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The International Writers Magazine
:
Never leave your car alone in London
From the Archives

Car Thieves
Alice Vonsimson

So, Saturday was the big day.
Two driving tests taken when I was living in Hawaii had come back with negative results due to technical problems (wasn't sure which pedal was the brake), poor preparation (confused about whether red lights were suggestions or orders) and acts of god (suicidal mongoose under the wheels), so naturally I was a little nervous.

Pic: New Lots Road London -


This time, however I had taken the rather drastic step of having a few lessons and was carefully armed with all of the necessary tools for success-
1. Very short dress.
2. Several litres of fake tan.
3. Bikini wax (it was a VERY short dress)
4. Padded bra, enhanced with the addition of several sports socks and a roll of toilet paper.

My instructor was mildly surprised by my new look, but I took his mind off it by almost crashing twice on the way to the test centre and then backing his car into a bollard on arrival. The Gods, however, were smiling down upon me and my examiner was a good, old-fashioned lech, so most of my test was spent bumbling slowly around residential streets, whilst he peered up my skirt. The few manouvres that were asked of me were executed poorly to say the least, but none of this was marked on my score sheet. He even overlooked my interpretation of the speed limits, too slow when passing shop windows, too fast when passing unattractive housing estates.

Forty minutes of shameless flirting later, we pulled up outside the test centre and Patrick said that I had passed. HA! The fool! So now I have a license when I can't even drive.

Naturally I was keen to take advantage of my new 'skills' as soon as possible, so in the afternoon I decided to take my German cousins to visit some traditional British monuments.  It was surprisingly easy to find a parking space right by Harrods.  But, when we returned to the spot where I had left the car a few hours of retail therapy later, we were horrified to find that it had vanished, miraculously, into thin air.
"My car has been stolen!" I wailed in panic at passers by, only to remember that it was not in fact my car, but big, German Daddy's car, which I had borrowed without asking. "We must call the police", a German cousin cried as we raced up and down the street in search of witnesses.

As hope was fading and a telephone call to the boys in blue seemed imminent a rasping voice croaked out from an alleyway. "I know where your car is".
"Where?" I shouted "For the love of God, please tell me!"
"It was taken, about ten minutes ago by two men with a big truck." He continued, "If you go down to Lots Road, you may just catch them."

German cousins were late for a Burlesque show and had to leave, so I was left, single handed to apprehend the vile criminals that had nicked my ride AND the cousins’ Duty Free that was stashed in the boot (which included important presents such as cigarettes and perfume for me!).

I arrived at the dead-end street, just as it started to rain. The joint was deserted, I was cold, wet and frightened, but I banged on the metal doors until they were opened by a big, hairy man, who pulled me roughly inside.
"I believe you have something that belongs to me, sir and I shall not be leaving until you give it back" I said in my most commanding voice.
"Two hundred pounds," he mumbled in an accent I could barely decipher.
"WHAT???" I cried, aghast.
"Two hundred pounds," he repeated, "and I need to see your driving license."
"Piss off, you revolting freak and give me my car back." I demanded, losing my temper. "How dare you try to charge me a ransom?"
"You have spirit, I like that" he replied, baring rotten teeth in what may have been an attempt at a smile. "But that won't work here. Pay up, or leave."
"You are a poisonous, little cretin" I spat, "and I hope you die of syphillis", but I reached for my purse nonetheless as time was running out, if I were to slip Big Daddy's car back into his parking space before he got home from work.
"Thank you" he dribbled, "Your car is in bay C10, please sign here." I scrawled the word 'arsehole' in my curliest writing, hoping it would pass for a signature and waited for some other troll to take me to my poor, terrified car.

When we were finally reunited I barely recognised it. "What have they done to you?" I breathed in horror. Its glossy black paintwork was shrouded with flourescent yellow stickers, and its windscreen wipers, which once stood at a jaunty angle, were deformed by a bunch of plastic envelopes, which had been stuffed roughly beneath them.
"AUTHORISED FOR REMOVAL" the biggest sticker proclaimed.

I snatched as many of the stickers and envelopes as I could carry in my arms and threw them onto the back seat. Then I leapt into the car and screeched off as fast as I could. Quasimodo leered and waved in an inappropriately jaunty fashion, so I flicked him ten kinds of V-sign and tried to clip him with my wing-mirror as I shot past.
"Next time", he shouted after me, "Park in a proper parking space."

But I wasn't listening. Sad love songs blared from my radio as I suddenly realised-
I was ALL BY MYSELF IN A CAR FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, AND I DIDN'T KNOW MY WAY HOOOOME!
If you have been affected by this heart wrenching tale then please show your support by writing to: Lots Road Car Pound
63 Lots Road,
London,, SW10
United Kingdom
and tell them how mean they are.

© Sad, broke Alice Vonsimson Jan 2007

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