Friday 15 May 2009

Automobiles, Anecdotes, and Age Limits

What an interesting day... 'interesting' in an entirely euphemistic way, you understand. It's all my fault for being lazy and driving to the supermarket, instead of going on the 40 minute walk. I chose to drive - and here's the irony - because I wanted to get it done quickly. And then the car broke down in the Tesco car park.

Not just in the car park bay, of course, but when I had reversed out of the bay, and was at an angle that hemmed in about twelve cars. The car stalled, and then just wouldn't start (not the first time it's done it). And then the steering wheel immobiliser decided to do its thang, so that I couldn't push the car back into a bay. I was left with a straight line in which it would move, pushing it forwards when someone behind wanted to get out; backwards when someone in front wanted to.

And it was raining.

The nice AA man came eventually, and sorted out the starter motor, and off I went home... and had my lunch at 4pm. What a fun use of an aftern
oon... but it did restore my faith in mankind, as they say: at least half a dozen people stopped and offered to help me.

In Tesco I noticed that new regimes are being brought in about the Under 18 goods - cigarettes and alcohol and whatnot. Currently if the checkout person or shop owner thinks you look under 21, they'll check (it's wittily called Challenge 21 - or, as our local shop calls it, Challange 21). From Monday, they're check if you look under 25. As a 23 year old, I'm a little disgruntled. 25 is seven years over 18. That's over a third of an 18 year old's life that they're counting in as a margin of error. What would people say if 40 year olds were asked if they were senior citizens? I don't usually use this blog to whinge about things, but I thought my days of being ID-ed were over....

And finally, because this is a book blog after all, I've just read Faulkner's interview with The Paris Review Interviews (in volume 2) - it's mostly nonsense, very pretentious and arrogant, but I did enjoy this exchange:

INTERVIEWER: Some people say they can't understand your writing, even after they have read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?

FAULKNER: Read it four times.


  1. Oh dear welcome to the world of automation now that you have passed your test. I have spent years driving second hand cars that collapse and now that I am more venerable, for the past ten years, I have had new cards which never let you down and no garage bills, so in the long run they cost less money. The BUT of course, is finding the money to buy the first new car which I have never managed to do until now.

    Oh and re the ID - an article in thepaper the other day told the story of Asda supermarket who will not sell you spoons unless you produce ID, as you 'might murder someone with them'.....


  2. I am very knowledgeable about distributer caps, leads and spark plugs. Anyone who drove a Mini in the 70s will know that they stopped when they were hot, they stopped when they were cold and they ALWAYS stopped when it poured with rain. Mine stopped in the snow once and 4 big beefy men appeared, picked it up (yes, one at each corner) and put it down again where it was no longer a hazard to traffic. Ah, happy days!
    As to the ID - having it assumed that you are a senior can save money AND find you a seat on the bus (when the car won't start!)

  3. My sister (who is now 36) used to say when she was ID-ed 'I stopped carrying it when I had my third child' which usually shut inqusitive shop keepers up.
    I don't imagine this will help in your case though ...

    In reply to Elaine's spoon story - I think you have to be 14 to buy cutlery. I can understand if you're buying carving knifes, but spoons? I think they are only dangerous if you're reenacting Robin Hood in an Alan Rickman-esque manner!

  4. oh sweetheart, it does sound like a nightmare and I am sorry on Shadowfax's behalf, but you must agree that it does now make a very amusing anecdote.
    :o( poor you. Enjoy the sympathy while you've got it.

  5. Re Faulkner, the Sound and Fury took me months to read because I just couldn't understand it and had to research what the hell he was trying to say. But after I put in the effort it was well worth it and I would say now that The Sound and The Fury is right up there with my favorite books. Like Virginia, he had a unique voice.


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