We were booked for an 11.07am tee off ,,,
Me and my rich benefactor were playing Turnberry's Ailsa Championship Course, again.
He said he'd pick me up in the Jag at 9am to let us get down there and have our very special Turnberry Bacon Roll and coffee before the game.
I stupidly decided, no George it's my turn to drive ,, I'll come over and get you at 9.
What a cock up that thought turned out to be !
I remembered in the morning, while having my early morning cuppa that I was quite low in petrol so I duly set out en route to the garage to fill up, in plenty time to be at George's for 9.
At the corner of Harvie Ave., no more than a few hundred yards from home, the traffic lights turned to red ,,, I pulled up behind maybe 3 or 4 cars and waited ,,, it's a long wait at that junction because the lights are favoured to the motorway on-ramp traffic ,,,, While waiting I noticed the passengers seat in the car was fully forward ,,, a small person had obviously been there last ? I leaned over and pulled the bar under the seat up and rammed the seat fully back ,, my pal George is a biggish guy and this would let him sit comfortably ,,
Ah, at last, the lights changed to green ,,, into 1st. foot on the gas ,, let out the clutch ,,, and away we ,,,, phut, phut, phut ,, the car simple died on me !
Whit, I thought ,, oh no, it can't be that low in petrol ,, I wouldn't have let it go that low ,, surely ,, I checked the gauge again ,, it WAS very low ,, but still just above the absolute bottom RED line ,,,, it can't be petrol ,, Wawawawawa ,,, nothing ,,, the engine sure as hell sounded dead ,,, Wawawawawa ,, nothing again ,,, like the proverbial bloody Do-Do ,, I left it a few minutes in case I had "flooded" it ,, by this time of course I'm causing mayhem ,,, I'm stuck in the middle of the single lane road, three car lengths back from the lights and it's work/school time, mega-busy ,,, I put on the Hazard lights and sit there stunned ,,, Wawawawwa ,,, my Alfa Romeo ,,, the Italian Stallion, is DEID ! No point to wasting any more battery power ,, the bugger is simply refusing to even acknowledge that I'm in a hurry ,, C'mon ya useless bastard I said ,, It's Turnberry today ,, not bloody Cowglen !! Move your arse or you're on the "For Sale" list !
I phoned George ,,," Slight cock-up on the travel front Reggie,"I told him ,,, "may just have run out of the ole jungle juice !! Can you maybe hop in the Jag and bring me down a gallon in a can ?" George duly arrives some 10-minutes later ,, Ah good, no panic, still plenty time to make Maybole for our tee time !
Glug, glug, glug ,, in goes the gas ,,,,, hands now wet and stinking of petrol but never mind that ,, let's get this show on the road ,, Wawawawawawawa ,,, ohhh shit ,, the bugger still refuses me !! Wawawawawa, wawawawawa, wawawawawa, You bastard ! ( If I'd had a tree branch handy I'd have done a Basil Fawlty right there on Harvie Ave.!! )
Then I think ,,, Mother had a "petrol situation" just like this a few years ago, and after I had WALKED from almost Eaglesham to EK and back to get a can of ,,, hers wouldn't start either ,, the AA man eventually telling us that modern cars need TWO gallons to get up and running again ,,,
"George" I asked ,, "could you ,, eh ,, another gallon please ... oh ta "
Off he went ,,, time is a marching here ,,, it's now about 9.30 am ,, but still time enough ,,,,???
He's back in 5 minutes ,,,, glug, glug, glug ,, it still seemed to be guzzling it down hungrily ! ,,, hands now absolutely honking of the stuff ,, ( George's can leaked a bit at the pouring end !! ) but at last it's all in ,,,
Right, Now we're on our way ? Wawawawawawa ,,, c'mon ya swine , Waawawawawawa, Wawawawa ,,, you shit car ,, you're definitely on the For Sale list ,,, tomorrow morning 1st. thing !
Deid, deid, deid ,, Arghhhhh. We phone Turnberry and CANCEL ,,, it's pishing it down here but we KNOW it would have been ok on the Hallowed Turf ,,, never rains in Maybole ,, every golfer's wife knows that !
