I needed not guess as to what was causing the loud grinding noise emanating from the rear of the old model Hyundai Tiburon, as I road tested on my way to the Car Wash, my imagination and experience was sufficient. After many decades of diagnosing and repairing every kind of motor car, such a sound, to an engineer’s ear, sees bearings, gears and shafts being, eventually, reduced to powder inside the vehicle’s powerhouse or drive train!
That surface should be perfectly smooth and shiny but this bearing has ground itself out! Catastrophic failure is the usual result!
I made a u turn at the first opportunity and, tail between my legs, retreated back to the Gold, now turned Salt mine, to sus which bearing had failed. The right rear wheel bearing, it turned out, had started the self destruction process through lack of lubricant, on assembly those many years ago and a pothole or two probably adding to the accelerated wear and tear process. How we didn’t pick it up in the service procedure, I can only blame myself for not spinning the wheels and listening for that familiar rumble!
The Jacksons blamed it on the Boogie, I blamed myself!
Later the same day, after an invite from Mamma and da kids to join them for Sushi, saw me driving a Kia Picanto with the left rear door mirror removed, driving down the same stretch of road, using the interior rear view to spot vehicles behind me, but having to use my imagination as to what was on the left of the South Korean built runabout! I made it safely, past the Car Wash and carried on up the hill toward our sushi joint and approaching the traffic lights at the top of the hill, I had to use my imagination, in earnest, for the second time that day!
An array of rear view mirrors is useful on African roads! Spotting one of these magnificent Rhinos in your door mirror is guaranteed to give you the Hurry Up!
The road was awash with liquid and anyone used to the collapsed services of municipal Johannesburg, would immediately imagine that the liquid was from an overflowing sewer, burst sewer pipe and never from the gardener back washing the pool! The Kia Picanto, el cheapo car that it is, has electric front windows and pulling in my, in danger of being contaminated with ecoli infested water elbow, my grease ingrained index finger immediately went for the up switch on the driver’s door arm rest. Just as the window closed the gap ‘tween glass and frame a whiff hit my nose, confirming that my imagination was spot on. Effluent was running down hill toward the Car Wash!
With clean elbow I triumphantly greeted Mama and da kids and armed with chock en bloc full glasses of wine we ordered our favourite sushi treats. Within minutes loud altercation noises emanated from the kitchen of our sushi joint causing all of our imaginations to run riot, Knowing the Chinese manageress’ small child was in the kitchen with the child minder, I asked if I should investigate and or intervene! With that she disappeared into the kitchen, reappearing minutes later with her wee bairn in her arms, followed soon after by the various kitchen staff, waitress and an obviously out of favour child minder, all of whom were in various states of stress and distress, after an obviously calm, but firm intervention !
To this day our imaginations still run riot trying to think just what could have gone down in that kitchen.
Now, even more recently, an event that has happened to many South Africans and will leave you imagining what might have happened to the victims and the motor car.
A good Kiwi friend, who shall remain nameless was held hostage in his house at 4am on Sunday morning by three armed robbers, who shall also remain nameless, thanks to an inefficient and seemingly complicit SAPS. After an hour of trauma and ransacking the three drove off in my buddy’s Kia Sorento loaded with everything of value from the house, only to dump the car a couple of streets away, next to the undergrowth on a river’s edge. As the three unloaded their booty, a SAPS vehicle came across them carrying of all things a large screen LED TV and after a few shots were exchanged the three melted into the tangled bush and gloomy dawn light.
My victim friend arrived at the scene with a brother who had come to his assistance and happened upon three obvious, probably armed suspects, who walked off at a fast pace, soon outstripping him uphill and disappearing into the streets of Randburg. A passing SAPS was hailed for assistance but they were actually on their way to the stolen vehicle to arrange a tow truck. They were unable to give chase.
The tow truck arrived and as my victim friend only had a spare key, albeit with a dead battery, he allowed the tow truck to load the Sorento. My victim friend with another Kiwi buddy who had rocked up to his assistance were informed that once the forensics were complete the vehicle was to be towed to the SAPS Car Pound in Lenasia, where it must remain for three days. The two expatriate New Zealanders asked for the address of the Pound, which was refused, and they were told to rather follow the tow truck, which was being escorted by a SAPS vehicle. They argued with the Policemen that the Sorento would be stripped in the infamous Lenasia Car Pound, only to be told that the Car Pound had 18 surveillance cameras, and the vehicle would be safe.
Eventually the convoy took off only to be stopped at a red traffic light. They were in the lane to travel straight ahead, with the two very worried Kiwis behind a car that had slipped in front of them. Suddenly, the tow truck and SAPS vehicle, as if glued together, turned right defying the Red light and drove off at speed toward the N1 Highway. Not ones to take shit from pixies, but bred as law abiding citizens, the Kiwis waited out the green signal then raced after the getaway tow truck and it’s official tail. They caught them up in the merging lane onto the Highway.
Tow truck with recovered vehicle, or booty for the second time that day!
Patient following on the N1 then ensued until the convoy turned off at the Lenasia turnoff. Another attempt to lose the Kiwis occurred at the next intersection with a red traffic light, but the two from 45 degrees South had wizened up to their supposed assistance team and managed to see the convoy safely to the Lenasia Car Pound.
Here the two had to split up with the mobile Kiwi driving off to find a 2032 battery for the dead spare ignition key, and the victim Kiwi staying as close a possible to his vehicle. After a quick trip into The Lenasia Hub, mobile KIwi arrived back with the prize and once inserted into the spare key they fired up the Sorento. Taking the Kia away became even more important, now that it was running.
The 2032 coin battery used in many car’s smart keys! Tip, always keep a spare!
The staff seemed adamant that the vehicle must stay at the Pound and “that is that”. Getting telephonic advice from those who had been bitten, and lost all, and from legal minds who knew what might ensue should the car not be released, the Kiwis refused to back down. It was also very obvious that there was not one surveillance camera at the Pound. Eventually after a consultation with a Person with authority who had to endure a heated telephonic conversation with a Loud Voice, the Person with authority declared that the vehicle was not reported as stolen and after filling in the correct forms, victim Kiwi and his buddy, now both mobile Kiwis, were allowed to race away from what might have been the place where my friend’s car was last seen. Just use your imagination!
Who ever heard of Belouis Some? I always thought Imagination was a David Bowie song:
St Vincent School For The Deaf helping the hard of hearing to listen:
Down Durban way The Fulton School for The Deaf:
Abraham Kriel Childcare group, caring while we work: