June 26, 2006

The 9-Point Check

Alternative title: Shite Car
Alternative alternative title: I hope I don’t get in trouble at work over this

I’ve been complaining about the car I’ve been driving for a while now. In theory, we’re meant to switch cars every week so that people don’t get stuck with the good cars all the time, but I have been driving the Suzuki Samurai (no joke, that’s its name) for the better part of two months.

This is, by far, the shittiest car in the office. I must have pissed off the guy who works on the car rotation and, despite my brown-nosing, he doesn’t seem too sympathetic to my whining. He wants my death. As I do his.

To prove my case, I have decided to perform what highly trained car mechanics call “the 9-point check”. Lovely L. has been my invaluable assistant in this technical quest.

(From left to right)

Top row
Point 1-the lights
As you can see, the lights on the car are well protected from street thugs and petty thieves. Which is somewhat laughable as no one ever EVER tries to rob this appealing car. The lights also fail to shine properly at night causing me to drive with a flash light in hand to light the road.

Point 2- the mirror
A car mirror is always a good thing to have for a girl. She can comb her hair, check her make-up or make alluring smiles at herself. In Congo, she can also check how much she has sweat in the a/c-less vehicle. Please note the band of semi-clean plastic around the mirror, flanked by grimy, dusty plastic.

Point 3-the trunk
Lovely L. is demonstrating how difficult it is to open the backdoor. The best way of placing items in the trunk is the sit in the front seat and fling your items backwards. Steer clear of possible passengers in the backseat…if they dare ride with you.

Middle Row
Point 4-bunch of wires
I believe there once was a radio between the two front seats. This is just a rumor though and all that is left are a few naked wires dangling in the leg area. These are great for hot wiring the car.

Point 5-the window handle
The window handle on the driver’s side has broken. This has been fixed by soldering a stiff piece of metal and careful wrapping it with duct tape. The tape has unraveled, leaving one’s hands sore and sticky. It’s part of its charm.

Point 6-the glove box
This is were one should keep the numerous papers needed for the not-infrequent arrests by traffic cops. It does not close. The current location of important papers is still under intense debate.

Bottom Row
Point 7-The foot rest
If it were rusted, my passenger would have to hug her legs to her chest in order not to fall through. Fortunately, the hole is still small. I give it two weeks.

Point 8-the handle bar
As this is a sturdy car made for rough road trips, it has a handle bar which enables the passenger to hold tight. Unfortunately, as I am demonstrating here, the handle bar has completely broken off.

Point 9-the exclamation point light
I have no idea what the exclamation point means but obviously, it can’t be a good thing. It’s on ALL the time. Is it trying to tell me something?

Verdict-Uncomfortable, undriveable, and unsafe.
Do not assign this car to staff. Only assign this car to your worse enemy.


Carl said...

Does the roof leak?

Victoria said...

Hahaha... I want a suzuki samurai when I grow up...

Anonymous said...

Great montage :) I bet you're really going to miss Congo!

Kingston Girl said...

You forgot to mention that this is also a really ugly car!

Beaver said...

OMG this is TOTALLY an audit finding !

Don't worry, poetic justice will shortly fall upon your enemie's head!



Kate said...

you didn't even mention all the noises it makes when you actually try to drive!

Garci said...

I remember the days when you got the toyota prado... that was a differen story! But as a passenger on the back seat of the samurai, I can back Dorothee on every claim!!

In our office we had a similar-looking car, called by everyone -including the dispatch- "suzuki de merde" (we had a nicer one also, so we needed to distiguish between both ;-)

But you will miss it, mark my words.

By the way, the "red exclamation mark" is probably from the parking brake, which I bet has seen better days ;-)

Cheers and have a nice flight back home!

Anonymous said...

yes -- maybe it will drive better if you take the brake off. ;) -E

007 in Africa said...

Carl, yes, the roof leaks.

Vicky, I hope you're joking.

Ammo, I'm not going to miss everything about the Congo.

Kingston Girl, how could I have forgotten that? My bad! The car fell off the ugly tree.

Beaver. Oh oh. That means I AM going to get in trouble at work over this...

Kate, the noises are actually the car groaning and moaning. It wants to be retired.

Garci, I can't imagine how I will miss it. I'm glad you are backing up my claims though.

E-It's not the brake dammit! I'm a shit driver but I don't drive with the brakes on (sometimes).

giovanni.dicristofano@tin.it said...

Sun rises. You drive the car uphill. You lecture -When a Samurai feels his mission accomplished, he must commit suicide.- You wrap a large white ribbon around the car-. You kick the car downhill.
You repent and beat your bosom. You are heard to cry -When in Congo drive Fiat and Alfa Romeo.-strudel

giovanni.dicristofano@tin.it said...

ey .... pppsstttt, some pics do not show full evidence. You know those little yellow bastard private attorneys -Your Honour, pic number 8... -.
Possibly you can snap..? Oh well, drop it. strudel

Beaver said...

No you're not. They'll notice it on their own, no worries :o)

For you, it would be time for a big great and smily :
TOLD YOU SO! to your fleet-managing nemesis :o)

Elizabeth said...

"At least you have a piece of shit. I don't even have a piece of shit. I have to envy yours."

beanblog said...

About getting in trouble at work by means of a personal blog: Don't mean to scare you, but it has happened to a friend of mine. (But as long as you don't hint at what the big boss is doing wrong and what you would do if you were in his place, then I guess you'll be okay. ;D)

Bob said...

Ha! This post was hilarious, especially when I was picturing you driving around with a flashlight at night. Have you tried flirting with the motor pool guy? I guess it depends on how much you want a different car.

Victoria said...

I actually have sort of an analogous problem at my job: my mice never get labelled properly, and I usually spend an hour trying to figure out which are mine.
There's something to be said about sucking up to the car/mouse/fonctionaire guys, eh? I'm seriously considering baking them a cake in the hopes that they won't screw up my experiments next time...

Beaver said...

Great idea Vick! I've been sending pictures from the field and other cool stuff to the IT guys at work and actually got my email storage increased. Sucking up works !

007 in Africa said...

Giovani--a proper Samurai would commit suicide. This car is just too proud to do so. But it will die on its own soon enough.

Elizabeth--you are very right. It's better to have a piece of shit than none at all...

Beanblog--Yikes! That's so scary. Good thing I've already quit my job :)

Bob--At this point, I'd rather drive the piece of shit than flirt with the car guy :)

Vicky--baking a cake is not a bad idea...Or maybe you can just ask them nicely to make efforts and explain the trouble you have to go to to relabel your mice. Or better: do both.

jke said...

Oh yeah but the Suzuki SJ413/Samurai/Jimni is also very fuel efficient and still strongly demanded by upcountry folks. It might not be the best car due to its bumpy driving behaviour or uncomfy interior (hey, I am 6,3 and this car is way too small for me), but I have never come across a smiliar car which can be repaired that easily.

Now, how come these rubber plugs in the bottom always get lost?