“So what are you going to do with my car?” she demands.

The LTLP’s car has been surplus to requirements since I bought my massive old gas-guzzling 4×4. In fact it has not just been surplus. It has been an active annoyance, taking up space in the drive and meaning that the simplest trip to the shops has necessitated a Red Arrows-style formation car swapping-round routine, only – in the case of my massive old gas-guzzling 4×4 – with more smoke.

It is a dilemma. Her old car is not worth much, even though it has had only one careful lady owner, except for the unfortunate time when she ran over the elderly German tourist. I would put an advert in the paper, except then you get, like, people, coming round to your house and bothering you etc. And I cannot be doing with the ‘we buy any car’ people, especially the shame when they turn me away and have to change their entire advertising, slogan and company mission statement having taken one look at mine.

“Did I hear that you are looking to get rid of a car?” asks Len the Fish’s son.

I am in the Village Pub, talking loudly about the fact that I am looking to get rid of a car, to Len the Fish’s son. I look at him, startled. He cannot possibly want it.

It transpires that Len the Fish’s son has returned home from fighting in Afghanistan (nb on our side, not Taliban). He will need a car. This is brilliant.  I cannot think of a better home for the car.

“How much do you want for it?” he asks.

I protest that I do not want anything for the car. He is a friend, and Len the Fish has done me loads of favours in the past, building chicken coops etc. I would be embarrassed to take anything for it, and would rather he had it for nothing. Plus, as many people know, I am a bit of an Americanophile, and buying a massive old gas-guzzling 4×4 then giving my old car away to a returning war hero will practically make me an honorary American.

He protests that he cannot take the car as a gift. I do understand this. We negotiate for a while before reaching agreement. I return to the LTLP to explain the news.

“You have exchanged my car,” she repeats. “For some meat.”


Len the Fish’s son pops round later with some nice beef that has been freshly-butchered by Len. I give him the keys. It is a win-win situation. I get some nice meat and the feeling that I have done somebody a proper favour; he gets a cheap and reliable car that will last him for many years to come.

Sometimes the simple things in life are the best.

14 thoughts on “I sort out the LTLP’s car.

  1. Excellent bargaining there, Jonny. I’m sure you don’t need me to point out that the LTLP’s car is not the only thing “surplus to requirements” in your household. The LTLP would probably have had that phrase tattooed on your forehead long since, if only your forehead was big enough to fit it on…

  2. Charlie says:

    Did you rescue her Wham CDs before the car was taken away?

  3. Megan says:

    Damn. And here I handed the keys off to my son, merrily advising him that one of the brake lights is wonky and likely to get him pulled over if he’s driving at night, the the driver’s window doesn’t roll down for some reason (which didn’t bother me as I don’t eat drive-through food), that the brakes probably need seeing to as now that I think about it it was maybe more than a few years ago that I was told they were ‘on their way out’, that the oil hasn’t been changed in [mumble…] a bit, oh, and the air conditioning works best in the spring and the fall but not so well in the searing heat of the summer.

    Little sod wasn’t nearly as effusively grateful as he should have been.

  4. Rachel Green says:

    was the LTLP suitably grateful for becoming housebound and relying on you for lifts to the shop and paying £30 for petrol to buy a bottle of miilk?

  5. Gordon says:

    Are you sure he wasn’t fighting for the Taliban? Hate to speak out of place but… maybe he’s a spy?

  6. ajb1605 says:

    Don’t, Gordon, you’ll get Short Tony kicking off in his Secret Private Diary again!

  7. spazmo says:

    Given that, apparently, meat is legal tender in Norfolk these days, the 4×4 may prove a valuable addition to your German tourist harvesting enterprise.

    Why not write it off as a business expense?

  8. Dave says:

    I didn’t see that one coming. Somehow I expected Len the Fish’s son to come up with, well, a fish.

  9. guyana gyal says:

    Rachel, what do you mean, ‘housebound’? Wait…watch…the LTLP will soon be off with the 4×4 and you-know-who will be left at home, haha.

    Len the Fish’s son is indeed a hero for taking that car. My ol’ father used to say, be careful what you take for free.

  10. JonnyB says:

    Rachel – I am using the ‘needing to ask for lifts for milk’ as a gentle introduction to our new 24/7 sub/dom lifestyle. It is early days.

  11. Richard says:

    Distinct lack of forward thinking there, Jonny. With a swelling family, sooner or later you are going to need to watch the pennies and holiday here in the UK. And you’ll be surprised at how much luggage a family of four with two small children needs. Have you seen the price of a new roofbox in Halfords? You could have strapped the LTLP’s tiny car to the roof of your massive gas-guzzling 4 x 4 and saved a fortune.

  12. Lisa says:

    Richard reminded me of childhood vacations in the gas-guzzling black Buick station wagon. My father built a giant green plywood coffin for the roof to hold all our stuff, including what we called “the circus tent” that the 6 of us slept in while camping. A wee car might have been lighter (and we could have slept in it instead of having to put up the horrible tent).

    Oh yes and I’ve ordered through the Book Depository–thanks for the tip!

  13. Judy says:

    Awww, you’re lovely you are. I love people who value life more than money…..life lasts longer and you have much more fun than some money grabbing fools. Hope you get lots of ‘mpg’ out of that beef.

  14. JonnyB says:

    Thank you Judy. How right you are.

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