June 29, 2014 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in The Littlehampton Gazette on June 19th. 2014
THE MOST used phrase by a driver car with a problem is ‘my car is making a funny noise’ not, ‘I have got something wrong with the transmission, the alternator or the whatchamacallit.’ Reason is that most of us nowadays haven’t a clue what goes on under the bonnet of our cars – I couldn’t even find the hood release when the mechanic asked me to open it when, last week, I took my car in with some strange noise emitting from its front end. Noise is our thing and we do know a bang, a hiss, a groan or a cry for help when we hear it. Back in the day drivers knew a great deal more about their engines and would be as readily handy with a wrench as the average mechanic and tinkering with greasy things was a national Sunday morning pastime.
HAVE you ever had the nightmare of renewing a passport? This is my third so you would think they might know me by now but, no, still got to tell them who I am and the numbers of previous passports, if you can find them. I thought as we are long standing members of the EU, should I even need one? The boxes are tiny and feint, the questions ridiculously confusing and the language unforgiving. Ruined four forms, not all my fault though my signature went a millimetre out of one box, signed the wrong box on another and my guarantor screwed up as he was decidedly uncertain that the miserable looking sod in the photograph was actually his cheerful neighbour of twenty years, the cat walked across one with muddy paws and I lost my temper altogether with the fourth before deciding to cough up the extra pounds and to get the post office clerk to run over it. Now I sit and wait, fretfully hoping that the renewal will return in time for my French holiday else I am off to North Devon.
MY RECENT post on Flashback, Littlehampton that the dedication plaque on the new Stage by the Sea had been nicked produced 72 comments from ‘round up the usual suspects’ to ‘an old person did it and ran away’ plus a whole load of advice on parenting, however, not a soul appeared to mourn its passing!