George tells me, "Lock up the car and I'll drive you down to your garage man ,, see if he'll come up and get it going ?" Ok ,,,
Oh for Jesus' sake ,,, now the bloody doors won't lock either ?? What's up wi' this stupid car ??
I rush round locking them with the key and ,, naturally, for it's already THAT kind of day ,, I skid on the grass verge and go arse over tit in the rain and the mud ,,,
Now I have to get into George's Jag ,, the new one with the CREAM LEATHER Upholstery ,,, He is a real friend George ,, Had it been the other way round I'd have made him strip !!
I explain all to Ian, my tame garage mechanic, who raises his eyebrows when I get to the part of the alarm system and doors not working either ???
"No point in my coming Dougie" he says ,, "it would need the Alfa computer diagnostics thingy ,,, these new cars are all tied up in computer technology and we can't get into them without the correct gear ,,, Phone the AA" he says ,, "you must still have Manufacturer's warrenty on it ",,, Mmmmmm ... never thought of that ! Doh ,,,
We went home ,, and over coffee I phone the AA ,, Name ?, car reg.? address ? ,, granny's maiden name ? ,, you know ,, then ,, as I'm waiting to be told the warrenty expired last week ,, the girl tells me ,, "we'll have a Patrolman there inside the hour sir ,, he'll phone you 15-minutes before he gets to your location ! " Wow, now there's service ,,,
I remember at this point and look in my wallet for petrol money for George ,,, I give him my only fiver ,,, ( I have a £20 but nothing else ) ,, saying "I'll owe you a pound or two ,, I'll get the coffees at Turnberry next time ,, "ok says George telling me, jokingly, that his can held a fiver's worth EACH time he filled it ,,, "Oops ,, sorry pal, I'll owe you another £5 then "
Back to the car ,, the AA man goes thro' his routine ,,,
Wawawawa ,, as if it would start now for him ?? Ha, Then to save wasting my battery any further, he gets out his own BIG battery ,, WAWAWAWAWAWAWA ,,, ha again ,, deid as ,,,
"Right sir" he says "why don't you and your friend sit in the other car ,, you can't help here and you're just getting wet watching ! I'll get the Alfa Diagnostics plugged in ,,, "
So George gets the heater going in the Jag and we chat about our might have been golf round ,,,
The AA guy takes maybe 5 minutes and then comes over to me ,,, "that's it going again now sir ,,, "
"Oh well done ", says I "what was the problem ",,, ?
"Did you have any big, heavy passenger in the car this morning or anything happen to your passenger seat ?? "
"Eh ,, no ,, not that I can ,,,,, Ohhhh wait, ,,, I moved the seat back while sitting at the lights ,, and ,,, just before the car died ??? " Uh-oh ,,? Why ?
"You RAM it back hard ? "
"Eh, maybe ,, aye ,,, "
"Well what's happened SIR, is that the car thought you were in a collision at that point, and did what it's designed to do ,, IT CUT OFF THE FUEL PUMP ,,, to save you being killed by stopping any fire possibility !! And your alarm system then also went into action and UNLOCKED all the doors ,,, a fine car sir ,, and with quite a sophisticated system ,,, ( and quietly he says ,,,better than your friend's Jag in that respect sir ! ) "
Oh, thinks me ,,, well maybe the Italian Stallion is off the For Sale list ,,, for now !
"For future ref. sir ,, see this little Black Box under the passenger's seat ,, and that little button on top of it ,, well just reset that by pressing the button if it ever happens again ,, but I doubt you'll ever ram the seat back like that again will you sir ??"
"Thanks ",,, I go back to George's car to tell him all is well ,,, he gives me back the only change either of us has ,,, the Fiver ,,,, "for the AA guy for his help in the rain",,,
So it's been a bad day for me ,, missing my Turnberry golf outing ,, but an even worse one for George ,, Not to play has cost George a Tenner and a cleaning job on his leather upholstery !!
Last thought on the day ,,, Did fate by any chance keep us away from the M77 to Maybole that day for other, much more important reasons ???? I wonder ????