Saturday, 1 November 2008

Quantum of B*******

Writing off one car a year is unlucky. Writing off two borders on the psychotic. But that's where we seem to be as of today.

To mark the end of half term, the whole family goes to see 'Quantum of Solace.' Francis, who loves James Bond and, as a result, is able to stay awake for almost the entire film, mutters favourite lines from other Fleming classics.

I don't even have to hear to know that, as his lips move, they are issuing the words, "The loitering drumbeat of the two-inch exhaust," like a benediction.

Naturally, my interests are far more down to earth. I am permanently riveted by the apparently non-ironic contrast between the glossy foyer, so intent on transporting you to a different world, and the cinema bogs, which are equally committed to making quite sure you stay firmly rooted in this one.

The loos come in three varieties. The first lack seats; the second seats and door handles; the third have no seats, handles or, indeed doors. During the few days of hot weather, management attempted to make up for this by adding a) the unflushed detritus of the previous few occupants and/or b) a promotional bluebottle in each cubicle; a ploy that I would have to mark down as a dismal failure, as few flies stuck (pun intended) to their designated bogs but tended to swarm off to the most interesting and hold a meeting.

But, amazingly, the onset of the recession has brought a change of heart. There are no flies and every cubicle now has its full complement of floor, door and porcelain furniture though there is one in-joke - a wobby hook on the inside of the door which, amusingly, ensures that your coat or handbag has a very real chance of falling straight down into the complementary puddle of urine provided by the previous client/customer or - judging by the ominous colour and quantity of the pool I come across - possibly patient.

We file out. Francis' head and heart are filled with thoughts of Aston Martins, speedboats, jet planes. The garage, where the family car is in for its service and MOT, chooses this moment to ring tell him that the car has developed a fault that they are unable to fix, and may need to be written off. To add insult to injury, they have spent a good many hours, 'Five,' confirms Francis, gloomily, nobly and expensively labouring on the car before coming to this conclusion.

"Quantum of Bollocks," I hear him mutter sadly, as we begin the journey home.

13 comments:

Alice said...

Oh, cars are so tricky. My mum recently wrote off her car, and then her partner's car died. Given that driving is essential to my mum's job, it was a horrendous week or so, as she kept telling me! I luckily don't drive as I live close to everything. Cars are so expensive.

I've always been lucky with cinema toilets I think. Train toilets are the killers for me. Eek. Though they always had doors. Unlike when I stayed in a youth hostel in Venice, where the showers had no curtains or doors, which apparently didn't bother alot of my fellow youth-hostelers. I'm normally pretty self-consious, but after a few days I'd given up on trying to drape my towel or sheet in place of a curtain...

Hope you sort out the car without spending too much.

Omega Mum said...

Alice: Thank you!

Iota said...

And just who did dream up the title "Quantum of Solace" anyway? If you're keen on non-ironic contrasts, I expect you've already enjoyed that one. The words which sound so full of gravitas and meaning, but in fact mean nothing at all. I'm sure we could expand this into a reflection on the culture we live in.

Quantum of Bollocks seems a very apt comment.

Irene said...

Bunch of bullshit, you can call that too, and I suppose the garage wants to get paid for 5 hours of useless labor? James Bond would never go along with that, not shaken and not stirred, he would not whip out his credit card nor his thickly packed wallet. Recession is tough if you're just an average middle class family, it's better to be at either of the other extremes, where you don't notice the difference as much.

lady macleod said...

OH my dear - the toliet, the car, and Bond? You are and have always been a brave and enduring woman. I will put your automotive situation in my morning prayers for what good it will do. Keep walking my friend, one step at a time.

Omega Mum said...

Iota: When it comes to non-ironic contrasts, I have to say that you're ahead of the game. But I'm enjoying it right now.....PS I never stop blogging....in my head, at least - it's just the logistics of getting my thoughts on to the page.

Irene: I don't think Bond even knows what a car service is.....I wonder what impact the credit crunch is having on real life spies?

Lady M: Prayers, money, legacies....it's all welcome. Thank you for your kind thoughts and sensibilities.

Casdok said...

So do you recommend the film?!!

Omega Mum said...

Casdok: Critics have panned it because plot-lite, virtually dialogue-free and action-heavy. To me, now pared down to the minimum of brain cells necessary to support life, these are all advantages. So yes, I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for asking.

Jaywalker said...

Oh hooray OM, everytime I think you have disappeared forever you come back and cheer me up.

Our car is similarly crap at the moment. I'd sell it for a half decent Victoria Sponge gladly.

CrazyCath said...

I saw it too - car so far intact. Hope your car worries go away.

Kerry said...

I'm pretty sure Daniel Craig could stand still staring at the screen for 2 hours and I'd still give it 10 popcorns out of 10. I fell in love with him during Moll Flanders and have never looked back *sigh*.

[Boring Bond Fact]Quantum of Solace is taken from the title of an old Ian Fleming short story and is meant to represent 'the precise figure defining the comfort/humanity/fellow feeling required between any pair of people for love to survive. If the Quantum of Solace is 0, then love is dead.' [/Boring Bond Fact]

One can only assume your car had an extremely low QoS Omega Mum ;)

Omega Mum said...

jaywalker: Extemely sorry to hear about your car. I don't think we could swap ours for a sliver of lemon drizzle....Sorry have been such rubbish at blogging - words failed me when wanted to do it

crazycath: Thank you- so do I!

Kerry: Now that's impressive stuff. I think you may well be right about the car....

Iota said...

Oh, Omega Mum, I know that "blogging in my head" syndrome.

In the future, they will invent some clever device that you can wear on your head, which will read your thoughts and print them on the screen, thus producing a working rough draft of your next blog post. That will save a lot of time and effort.