Not quite a true Knumpty tale this one, I grant you, but vehicle-related nonetheless – so included here as a cautionary fable for those who – like us – happen to live on an increasingly busy main road.
Several weeks ago, we had our parked car written off when a passing motorist crashed into it.
And coincidentally, almost exactly two years prior, in exactly the same location, we had another two cars written off in one go – by exactly the same method.
You’ll therefore, gentle reader, hopefully bear with your humble author if this episode becomes just a tad ranty (although we haven’t had a decent one of those since the coffee incident in Vannes, France – so I reckon a bout of rising blood-pressure shared between us is well overdue.)
All three vehicles had been parked innocently enough at the side of the road outside our house and were thankfully unoccupied at the time of impact. Were the vehicles in question not ours, we might have confessed to momentarily enjoying the alarmingly satisfying deep bass whuuump of heavy mechanical impact, but on both occasions, any primeval sense of thrill was quickly superseded by a sense of rising alarm that it might be our cars which were responsible for generating the noise.
This time, it was my dear departed Father’s car which bought it – a much cared-for automatic Vauxhall Astra CDX, 20 years old and still with only 87,000 miles on the clock. This was the car which had diligently ferried my parents on many annual trips to southern Spain as they overwintered in their retirement. In those heady pre-Brexit, pre-global-warming days when everything was right with the world, the Astra plus its two occupants would depart in the autumn, rammed to the gunwhales with every conceivable dried grocery item; a stack of European roadmaps; Good Housekeeping magazines; ferry tickets and – for reasons about which I’m still not entirely clear – a significant supply of English salted butter.
As a treasured family heirloom, the car had become quite a talking-point in the neighbourhood and would – we were reassured by someone who professed to know – become a bit of a collector’s item ‘if it stayed on the road for the next five to ten years.’ For a year since my Father’s passing it had proven itself a valiant local runabout and on more than one occasion had stepped up for an incident-free (and surprisingly comfortable) fully-loaded thrash from Lich Vegas down to London and back.
And now it was gone. Ignominiously dragged onto a low-loader, with its broken hind-quarters scoring memorial gouges in the tarmac, it disappeared into the black-hole of cost-inducing bureaucratic madness known as insurance accident recovery, sadly never to be seen again.