I went to get my car's MOT today. I absolutely hate having that done. I'm totally out of my depth with cars. I drove in to the mechanics where I was booked in and opted to act like I'm an uber-working class, take no nonsense "real man" type who knows all about cars:
"alreet Pal*, there's dee mowtor can ya dee dar rite see the. Me an' mi Fatha have luck'd a it rite an it's fane."**
He didn't seem to notice the hash I'd made of speaking in a convincing tough guy manner, asked for the keys and let me on my way.
Now I've taken my car to this garage before, it passed with no problems, an unusual event in anyone's life. That's why I was using them again. I've no reason to think they're going to rip me off. However I spent a tortuous few hours worrying about my poor little car...
Sure enough, it failed. Various things. Suspension, "wishbone"? and rear seatbelt.
Then the tumbling price situation over the phone made me worry even more:
What? It'll cost £180?
Oh, and how much is VAT?
And the MOT and Labour?
How much in total?
£230? Ye Gods!
What do you mean it might be more?
I'll fill you in on Monday - it's waiting there over the weekend.
*Yes that's right. I went for "Pal" on this occasion. I think it's got a nice level of threat to it. The first time I ever got called "Pal" was when I did my driving test. A Big Fat Northern Bloke got in the car, called me "pal" and within about 5 minutes failed me.
**Me trying to do a Tough Northern accent. I am northern, I'm not tough. I've spent years trying to cultivate an educated accent. This only backfires when I'm in a situation where I want to look poor, which I am.