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Bloody Nora's Revenge

A Friday Story by Mike Rooth

MoT time. The time to strike dread into the heart of even the stoutest soul. The time when you put your vehicle into the hands of some total idiot, so that he can pass his completely uninformed opinion as to whether or not the thing is fit to be driven for the next twelve months. Now Bloody Nora sees MoT tests as a good chance to develop some hitherto unsuspected (and probably unprecedented) faults, just to annoy me. Well, I've got wise to that trick. So I didn.t tell her. I just rang up, and arranged a test for nine o'clock the next day. I even left the spare wheel in this time, mainly because its the first time in thirteen years that the tyre on said spare wheel has been fit to be seen, but also because the only time I remove the spare is MoT time. And it would serve as a warning.

So off we went, a trifle late admittedly, thinking thoughts like "What a lovely day for a ride in the .country", and devoutly hoping Nora would think we were just off to the pub. As luck would have it, they were waiting for me and I drove straight onto the hoist, got out, and up in the air she went. Seething. I could tell. But it worked. No faults. A slight weep on the RH rear hub oil seal was all she could manage, and he let that go because it wasn.t affecting the brakes. Got you, you old bat, I thought.

Readers of these chronicles are, by now, I would imagine, sadly shaking their heads and muttering dire warnings into their beards. Words like "Won.t this chump *ever* learn?" spring to mind.

That evening I came out of work, started up, and drove off the car park. Funny smell, I thought, but then again, Nora is good a producing random smells, just to keep me on my toes. Mind you, this is a new one. It smells like... BURNING INSULATION!!! THE SILLY OLD SOD'S ON FIRE!! Obviously a wire must have broken behind the dash panel and let its smoke out. A passing undergraduate was startled by a cry of "You bloody cow!", as your truly screeched to an undignified halt, switched everything off and leaped out, spanner in trembling fist, to disconnect the battery. I think the undergraduate was puzzled at the shout, because it happened to be a bloke. But you can.t tell, these days.

The smoke from behind the dash panel dwindled to nothing. So cautiously the battery was reconnected. No smoke. Engine started. No smoke. Side lights on. No smoke. Headlights on. No headlights. Oh... hell. Nothing for it but to make a dash for home on sidelights only.

It was then that the full horror of my predicament hit me. I had no beer! None! And so it came to pass that Bloody Nora was made to creep like a fugitive round all the back streets, lit only by dim sidelights, on a mission to get beer. I'd got it all worked out. "Well, officer, I've just had an electrical fire, which has taken out the headlights. Put your head in here and you can smell it". (You could, and how) "And I've got to get home somehow". The mission, you'll be pleased to know, was successful.

Investigation the next morning revealed a mess of melted wire on the light switch "Not too bad" I thought, and replaced the mess with new wire. Switch on. No headlights. However we *were* making progress because the sidelights had given up the struggle just after I got back from the beer forage. Produce a simple fault? Not Nora. She isn.t called Bloody for nothing. It was while sitting pondering my next move that I noticed that the wires to the brand new Joe Lucas genuine dipswitch, were now a gooy mess. And wandering around to the engine bay they were a gooy mess there, too. In fact there seemed to be more goo than cable. The upshot of this being that the headlight circuit had to be rewired from the dipswitch to the first bullet connector. And that, believe me, is a job requiring maximum grovel. Which, of course, is what the old bitch wanted wasn.t it?

From the OVLR Newsletter, 1999


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