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I went to pick my car up from the workshop yesterday, the man was on the telephone, I overheard him say: “I’ll take that two-week cruise as I’m about to get some dough,” and then he saw me standing there and said: “I have to go!” He handed me my keys and said: “Your car’s as good as new, it’s lucky that you came in now, before that motor blew, the pistons were all blistered and the valve stems shot to hell, the manifold was old with holes, and ugly plugs as well! “The oil had boiled because it was a lump up in the pump, loose rings had worn the kingpins down and dumped them in the sump, the crankshaft and the petrol tank too rusted to repair, and damn it if the camshaft wasn’t jammed by bearing wear! “Your carby’s far beyond recall, the jets too wet and thin, the diff was iffy, so I fitted pin replacements in, the CV joints were pointy and your front end bent and old, it’s lucky that I stock your make of intake manifold! “I couldn’t take the risk, your disc pads had to be replaced, transmission bolts were faulty and the fluid thick as paste, then third gear nearly broke, then first, and then I lost reverse, I put a whole new gearbox in, as second gear was worse! “Your steering wheel appeared to be in need of special care, the seat belts felt all shot, I got a neat new front-seat pair, the clutch was much the same and all the headlights seemed quite crook, I think the blinkers might be too, but didn’t dare to look! “The pinion rack lacked tension and its screws were all bad news, my alternator tester says that yours had blown a fuse, the bonnet lock was shocking and the doors were poorly done, I changed the hinges, handles too, they’re just like new, old son. “I sprayed the radiator out, and filled the anti-freeze, adjusted all the air-con ports to twenty-three degrees, I nuked the duco with some special crack-resistant wax, you owe me seven thousand bucks, including federal tax!” Considering I’d booked it in to fit a speakerphone, I figured this excessive, but I didn’t like to moan, I wrote a check and drove home feeling like a stupid jerk, the car was running smoothly but the cellphone didn’t work!
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