Friday, November 21, 2008

My Friday

This morning

There’s been a funny flashing light in the car for a few weeks. I couldn’t quite make out what it was: it looked like a man holding a huge lollipop. Eventually I remembered to mention it to Mr Life. “Yes, I noticed that. It’s the airbag light,” he said.

“Does this mean the airbag might suddenly inflate?”

“Well, possibly.”

I decided to ask my colleagues in the motor vehicle department if I should do something about it, and if so, how urgently. “I’d get it checked out,” said John.

“Can I go on driving the car?”

“Well, put it this way,” he said. “If anything happens, you won’t have much time to think about it.”

This afternoon

I phoned the garage. As I did so, I wondered if they’d ask me any technical questions, as has happened on similar occasions - such as what was the engine capacity. This is not part of my general knowledge. The car’s black with four wheels; I think there’s an engine at the front and there’s definitely a space at the back for groceries.

“What’s the registration number?” enquired the chap.

I wasn’t expecting as difficult a question as that. I had to go out to the car park to have a look.

This evening

I went to the supermarket. I was served by a rather spotty youth with a strong Scottish accent. I felt a bit sorry for him. Clearly he was never going to amount to much.

A bar code was missing from my bag of apples. “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “I remember the number.”

“That’s impressive,” I said. “Have you worked here long?”

“A couple of months,” he said. “I came to Edinburgh to go to university.”

“What are you studying?” I asked, envisaging something not too academic.

“Astrophysics,” he said, and enlarged enthusiastically on the fascination of the subject for a while as he scanned my shopping. Then he added, “I’m doing History as an outside subject. I really enjoy that too. I did History as one of my Advanced Highers last year at school.”

Right. Good at artsy stuff too, then.


I made millionaire’s shortbread. More my intellectual level.

(Edited to add: I didn't mean that merely having a strong accent pointed to a life of underachievement. It was just that the combination of a job in Tesco, the misfortune of the copious spots plus the accent didn't seem the most astrophysicist-like combination. Or so I thought. In error, clearly.

I have a Scottish accent myself. (Hellooo, ev'rywunn.) How much have I amounted to, come to that?)


  1. MMMM, Millionaire's shortbread? Sounds very yummy! :) You've had quite an interesting day, Isabelle! :)

  2. You're SO funny! I read this to TMotH and he didn't get it! Maybe he needed to see the written word -- I thought it was hysterical!

    I sure wish I were there to taste that shortbread and hear your story in person!

  3. This is very funny, Isabelle! So I am not alone in not remembering a thing about my car. Recently my daughter's and my car had their side mirrors smashed by some hoons probably tanked up from visiting the nearby pub, and when we were going through all the reporting stuff to the police and the insurance, I could not remember the year of my car, nor the make of my daughter's car. How to be made to feel like an idiot! So embarrassing!

    You commented on my blog, which was lovely, and asked how I found you. I am so new at blogging I don't know yet how to reply to a comment, so I am replying here. You are listed on my daughter's blog - Stompergirl. I think we share a birthday.

  4. You are quite the comedian Isabelle! The poor fellow has to endure his spots, but I canna understand why a Scottish accent would indicate he mightn't amount to much. Look at you! Please don't spoil my fantasy and tell me that ye dinna have a wee bit of one yerself? Please excuse the stage-Scottishry---I hate it when people do that with an Irish accent. But I guess I can get away with it, being over here. Ye couldna hit me with your millionaire's shortbread no matter how hard ye threw it!

  5. Coming to your blog for a read I am just about guaranteed a laugh each time. Even when you're feeling a bit 'bleah' you make me grin with your humour.

    Do tell us when you find out what that airbag light meant!

  6. Astrophysics. Pshaw. Your initial impression was correct: the young man will never amount to much.

  7. Think its something to do with books and covers! And I know youre the Queen of the Apostrophe - but unfortunately that key has stopped working on my keyboard - hopefully I might still amount to something - if I havent left my run a bit late!! And dribbling a bit at the thought of the Mill Shortbread! Z xx

  8. LOL LOL!! Isabelle, one day I am going right back through your blog, and will print off the best of your humorous posts! Just for me to read and giggle over again and again.
    I am with you 100% about cars. Ken was doubtful about my choice of car when I bought my first one. He was even more doubtful when I explained that it was such a pretty shade of blue.

  9. "Hump day" is Wednesday, where you're "over the hump" of mid workweek and on your way down to the weekend. :)"Hump Day" simply means Wednesday or midweek. :) Good to hear from you, Isabelle!

  10. I do hope your airbag is fixed. I wouldn't like to think of you spontaneously inflating in the streets of Edinburgh. Although with any luck there would be a passing astrophysicist to help you out!

  11. What is that wise saying about judging a book by its cover? Astrophysics, indeed!

  12. 'strong Scottish accent... wouldn't amount to much', now if I'd said that...! ;~)

    The space for the groceries - not to say firewood, bags of compost and cement etc, is definitely the most important feature of a car.

    I love millionaire's shortbread, but too much of it and I'd look rather like an airbag myself!

  13. I hope the airbag light doesn't mean anything. I've been driving around with mine going on intermittently for two years.

  14. Millionaire's shortbread? You will have to explain that one to this kiwi.

    Humourous post:-) I'm exactly like you with cars.

  15. I would like to know what goes into millionaire shortbread? Did you ever get an answer to the airbag situation? Happy Thanksgiving.

  16. ah, I always read your words with an edinburgh accent.

    (see, I know!)

    Last taxi I took was driven by a pakistani medical specialist married to an anaesthetist. We talked about convents in lahore and what would be the worst kind of medical specialist job to have. His family owned the taxi and they all took turns at driving it.

    anyway, I am the same with you regarding cars. Evene the registration number...:-)