DRIV­ING HOME THE LAUGHS

THE ROBIN­SON BANK BAL­ANCE HAS TAKEN A HIT BUT AT LEAST WE CAN SEE THE HU­MOUR IN OUR CAR TROU­BLES

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | TUGBOAT TALES - WORDS: ASH­LEY ROBIN­SON

Things don’t hap­pen in threes in my fam­ily. No, in the Robin­sons’ world, they have at least five cracks at bad things hap­pen­ing.

Dur­ing the peak hol­i­day sea­son, the week be­tween Christ­mas and New Year, I had just ar­rived home from work one stink­ing-hot af­ter­noon and got a call from my young bloke to tell me that his car had bro­ken down on top of Alex hill where he and his fam­ily were hav­ing a pic­nic.

Ev­ery park was taken and he had parked on the grass.

Now the car was dead as a door­nail.

My job was to pick up the fam­ily and take them home while he waited for the RACQ, and I se­cretly hoped a coun­cil park­ing of­fi­cer would turn up and test out old mate’s pa­tience.

A few weeks later, my wife’s car mys­te­ri­ously got a dent in the back door with an un­named driver at the wheel.

I was told that some­one must have run into it while it was parked in the pub­lic car park.

I took it to my mate at Woodriff Smash Re­pairs, who pointed out quickly that there was only two ways the dent could have hap­pened: ei­ther a bol­lard was driv­ing by and pressed it­self against the door or more than likely the un­named driver sideswiped a bol­lard.

Did I men­tion while I took old mate’s car to the panel shop she had my car which she backed into a post?

Ap­par­ently, she was wait­ing for the beeper to go off as she re­versed but, sadly, the car is not fit­ted with a beeper.

It does have a re­vers­ing cam­era, so she could ac­tu­ally watch her­self back into the pole. This was all in 24 hours.

Then a short time later, my daugh­ter-in­law is in her garage with the tail­gate up on her wagon when her tiny lit­tle an­gelic daugh­ter pushes the re­mote for the roller door and it closes on said tail­gate.

Not a bad ef­fort: cur­rently three cars wounded — not mor­tally, but all car­ry­ing an in­jury.

Strangely, none of this up­set me or any mem­ber of the fam­ily (which ac­tu­ally means my­self or my son as the fe­males in the fam­ily aren’t ex­actly car-con­scious and what­ever prob­lems hap­pen with ve­hi­cles, no mat­ter who has caused them, comes down to a boy’s prob­lem to get them fixed).

A cou­ple of weeks later, I got a call from the young bloke who said, “That’s it. We are now bat­ting 100 per cent: four from four.” “Please ex­plain,” I laughed.

He told me that his car had just been sideswiped in front of his house by an Lplater.

Now the past seven months that we have had has turned out to be a good lev­eller be­cause nor­mally four dents in four cars would be a drama.

But, in fact, it has prob­a­bly been a nearly hu­mor­ous dis­trac­tion.

It prob­a­bly won’t be quite as funny when I pay the bills but it is amaz­ing the dif­fer­ence in my re­ac­tion — and my young bloke, for that mat­ter — be­cause it doesn’t re­ally mat­ter as long as ev­ery­one is healthy and no one got hurt … only my dwin­dling bank bal­ance.

As they say, money can’t buy hap­pi­ness, but if you have enough left to buy beer, it’s the next best thing.

* This is vin­tage Ash­ley Robin­son from a col­umn ear­lier this year.

‘ … EI­THER A BOL­LARD WAS DRIV­ING BY AND PRESSED IT­SELF AGAINST THE DOOR OR MORE THAN LIKELY THE UN­NAMED DRIVER SIDESWIPED A BOL­LARD.’

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