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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Roxanne, You Don't Have to Put on the Red Light

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas JANUARY. 04, 2021

[156-365] 4th. January 2021- Some people give their cars a cute little human name. Mine is currently called Roxanne, apparently. There I was tootling along without a care in the world on my trusty old steed that has served me well. This was before Christmas, when I was looking forward to a nice change over the holidays, when we couldn't go anywhere, because everything was shut and we wouldn't be disturbed by people because everyone was locked up in their homes, so not a change at all then, just like the rest of 2020.

It was getting darker and wetter so I thought I better put my headlights on because my trusty steed was a metaphorical horse, not an actual horse. I switched them on for maybe the first time in about eight months because who goes out in the dark anymore. And there it was, well, there they were, red warning lights, hundreds of them. I've told you a million times to ignore me when I exaggerate.

This is not looking good, because it seems like everything in the car decided to fail at exactly the same time. We're only a mile from home, so we risk ignoring all the portents of doom and trepidatiously return............. I have just found a word that is a word but is not in my tippy tappy spellchecker, it's decided it is suspect, because a little red warning has come up, this is just like driving a car, but when I right click it says "add to dictionary" . So even with my much improved Solid State innards it still isn't that clever.

Trepidatiously- In a trepidatious manner; with trepidation. That's really helpful. What does trepidatious mean? Trepidatious- feeling trepidation : apprehensive

.........so we trepidatiously return home, looking out for smoke and listening out for clicks, bangs, or grindings. Back at home, I switch off the lights and the car is feeling much better all of a sudden, all the red lights go off. My alter ego, Sherlock Holmes, is now suspicious, either everything has failed or it hasn't, switching the lights on and off doesn't result in chaos and failure unless it is the warning lights that are failing themselves. I open my door to get out and suddenly the battery has failed again, it's starting to look like a case of "elementary my dear Watson". The only thing to have actually failed is the workings of the lights themselves.


I switch on the indicator and another light comes on. It is one I have not seen before, it is a simple graphic consisting of three lines horizontally placed. On top a straight one, in the middle a wiggly one and on the bottom another straight one. It looks like a side view of a bacon sandwich, I hadn't noticed this one before. I dig out the guide book that came with the car and which has been sitting in the glove box for years, to find out what the bacon sandwich symbol means. Turns out it means warning, no bacon sandwich for you today.

I got you!

At a time when the only legal pleasure left in life is to find somewhere serving bacon squashed between two somethings that are wheat based, I'm not fussy, bap, baguette, panini, chapati, nan, biscuit, taco, whatever, to find warning lights that are basically saying no bacon today, sorry, because you need a car to get to the bacon, is really the final straw. Actually taco's might be maize thinking about it.

But it is a new year and 2021 brings Roy ( not his real name, I have to protect the innocent) who wants to imitate James Herriot the Yorkshire vet (All Creatures Great and Small, currently on a re-run) aiding a cow in a breach birth, by getting his arm right up inside my dashboard.


The birth did not take long and soon the offending article, which appeared to be most of the dashboard was out.

Modern cars being what they are, Roy doesn't fix the lump he has extracted, some white suited scientists with hair nets do it somewhere in a lab, underground in a bunker protected from solar storms. Or something like that. In any case Roy was here for about six minutes, much quicker than James Herriot, he would have taken a whole episode to do it. To be fair though you would have had an end product by then, like a new born calf.

So now my car sits out there, forlorn and going nowhere, particularly nowhere near bacon. Roy assures me I should have it back in working order in a week and he even reassured me that even if we go into tier 23 lockdown before then he will get the car working in a week. In tier 23 it won't matter, we'll be sealed in little pods full of fluid and plugged into the Matrix by then. We'll be getting our bacon intravenously, no need to go out at all.

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