The pen-thusiastmobile broke down yesterday. The engine turned over just fine, but it wouldn't start. Bother! To be fair it's an old car, 17 years old in fact, but it's always been very reliable so I was a little concerned. Having had no luck checking the usual suspects (oil, water, fuel), I coaxed, I threatened, I swore; nothing. I would have even resorted to what Basil Fawlty did in the episode Gourmet Night if there had been a suitable branch handy, instead I got on the phone to the RAC, my emergency breakdown provider of choice.
To be fair, I'm not mechanically-minded, I know which end the fuel, oil and water go in and can put air in the tyres, but that's about it, so I needed help. Give me a sick pen on the other hand...
I could expect a 45 minute wait I was told, but at least I could break out the trusty Preppy and start writing the experience up to post later, which would have been quite pleasant had the British weather not decided to have a go at having a heatwave, so instead I sat and baked. Cosmic!
Within 20 minutes I'd had a call from the RAC patrolman to let me know he was on the way, and a shortly afterwards his orange van appeared over the horizon like the 7th Cavalry. Gary, the patrolman, was soon rummaging around in the bowels of the 'mobile's engine while I was doing as I was told and cranking it over when asked. Within minutes the 'mobile coughed into life again amid a cloud of smoke a 40-a-day Woodbine smoker would have been proud of. Talk about healing hands!
So what was wrong with it I asked tentatively, feeling my wallet wince even as the words came out of mouth. It turned out there was some corrosion in one of the connectors of the wiring harness under the bonnet which had interrupted the flow of electricity to the engine coil and the ignition. The what, under the where? Gary showed me. Oh, that, under there! Would I need a mechanic, or spares, or a new car? No, no and no came the reply and my wallet breathed a sigh of relief.
So there we go, just over an hour from breakdown to being back on the road, no spares to buy and the pen-thusiastmobile lives to fight another day. Seriously though, I cannot praise Gary and the RAC enough - professional, courteous service throughout and my car fixed at the end of the job. Fantastic!
For some reason, as a result of Gary's attention, the 'mobile's engine sounds quieter now too, I wonder if it's anything to do with me breaking down outside a church?