As the black mist slowly cleared and once more I returned to reality, I discovered that the shock induced coma I have been experiencing these last few weeks, was at last subsiding.
The reason behind my vegative state was my car, or should I say a part of my car.
Recently, the baffles had gone tits up in the exhaust and I was constantly hearing a bloody irritating rattle all the time the car was being driven. I tentatively enquired at my local tyre/exhaust centre about the cost of a replacement silencer.
"Can't just fit a silencer, mate. It comes with the rear pipe as well"
"Ok, I muttered, nervously. How much is that going to sting me for?"
The ubiquitous sharp intake of breath ensued and after much bashing of keyboards and consulting of oily parts manuals.
"That'll be £130 mate"
He wasn't my mate, but what the hell, friends are hard to come by. This was about what I was expecting. Being a Japanese car, parts are a little more expensive than say, a Dagenham Donkey.
Next day the car is ramped up and I am ushered into the 'waiting room' consisting of a telly with a screen smaller than my mobile and free brown shit they laughingly called, coffee. Half way through the Sudoku that was doing my head in, a face appeared at the door.
"You got a second, mate" (we were gettin really chummy by now).
Now don't we all dread it when the mechanic asks that question.
1. You know something is wrong.
2. It's going to cost more.
"Your cat's knackered mate"
And sure enough, there it was, hanging on by the mearest sliver of rust.
Back to the computer/oily manual.
"Including fitting and a two year guarantee, that'll be £350 in total, mate" (knocked him down to £320).
I don't know if I struck my head when I fainted, but it was sure throbbing by then.
Couple of days later, the cat (catalytic converter for the uninitiated) is fitted and the car purrs as I drive away.
Not for long.
The exhaust is blowing.
"New front pipe, mate"
An extra £130.