There I am in the paper #49.

So here you go another of my hilarious (pushing it?) articles from my column in the Irish Examiner’s Feelgood. 

From my earliest tree climbing days, I believed I was equal to any boy and went out of my way as a young girl to prove it. Today, supposedly all grown up, my opinion remains unchanged and I continue to argue the fact if challenged.

However, if I were to be truthful, I’d have to admit I’m not quite the shouting feminist at home, especially when it comes to bringing out the bins, D.I. Y or looking after my car. Yer man does it all and to give him his due he does it very well or so I thought until recently when I came upon a Garda checkpoint.

Am I the only one who approaches a checkpoint feeling I’m guilty of something?photo credit: Seth Granville <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35632581@N00/36904059442">Metropolitan Police Department Car 9610</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>

Is my safety belt on?

Is my tax in date?

Am I wanted for a serious crime?

With trepidation, I drove up to the Garda who studied my car and proceeded to walk towards me. My imagination went into overdrive as I opened the window with my most pleasant of smiles,

“Your tax is out of date,” he said, as if considering a jail term.

“Oh,” I spluttered, shocked that yer man had made such an error.

“Have you applied for it?” he said.

“Yes, of course I have. It must be in the post,” I said, flashing my winning smile once more.

He took another wander about the car.

“Put the new disc up as soon as you get it,” he said, banging the roof to dismiss me.

I took off as if I’d got away with murder. It was rare for your man to slip up so I couldn’t wait to tell him when I got home.

“I was stopped by the guards today and nearly put off the road for not having my tax in date,” I said, mildly exaggerating.

“Your tax disc is over there on the dresser,’ he said, ‘I thought you’d at least manage to put it up yourself.”

Floored and rather embarrassed I resolved there and then to be less pathetic. Why was I not looking after my own car?

A couple of months later my NCT was due, so I volunteered to bring my car myself, unfortunately yer man failed to hear my whispered offer and off he went.

There is an unspoken competition between us about our two cars. A few months previous yer man’s car had sailed through its NCT. Fully believing that my slightly battered old car is better than his I waited for news.

Fail.

What? I scanned the form wondering if it was because yer man had used glue to fix a dent in it which had scuppered its chances. No. It had failed because one brake light wasn’t working. Such a minor fault.
That was like failing Leaving Cert English over a few missing comma’s. I wasn’tphoto credit: aronbaker2 <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/144152028@N08/32985596481">failure</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a> sure whether to be delighted it was so minor, or furious.

Remembering my resolve to look after my own car I took it the very next day to have the brake light replaced, rather pleased at my own efficiency. I then immediately forgot I’d to bring it back for a recheck within a month. Two days before the due date yer man reminded me and I suspect the look on my face told him I’d forgotten.

It took a split second for the mechanic to pass it fit. My car was finally up to date with tax, insurance and NCT. Simple. There really was nothing much to looking after a car I thought.

Arriving home I placed my NCT certificate conspicuously on the table.

“Did it pass?” my daughter asked.

“Of course,” I replied.

“Oh, because as you drove in I saw one of your headlights isn’t working.”

“Oh no,’ I said, ‘Your dad can fix that later.”

photo credit..London Irish Graduate Network

photo credit: Seth Granville Metropolitan Police Department Car 9610 via photopin (license)
photo credit: aronbaker2 failure via photopin (license)

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