I had to say goodbye forever to a member of the family today. OK, so it wasn't a biological relative, it was my second car, but it was a strangely emotional experience. Last year I made the stupid mistake of bowing to demands from a source that shall remain nameless, and bought a Jeep Cherokee. It was green. It had a four litre engine. It drank petrol like a crime writer drinks beer -- at a convention -- when someone else is paying. And maybe there are free peanuts, or crisp, or something like that. Who can tell when you've had that much to drink?
Anyway, the upshot is that it was a drain on the finances MacBride, and had to go. So we tried to sell it: put adverts in the local paper (complete with photo to entice those easily aroused by a ton and a half of good, old American engineering) and in ScotAds. Sat back and waited for the calls to come rolling in.
Months and months of tumbleweed. Nobody wanted this bloody car. So we hatched some plans, prevaricated, sodded about, and sort of forgot about it. HOW? HOW THE HELL CAN YOU FORGET ABOUT A HUGE GREEN FOUR-LITRE PAPERWEIGHT SITTING IN YOUR DRIVE WAY? I had to park next to the bloody thing every night. Had to walk past it to hurl abuse at the cows (who can be rowdy if you don't keep an eye on them). But forget about it we did, until it came time to put the sodding thing through its MOT. And when I regained consciousness after seeing the size of the bill to fix the bastarding thing, enough was enough: it was going to the mart.
So into auction it went. And three failed sales later, it came back again. No one bid over £1,500, when we know the trade-in value is £2,800. AND WE PAID £6,000! Thieving sodding, arse-biscuit bastarding garage owning, second-hand-car selling BASTARD! (calm, picture the lilies, picture the sodding lilies and take deep sodding breaths!) So, there was only one recourse left -- no one would by it privately, no one would buy it at auction -- so it was going to have to be traded in.
Now if we just did that we'd still have three cars on the driveway -- the Clio, the 4Trak, and whatever the Jeep transubstantiated itself into. We'd still have to sell something, because I'm sick to the back teeth of insuring and taxing cars we don't sodding drive. And this was the genesis of a cunning plan: we would trade in the Jeep AND the Clio for something else. Thus killing two stones for one bird.
And that's what She Who Must Remain Nameless and I did, traded both cars in for a second-hand Renault Megan with the funny shaped arse.
All well and good. Until it came time to hand over the Clio... I like my Clio. She was a lovely car, bought from new. She had a name -- Roo -- and she was mine. And I really, really liked her. And today I gave her away to a strange man. And for the first time ever, in six years of driving, she refused to start when I tried to take her on her last trip as a MacBride. I turn the key and get nothing but the Panicked Car Owners' Concerto for Starter Motor and Swearing. Twice. On the third go she started -- obviously resigned to her fate -- and off we went to the garage.
Every time I've ever traded in a car in the past, I've been relieved to see them go. Hell, sometimes I've been positively ecstatic, but this time I was genuinely sad to part with her. I wonder if I've made the right decision, if I wouldn't have been happier just taking the financial kick in the crotch and accept a paltry £1,500 for the car I paid £5,000 eighteen months ago (not to mention the grand she cost to get through her MOT). I could have used that cash to fix up the Clio, and she would have given us a couple more years of happy motoring. Instead of which, this Megan with the funny-shaped arse has cost me the Jeep, £3,300 in used fivers and my beloved Clio.
I miss my Roo.