Monday, June 09, 2008


On Saturday morning I jumped into my car to go out for breakfast, but when I turned the key it refused to start. I tried several times, but it just ticked at me like an annoyed chicken, with an occasional garumph as the engine tried, and failed, to turn over. I think the starter motor has died.

Not an issue, I thought, for I have alternate means of mobility! I got out of the car and onto my scooter, and for the rest of the weekend it served me well, even as I had to ride all over the city running various errands.

The downside of this arrangement hit this morning when it came time to go to work. Overnight the sunny winter weather had evolved into a wild storm, with drenching rain and windblown debris billowing across the roads. Ordinarily on days like this I'd take the car to work, but with it out of commission I had no choice but to rug up and jump on the scooter.

It was the worst commute I've ever had... and that includes the time the brakes locked up on an oil patch and dumped me onto the bitumen. It rained constantly, soaking through my raincoat, my suit and my shirt, and pooling water in my shoes. As if that wasn't bad enough, when I rode out onto an unprotected street, the howling gale threatened to pick me up and toss me into passing traffic. I actually had to ride the length of Riverside Drive at 20kph on the deserted cyclepath, since doing the speed limit on the road risked getting knocked over by the wind, and not doing the speed limit risked getting hit by irate drivers in the peak hour traffic. I arrived at work stressed and cold and more water than man.

Fortunately the climate control in my office is malfunctioning, blasting overheated air down through the ceiling vents. Thus my shirt and pants are now, four hours later, almost dry. However my jacket, raincoat and shoes are still soaked.

I've booked a man to come and to look at the car tomorrow morning. Judging from the price he quoted me, he will be hitting my engine with diamond-studded wrenches and solid gold spanners, while his personal string quartet serenades him from the back of his Maybach. But whatever he charges will be a small price to pay for not having that psycho-commute again.


Blogger MC Etcher said...

Can you define what you meant by "rug up"? Is it colorful slang, or a typo?

8:02 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

I guess it must be an Australianism. It means to don warm clothes.

Although technically I suppose it could also mean to put on one's most appropriate wig.

Both meanings are relevant in this particular instance as I rode to work wearing my scarf and coat and a blonde Amy Winehouse number.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous TroyG said...

I sympathise with your discombobulation: I too have felt the elements seeking to ingratitate themselves with me via osmosis. Soaking socks and squelching shoes are particularly lamentable.

As for "rug up", putting on a wig would probably be "Rug on". This is also the referee's call to players of rugby league who think that they've made 6 tackles not 5, and that there should a scrimmage. "Rug ahoy" is the call of one spotting the first kind of "Rug on" applique.

11:11 AM  

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