We have all had one of these, the very first car we started out with. You know the one I am talking about, the one that drives but really by all the laws of physics and reason should not be able to.
One such legend was Skedonkie. At the time she was a great source of humiliation/frustration and mayhem. Now that I think about it, she was not all that different from a toddler. But I digress. It has been years since we parted and now that time has healed all the wounds she is an endless source of myrth.
Like the time she became a flame thrower….
There was always a number of things wrong with Skedonkie.
Like: not starting in the morning, or the clutch not releasing or my personal favourite, the timing being out that resulted in backfiring. Like a canon. True Story. There was only one person in the whole of Cape Town that was able to get Skedonkie’s timing right and on this occasion he was not available, so I spent a very unhappy two weeks with a car that regularly backfired. It was mortifying. As these things go with temperamental cars the backfiring was worse at certain times, when heading uphill, downhill, straight, and also intensified when “gearing back”.
One late afternoon, on my way back from work, I was heading down the steep slope where Boyes Drive meets up with Main Road. It was peak traffic and Skedonkie had been happily backfiring at two minute intervals when to my horror traffic had come to a complete standstill right on the steepest of slopes . Let me add at this time the brakes weren’t all that keen on braking when asked to, so I had to gear back in order to ensure that I did not rear end the car in front of me, who even despite of having been keeping a very wide bearth from me was a mere metre away.
<All the other drivers had been keeping well clear because, I suspect, the fear of my car imploding.>
Along for this unhappy ride was a scooter a number of cars behind me, too scared to come closer. It was at this time that my nemesis decided that in addition to backfiring big clouds of noxious black smoke (which I might add came in through the boot where there was a hole the size of a basket ball right above the exhaust pipe-I always had to have a window open for fear of inadvertently gasing myself while driving.), she would also, just for the sake of sport, throw in a flame or two.
It was at this juncture the scooter thought it would be a good time to get past this moving
hazard violation. As I came to a standstill, I heard a loud crash and instantly thought someone had rear-ended me, only to see a metre and half long flame coming out of my exhaust pipe (and boot), just as the scooter was right behind me.
I could actually see the look of “holy shit did that car just throw a flame at me” on the terrified driver’s face. And the scooter? Well he thought he would rather brave a head on collision by passing me on a blind bend than spending another second behind my death trap. Wise move, if I could I probably would have gotten out too…