Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The longest six minutes of my life

I have discovered the very definition of boredom: Sitting in a broken down car waiting for rescue.

No matter what you have with you, no matter if you have a phone with a decent 3G signal, no matter if you have a brand new car radio with all the digital channels you can eat, you will be begging for death's icy hand to take you within five minutes.

In my case, it was driving to work yesterday.

The heavens opened, I switched on the windscreen wipers, and after a few half-hearted sweeps, there was a metallic 'PING!' as the driver's side wiper got stuck in the up position, while the passenger-side one wiped away like billy-o.

Unable to see where the hell I was driving (although I could probably drive that route to work in braille nowadays), there was naught to do except sit by the side of the road until the rain stopped.

After five minutes, with Twitter at my fingertips and all the digital radio stations I could eat, I was begging for death's icy hand to take me.

After six minutes, it stopped raining, and I dashed to the local garage for what would almost certainly be something very minor but very expensive.

I once had to wait three hours with a flat battery at the side of the road. I was so bored, I actually rigged up a McGyver-style killer laser out of torches, tools and other junk in the boot of my car, before the AA van arrived. All they found was a pair of smoking boots in the layby on the A35.

My advice to you is to never break down. Those six minutes were the longest in my life - tears, despair, self-loathing, the whole nine yards. Always have a second car handy, tow it behind you if needs be. Don't let this happen to you.


Flaxen Saxon said...

Sir, if you buy a new car every year, like what I do, you will probably never have this problem again. And stuff.

Anonymous said...

Rain-X on the windscreen really helps. It's a silicone treatment for glass. Especially helps at higher speeds, as drops just slough off due to wind speed. Don't know if it's called Rain-X in England.

Anonymous said...

I should have been clearer abt. Rain-X's advantage... the water beads up and you can usually see quite adequately through the drops. At higher speeds I don't even need to use the wipers at all!

Alistair Coleman said...

Turns out you can get Rain-X over here.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Keep a snake in the boot for such situations. Preferably a German viper, it'll happily vipe your vindows ;-)

Richard said...

Rain-X has been available over here for donkey's and is fine if you use it on a pristine clean windscreen. If you're a lazy arse like me and rely on heavy rain to do Sunday morning chores it only makes the grime waterproof and an absolute fag to remove. It also helps if you completely empty old product from your reservoir as the resultant smear from the chemical mixture when sprayed to clean any unfortunate expired bug life from your eyeline is totally opaque.

Anonymous said...

Just found out there is another product, called Aquapel, which might be even better, not sure. Apparently will not streak, and has better longevity.

The results from Wardell's unofficial comparison test were surprising. After having applied both products to separate sides of his MINI's windshield, Wardell waited for rain and then taped the results at various stages, all the way from day one to day 72. What we learn from Wardell's accompanying video is that both windshield treatments need speeds above 40 mph to whisk rain away effectively, but that the windshield wipers dramatically reduce the effectiveness of Rain-X over time, whereas the PPG Aquapel side was still effective after 60 days.

more at

The Dancing Cake Tin said...

Flaxen Saxon,
Towing all those cars must be quite a crowd pleaser.

TRT said...

Rain-X is made from the secretions of a water-controlling mutant stolen from the grounds of Professor Xavier's academy.

Anonymous said...

(although I could probably drive that route to work in braille nowadays)

The Tutor tells me he learned anatomy by Braille - female anatomy to be specific.