Let’s do something different for Xmas this year, Adi suggested.
Well I thought, we could go out a few days before the day and spend heaps of money at some bulk chain discount store, have lunch at a crap chain food place, then jump into the silver Toyota SUV and grab a Christmas tree on the way home. That would be different. On the way home if we feel a bit stressed we could drop the kids off at some toy shop to be baby sat while we grabbed a couple of espressos, drinking thoughtfully while trying to look cool. The way we looked before we had the kids. Back when life was full of options and before we had to make sure we had the family Xmas all paid off before the new school term started. Before late Feb when we would somehow have to afford Spank and Tiffs voluntary School contributions.
No Adi corrected, let’s do something different on Xmas day, not the days before.
So I thought, we could get up early and open the presents not carefully selected from the chain stores before piling into the silver SUV for a drive to the petrol station. Porning in Dads gold watch might just about raise enough for sufficient petrol to get around all the festive meals but don’t forget your party hat. Stuffed to the gunnels and trying to get home without becoming one of the holidays road toll, left wondering where the day went and why you are not ecstatic at how the day went. After all you spent enough money on it, and you’ve got a bigger SUV than everyone else you’ve managed to engage in Xmas banter.
But no, Adi was correct. A bike ride to the beach and a little picnic would not cut the mustard this year. It needed to be different. Firstly, no pressies for ourselves, we always get ourselves something. And my god I’m sure I had an SUV in the bike shed somewhere. After finding it under some cycle gear it was just a matter of dusting it off and then we could zoom out to a community lunch or dinner probably both if I could only remember where the fuel filler was located.
She needed a wash down and a wax. Best done outside the bike shed, but the only problem was that our SUV hadn’t been used for a few years (5) so I couldn’t seem to move it. The brakes had stuck on. When you have a biggish shed this is not a problem. I simply washed, waxed and hosed down the vehicle in the shed. Plenty of time to rev her up and loosen the hubs later.
Ah, she looked lovely after that polish and buff up. Let’s load her up with all the days’ stuff, stuff that we would normally not be seen dead with. Chilly bins stocked full of food and drink, BBQ clothes, beach
clothes, sun cream, picnic chairs, folding tables…. Poor clothes so we can get into the community dinner.
Turn the key and we’re off. Isn’t that what SUV’s are supposed to do? Nothing. Hey it’s not like this on the ads. You turn the key and then you’re on the road with the wind in your hair. Spanky and Tiff are laughing in the back and we’re all gobbling up the kilometres. Not a sound from our SUV. But then I realise that of course, after 5 years of no use I’ll probably need to throw a new battery in there next to the engine.
No problem Adi.
I know the battery goes in there. In that vacant space next to the engine.
But first I have to figure out where the engines gone. Two vacant spaces in the back? I’m guessing that the bigger space is where the engine goes. And I now remember that I put it over on the South side of the bike shed about 3years ago. Yup, there it is, on that bench. Its needs a spot of reassembly, but I know that it’s all there, and that it just needs to be put back together. Four or five hours tops then we’ll be off.
Christmas Eve and I need to get my head around the best place to start. The car is nice and clean, so I have made a start. It’ll all go together a lot more smoothly if I have a rum and coke, maybe two, I decide.
We’ve got to be legal this year. Can’t just go out without bothering like we did when we were 20. I’ll need to be registered, to have paid my road taxes and have my warrant of fitness. Do you need an engine for that? I doubt it, after all its just revenue gathering.
I make a mental note to book a bit of Adi’s time and the neighbours because we’ll need to push or tow the wagon down to the garage so the correct papers can be stamped, and the road taxes collected by the government.
Bugger, they’ll be closed now. What was I thinking? Public servants cease to work at least a week before Xmas. They are at their desks in body but what’s left of their mind is already on holiday.
I suggest to Adi that there are a few hiccups with doing the family SUV thing this Christmas and she reminds me why I married her 25+years ago. She’s happy to jump on her bike and go off with me for a day’s exercise and adventure. And what’s more she’ll cook me turkey and crunchy potatoes for dinner. (The potatoes usually need another 20mins or so).
Maybe we’ll get one of those 2014 VW combis for next Xmas.
Don’t be silly Niel, just a poor copy of the original.