Wealth of surprises lurk in cars
Some vehicles are full of bling, but usually it’s not that glamorous
I NEARLY spat out my hundredth cup of tea the other day reading that $3 million worth of jewellery had been stolen from the tour bus of a Canadian music star.
Blimey — $3 million worth of bling in their vehicle?
I’d struggle to scrape together $3 in parking change from the dashboard thingy in mine.
My automobile contains no jewellery.
Instead there’s a crumpled iced coffee box, about 30 useless pens and one big-ticket item: a large forked stick that my five-year-old intends to use for a slingshot.
That’s the difference between celebrity wheels and your classic family car.
Our household drives one of those annoying sevenseater 4WD tanks, necessarily huge enough to squeeze in all our kids, their gear, their friends, their friends’ gear and their gear’s gear.
It’s only the second newnew motor my husband and I have owned, after a run of “quaint” or “quirky” old clunkers that ended with the onset of our parenting era.
We were so high on its new-car smell that we naively tried to keep our latest vehicle pristine despite the three small children occupying it.
Fast-forward five years and it’s like a job for CSI Sydney inside there.
There’s a strange symbol scrawled in Biro on the ceiling that no one has claimed responsibility for, despite heavy interrogation.
Unidentified substances are deeply embedded in the upholstery.
There’s sunscreen, or possibly toothpaste, sunken into door handles.
There’s tiny bits of fossilised foodstuffs and microscopic Lego in every cranny.
Shoe prints are indelibly stamped on the backs of the headrests, somehow, and a beach full of sand from various locations is ingrained underfoot. Missing jigsaw pieces, crucial bits of paper, a tonne of DNA-infused hair elastics — they all get sucked into the vehicular vortex.
I do require the kids to put their rubbish in the “door bins” but cleaning them out can be as creepy as sticking your hand in a box of tarantulas. The far “back back” of the car, home to the extra two seats, remains as uncharted territory.
I try not to go there but recently found a whole mummified orange — it must have escaped from the shopping and died a lonely death.
And we’re not a particularly sporty bunch, yet in our wagon there’s the unmistakeable thud of a ball rolling around, somewhere at foot level, each time we take a corner — that ball will never be found.
So I pity the fool who breaks in to our family ride looking for jewellery.
Still, as always, it could be worse. Years ago a colleague took her car to a mechanic, complaining about it losing power and conking out, no matter how hard she pressed on the accelerator.
“Leave it here, love” he said. “I’ll call you when it’s done.” Five minutes later he rang cheerfully to report it fixed. Returning to pick up her troublesome jalopy, my friend said: “That was quick! So what was the problem?”
Clonk, the mechanic plopped a tin of peaches onto the desk.
“This was under your accelerator pedal,” he replied.