I gaze apprehensively at the Kwik Fit centre.
I am in the LTLP’s girly car and I feel rising anxiety. Aside from builders’ merchants, garages and mechanics are probably the most intimidating business for the man-who-is-not-particularly-sure-of-himself to approach. I don’t know much about the workings of cars, apart from the fact that the right pedal makes it go faster and you should press the middle pedal if someone walks out in front of you, unless it is Anthony Worrell Thompson. That is an unmanly state of affairs. I am sure most mechanics think I am effeminate because of this and the fact that they can somehow tell that I don’t know much about football, whereas nothing could be further from the truth.
I park Daisy the car before taking the flower from its little vase and hiding it in the glovebox.
I lurk at the back of the reception area. A man looks at me. I don’t quite put my hand up and say ‘please sir, would you have a look at my tyres?’ but I may as well have done. My voice comes out all squeaky. The Kwik Fit fitters are already probably a bit annoyed at me because I have interrupted their song.
He collects his useful tyre-measuring tool and follows me outside. “It is this one,” I say, indicating Daisy. I am impressed by his professionalism in concealing his smirk and the loathing and contempt he must feel for me and my effeminate car.
“They’re fine,” he announces, having utilised his useful tyre-measuring tool.
“They’re fine,” he repeats. “Four or five thousand miles left on those.”
Again, I have been exposed by my lack of knowledge on the ‘how worn tyres can be’ front. But truth told, I am impressed by his honesty. He could clearly have made a packet from my ignorance but he has decided to be truthful and tell me no work needs doing. Or he is worried about catching AIDS from touching the car. I thank him profusely and drive off at speed making sure that the stereo is turned up very loudly so he knows I am hard really.
The Proclaimers belt out of the speakers as I hit the main drag of King’s Lynn.