally call it quits just as we were going to turn into the petrol station.
While trading places for the wheel, Mr Surfer had to get out and push him for about 10 metres to the blessed gas tank.
Hey, at least we eventually got there.
Poor Barney. We have treated him like crap over the years and last Saturday’s accident (Sorry, details are still too raw), did a real number on him. But you know, he kept us all safe.
Hopefully he’ll come out of the repairer’s in better shape. I’m not ready to have him leave our family just yet.