Big Paul's Garage
Last week my car required an MOT certificate, defined by the British Government as being useful bacause:
"Your MOT certificate confirms that your vehicle, at the time of its test, without dismantling it, met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It doesn’t mean the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and isn’t a substitute for regular maintenance."
So I took my Nissan Micra (1.0 Litre, M Reg, 1990) into my local MOT testing centre, where the friend of a friend works. The mechanic or "automotive technician", Big Paul, took the keys and said that I would receive a phone call later that day telling me what it had failed on and how much the £damage would be.
I prodeeded to work and tried to forget about the impending kick in the fiscal testes. Sure enough, a mere three hours later, my mobile phone rang.
"It's not too bad." Said Little Ken, Big Paul's right hand. "It just needs new tyres and a new exhaust. A hundred and fifty quid"
"Great" I said "I'll pick it up at six."
"Ah. Only Pauil will be here then, but that's OK".
I went to collect my car at six, dropped off by my boss. He spent the whole journey telling me about an incident where a girl he picked up from a club had insisted on going for a bath when they got back to his place. He went and smoked a fat one while she got hot and soapy.
After a time his nose was filled with an unpleasant odour, and upon investigation he discovered that she had indeed shit in the bath. He threw her out of his flat naked and called the police when she wouldn't go away.
"Sorry Sir! We're a bit behind." Big Paul still had the Micra on the jack, and one of her wheels was off. To the right sat a nice shiny exhaust system, still in its packaging.
"I'm just putting the new tyre on, then I'll get the exhaust on. Its only a couple of bolts." Big Paul was confident. "Can you take all the plastic and shit off the new exhaust?" He asked.
"I want some money off then." I said, not appreciating being drawn into manual labour.
"You're already getting it cost." Claimed he. "You owe me a special favour."
I was rather disturbed by this turn of events and so decided to keep quiet and help unpack the exhaust while he lubricated the wheel to get my brand new tyre on. Unused as I am to physical exertion, I couldn't get a piece of plastic packaging out of the exhaust tube. Knowing that Big Paul had a whole spray can full of WD40, I called to him:
"Hey, Big lad, when you've finished greasing the rim, I need you to squirt your slippery juice in my pipe."
I have seen Big Paul a couple of times since then, but we have been unable to make eye contact.