What does your car say about you?

Not my Beetle

Do you even care? These people do.

I fear my car speaks volumes about me, and not in a good way.

When you see it from a distance (if I tell you it’s a Renault Clio, will you continue reading?) you can tell: –

- I was once – eleven years ago – well off enough to buy a new car. Now I’m not.

- I didn’t have children when I bought it – the back shelf’s long gone, the boot space filled with bikes, sundry broken toys, buckets and spades, and a spare booster seat. There is no room for shopping if the car contains two adults and two children.

- I had no interest in cars when I bought it – still don’t, if truth be told. Anything smart enough to need TLC is not ok with me.

When you look at it more closely you can see: -

- I don’t clean it

- It has green mould growing on the rubber window seals

When you get into it you can see: -

- It leaks, copiously after heavy rain, which we get a lot of down here

- The central locking only works if you almost touch the infra red sensor with the key

- It’s beginning to smell like the old jalopies my mum used to drive – things like Morris Minors and ancient Minis with gear sticks that exited directly through a hole from the engine compartment and bent at an angle of 45 degrees before reaching hand-holding distance

- The clock doesn’t work – fixing it would cost more than the car’s worth.

In fact it’s evolving into the kind of car I drove when I was in my early twenties – a VW Beetle, originally a two door model which became a one door model when the driver’s door stuck fast.

It began its life a dull shade of beige, but soon acquired one pale blue and three dark blue wings, after I crashed into a deer on a night drive through northern Scotland.

There was a hole in the floor, made by leaking battery acid, through which you could poke your feet and run – a la Flintstones – whenever it ran out of petrol.

This happened quite often as I only ever put a couple of quid’s worth in when the needle dipped significantly below empty… except when I was returning from low tax Jersey, when the tank would be full and so would two petrol containers hidden in the boot.
Strictly forbidden by the ferry companies but well worth the risk when the only card you could flash when paying for theatre tickets was a UB40.

Ah, times past.

Power steering and central locking are now one of life’s little necessities.

But every morning on the way to school we pass a lovingly maintained old VW Beetle, and I muse on what happened to my much-loved but sorely neglected car, after I sold it for £50 (cash) to a probable criminal on a dodgy estate in South London.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t used as a getaway car.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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