WEEKEND WEB: Spot-on or near enough
WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
I have just finished my Christmas album – I will admit that it took a lot of time on this occasion or rather occasions as I kept running out of the red coloured crayon but I have got quite a few blue and yellow ones left over.
I was going to get started on the next project as the doorbell chimed/warbled and Spot-on had dropped by and no, it’s not his real name but I used to know what it was but everybody calls him Spot-on so its not a problem plus the added joy that he doesn’t mind being called it.
Being in his presence meant that whatever he saw, sees or makes comment on he usually ends up by saying: “…course you could see it was spot-on straight away” or “I knew that was the price spot-on..” and so on, hence nobody could recall his real name and so he is called Spot-on.
His dog is called Raymondayo after his dad and the car his dad used to drive as in Ray for his dad and mondayo for Mondeo as in Ford but Ray gave up driving recently as his eyes got bad and so he surrendered his driving licence.
Spot-on has arrived with tales of woe, much woe in fact.
He had brought a new second-hand car at a wonderful price, could not believe his luck (open to debate in these sort of cases) with two careful owners (the other 37 who were not too picky are not mentioned at this point), loads of ‘history’ as in a folder full of receipts (to the untrained eye, its broken down a lot) and passed its annual medical (MOT test) with flying colours (the paint is peeling off in a strong wind) plus only cost a trifling £450, knocked down from a modest starting gate price of £725 so all in all, a bargain then.
There has to be a catch and it’s not the one holding the car back door or rear hatch shut – ‘only three pounds off an internet auction site, Guv’ is the usual response at these moments – and there is one almighty catch as this saga unfolds.
Spot-on came on his motorbike, which is like a motorcycle but you wear a different crash helmet, which I had to point out that I have always known him as being a motorbikerlist for ages so why the car or rather the four wheels at this point in time?
He will be now taking his uncle Walter every week to the hospital for whatever it is they do to him there, once Walter kills three or fours hours waiting to see somebody regardless of the fact his appointment is at ten past ten, its written in stone or granite for a longer lasting finish, although he won’t be seen until after two thirty but the same day as often as not.
Spot-on’s dad Ray, Walter’s brother and not shared with anybody else of the same name, used to take him as he is retired but since surrendering his licence he can’t do it anymore hence Spot-on attempting to do his bit with four wheels as Walter won’t fit on his motorbike due to his medical wot-not.
So Spot-on has bought this ‘bargain banger’ but here things go slightly adrift as he has just found out what was once called ‘road tax’ is now called Vehicle Excise Duty, being all rather posh sounding and very expensive as in his case, over £520 to be exact and bearing in mind it’s a 10-year-old basic family model is more than he paid for the car, with insurance at just over £300 being a gift in effect.
He found this out the hard way by nipping into the Post Office, then going through the usual mind games in trying to do things all legal and proper as he put it but when asked for the said £520, he nearly died.
He was totally unaware that many vehicles are now classed on their ‘co’ emissions level (as in the smoke coming out the back end) although his newly-acquired projectile is anything but basic, it still attracts megabucks so that it goes towards saving the planet or as its called in the new trendy speak ‘Climate Change’, sister-in-law to ‘Greenhouse Effect’ nee ‘Global Warming’ that had spawned a whole new industry that perhaps may have collared all those people who used to knock on your door to sell you brushes as you don’t see them about anymore, so best assume they had the ‘talent’ to take on this role.
Quite how the problem will be solved by paying more tax has never been explained as far as I am aware or perhaps a tick in the box ‘Emperor’s New clothes’ might be better.
I made Spot-on a cup of tea and tried as best one can to explain it all.
I pointed out its only come about in recent years, the climate change business that takes in a lot of money – ours – but we see next to nothing in return as the people running it tell us about ‘carbon footprints’ and suchlike, more often than not as they jet off around the world on a ‘jolly’ to discuss things like planes, cars and things that burn fuel needlessly – much like jetting around the world to have a chinwag together with hundreds of hangers-on in tow – but you never hear of them going on a coach trip to, say, Cleethorpes to discuss this climate change rigmarole at the local ‘fish n chip eat-in parlour’ with a free battered pineapple ring-a-ding when you buy the meal of the day with a dollop of mushy peas slung in.
Although trials of the new electric powered jet are ongoing.
For anybody in this line of ‘work’ there is no stock to worry about, no storage problems plus you don’t need any qualifications other than saying ‘who you know’ (a nudge, nudge here will do mostly in the right crowd of similar inclined people) then mention ‘saving polar bears’, unnamed that seem happy to pose for photos for the occasional ‘selfie’ to pacify the punters and if really lucky to latch on to a fading pop star or similar who will go along with your ideas, you have got it made plus no worries from people asking about how you are progressing as what can you show or point out as anything being sorted or done?
When we were at school a lot wanted to leave and become carpenters, electricians, plumbers, doctors or mobile phone sales people etc, all meaningful roles in a normal society but I never heard about anybody in our lot yearning to be a Climate Change Facilitator or even start up as self employed doing it.
I suggested he got rid of the car if he could like the last chap did to him, and then perhaps adapt his motorbike to carry an elderly passenger comfortably as the idea of using a car is looking very expensive and hopefully once sorted, it will be a case of just keep on taking the Walter.
I looked it up ‘like for like’ online for a Chrysler PT, about the same year and spec etc. and the following was found:
Urban 21.7mpg, extra urban 34.9mpg, average 28 mpg, CO2 emissions 246g/km, annual tax (VED) £520.
Engine power 141 bhp, engine size 2,429 cc, brochure engine size 2.4 litres, acceleration (0-60mph) 11.5 seconds, top speed 106 mph, front wheel drive