Lazy Luddite Log

24.3.12

Engineered Anecdote

I feel like another anecdote from my past that has never been described here (due to my more usual "subject-oriented" take on blogging). It is an amusing story involving friends Sean & Olivia. It also involves a car that went by the name of Sonja - she was a Hyundai Sonata you see.

The three of us were road-tripping and visiting friends in the Australian Capital Territory. We exhausted all we had wanted to do and had two days to spare for getting back to Melbourne. And so we had to debate which route to take getting home. The choice was between the short and boring way along the Hume and the interesting but long way via the coast. We all were keen on the scenic route except there was one contentious thing to consider - the state of Sonja.

Sonja was a good car but Sean had driven her to the limit of her suburban limitations. I think she was onto her third engine! Anyway there was something the matter with her and I was arguing for a speedy return to Melbourne on a major freeway. Sean was arguing for fun and adventure and new things. Olivia had the deciding vote. What did she do?

She felt I had the better arguments but she sided with Sean because experience was the only way he would discover that rash decisions produce mishaps. Both Sean and I are older than Olivia but nonetheless she felt that you can teach an old dog new wariness. And so off we went and set off towards the coastal town of Batemans Bay. We never made it.

As we were driving along surrounded by yellowing farmland the engine started emitting a cacophony of clunking. Clatter clatter clatter CLUNK! Something had shaken lose and punctured a hole in other parts of the engine as it exited the car. Vapour started decorating the windscreen and the car started slowing of its own accord. What was to be our fate?

Sonja managed to continue moving till we rolled into the township of Braidwood. Luckily this mishap occurred while we were in farmland rather than the hilly wooded territory that was between us and the coast. Even more luckily - surprisingly so - we came to rest alongside the local motor mechanic and agent for car insurance. Sean still had his luck it seemed but Sonja had driven her last.

We had to kill a few hours in the small township and it was there that I speculated on what sort of population is needed to support (say) two pubs (Braidwood had two pubs and a population of over a thousand). We walked round a few of the blocks of the town and had some food and made arrangements for a friend to come collect us back to stay another night in Canberra. We were happy once she arrived coz Braidwood was getting boring.

We stayed that one more night in Canberra then drove home in a car provided by insurance. I had gotten my way in the sense that we went home via the Hume. Sean however had gotten his way in that life had once more shown him that risks are rewarded. I think Olivia was just happy that we were homeward bound. And Sonja? Well she exists in our memory still - I was rather fond of the dark blue duco which had in it an accidental abstract hologram. That was a nice defect. A disintegrating engine is another thing entirely! Something I wish to keep my distance from despite our good fortune.

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2 Comments:

  • Ah, those were happy times. Yet I do feelyour recollection of the event didn't quite capture the perilous excitement of the gigantic plume of smoke that towered into the sky, the ragged hole left by the engine exploding, and the hot bits of twisted metal that littered the highway. But you did manage to capture exactly what I learned from it!

    Oh yes, and sticking googly eyes onto rocks to sell to passing tourists if we were stranded for weeks (this was Plan C).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 26 March, 2012  

  • Thanks Sean for elaborating on my flawed memory of events.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 31 March, 2012  

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