Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Balancing Act

Birthdays, especially for the young, are normally anticipated with great excitement. However the imminent fourth anniversary of my VW Golf was not a time for celebration - it meant that the dreaded ITV (the Spanish equivalent of the MOT) was now due.

A pre-emptive inspection of the car revealed that the tyres were suffering from the same problem as my pate - premature baldness - and so a visit to the local garage beckoned.

clip_image002The last time I had been there was to have a flat tyre plugged, after which I had slipped the grizzled fitter an extra 5 euro note in order to ensure speedy service in future. Upon arrival it was obvious that he recognised me as he was holding out his palm in anticipation, despite the fact that there were no other cars present. The man, who looks as if he could have auditioned successfully for two of the leading roles in the film ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', persuaded me to part with my hard-earned cash to purchase a full set of new tyres.

'Did you get them balanced?' asked la Jefa, once I was back home. 'Er....no, I forgot' I spluttered unconvincingly, not having a clue what she meant. 'Well, you'd better go back then'. Fearing the admonishment of 'Er Indoors over that of the horny-handed mechanic, I trudged sheepishly back to the repair shop. 'The tyres do not need balancing and in any event we don't have the kit to do it', I was bluntly informed.

I was left with a dilemma. Not wanting to go home empty-handed, what should I do? After dismissing the idea of lying to the wife (apparently my lips twitch even when attempting the most insignificant of porkies), I suddenly remembered that there was a VW concessionaire only a few hundred metres away. I arrived to find a showroom full of gleaming brand-new off-roaders but no staff. Whilst I was contemplating a free upgrade of my Golf, the manager appeared off the street holding a steaming cappuccino.

'How can I help?' he enquired. 'Apparently I need to have my tyres balanced' I replied. 'Unfortunately we don't have the equipment to do that - we always refer our clients to the tyre specialist just down the road......'

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