Friday, March 01, 2013

Rent boy

I find myself in sunny California.

Or at least it was sunny until I got here, whereupon it started to rain.  Apparently its stopped chucking it down at home, leading the sainted Mrs Grumbler to assert that I am indeed a Weather God and should therefore stay away from home, at least long enough for the fields at Grumbler's farm to dry out a bit. Thus, here I am, rent[1] from the bosom of my family, and forbade to return for the time being.

On the downside I am condemned to an indefinite suitcase existence, but on the upside, 'er indoors obviously thinks I'm a God, even after twelve years of marriage. I have to be careful here, though.  As a confirmed atheist (is that an oxymoron?) and a God, I may suddenly cease to believe in myself and disappear in a puff of self contradiction.

In fact, I am saved from delusions of divinity having been brought solidly back to earth via the good auspices of the Hertz Car Rental company.  Occasionally, on one of my many visits here, Hertz have come up trumps by surprising me with an interesting vehicle upgrade. Sometimes I've been let loose in a soft-top, and once or twice I've made my getaway in a brutish muscle-car.  This trip is not one of those occasions, my vehicular needs being fulfilled by a Dodge Chalfont[2]; so named because it truly is a pain in the arse.

Driving the Chalfont can make you cross eyed; going in a straight line (which you do a lot of round here) the steering wheel is pointing firmly at about two o-clock.  How on earth can that be achieved without actually taking it off and putting it back on bent? This directional eccentricity might prove troublesome were it not for the fact that the car itself is as strangled and gutless as Francis Dereham during the later stages of his execution after having played "hide the sausage" with Henry the Eighth's fifth wife.

Even though its unlikely to do anything surprising, the Chalfont has a strange habit of beeping, whistling or clicking at bizarre and unfathomable moments.  Its impossible to tell whether these are warnings or, as I am beginning to suspect, R2D2 is trapped under the acres of plastic which form the dash and is screaming to be let out for a wee.

Fortunately it's nearly time to fly home, leaving Dodge's piles behind for the grumblers' ancestral pile in Blighty. R2, where'd you stash my lightsaber?