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For want of a nail, a battle was lost....
on 21 March 2014
For a week I had to take the bus instead of the car, all for the want of a key fob battery.
Sure, I could use the dead key to open the passenger door manually so I could get in to keep out of the rain, but climbing over to the driver side was completely impossible because of the stick shift, the console for the rocket launchers and the bullet in the shoulder. I tried, but got my foot caught half way and tangled up in the seat belt, my foot slipped and I accidentally took out the secret submarine base behind the corner newsagents.
Beats me why the central locking is dead without the key but the revolving number plates still work and obviously I haven't tried the red button under the gear knob but I bet it works.
When you have your cover blown, it's best to be in the driving seat of your car not stuck in the passenger seat with cramp. I couldn't open the back doors or the trunk - boot I believe you call it over here - and so poor Colonel Stegonosovitch had to be fed via a long tube from the front of the car with kipper smoothies and Pie a la blender. The stirrup pump held up pretty well though I would have preferred to use the on-board tyre compressor but it's on the same circuit as the central locking which is a terrible piece of design.
Colonel Stegonosovitch wasn't happy and I really wanted to get him back to the embassy before anyone noticed he was missing but not being able to open the "boot" made that impossible.
I badly needed a working door key. The spare had never worked ever since "Q" division dropped the car off after the body filler job. 274 pieces of body filler, 9mm in diameter, had meant I was without the car completely for several weeks though I suspect Mrs. "Q" had been using it for shopping, judging by the lipstick tear-gas gadget I found under the seat with the receipt for the pink latex scuba gear and the... riding crop. It needed a thorough valeting then to get rid of the exotic French parfum which seemed to have soaked everything but not as much as it needed a valeting after Colonel Stegonosovitch had been released from atop the spare wheel after a week of incarceration. I still haven't got the stains out of the carpet, and his cat was completely traumatised. Normally very placid and enjoying being stroked on his long white fur just below the diamond collar, Mr Tidlovitri had not taken well to his share of the diet of kipper smoothies and was sulking horribly. The handsome white fur was stuck up on end and his eyes were fixed in a wide-open stare rather as if he had just bitten into a live wire but I think it was simply the lack of a litter box.
Colonel Stegonosovitch had a similar vacant stare and also needed hosing down with Dettol before he was fit to return to the embassy but fortunately the secret plans were dry and not too… smelly.
Ah, yes. The batteries for the key fob arrived in reasonable time, simply and sensibly packaged in an envelope.
Once they were fitted into the key fob, everything worked perfectly again. I was able to release Colonel Stegonosovitch and Mr Tidlovitri and more importantly, listen to Planet Rock's thirty-six song long playlist again as I drove down to the Casino with the open window wafting out the WMD strength odours emanating from the luggage compartment.
The battery pack is marked "best before %^& 2024" or somesuch so I've no worries about shelf life. The price was also exceptionally good. The local garage wanted 4 quid for _one_ and only to special order. With this purchase I renewed the main and spare key fob batteries and had a spare set left – all for under a couple of quid. I guess the previous battery is the original and my neighbour, Mrs Klebb, reckons she's got eleven years out of her current set.
I'm going to miss the girl on the bus. She is a belly dancer from Lithonos, she tells me and is here as an exchange student finishing her History of Decadent Imperialism course but I never got her name. She was very interested in my job and I enjoyed answering all her questions.
The car is due another valeting this afternoon. My usual bloke, StJohn the Rastafarian from the garage round the corner reckons he should have most of the smell gone by the last of the twelve sessions. He didn't have to wear a respirator for the session yesterday and thinks he can do the remaining three appointments moved away from the waste land behind the garage and back to where people congregate though it killed all the grass where the water had dripped off the car and all the birdsong has stopped. Better still, I managed to drive with the windows closed for part of the journey to my job at the, er… _bank_ this morning.
Have you got a light, Mac?
No but I've got a dark brown overcoat.