Author: Holmes Charnley
Sutton Park in that delightful industrial Mecca that is Birmingham always makes me think of seeds. Sutton's Seeds.
I lack the fundamental basics when it comes to knowledge of cars, their engines, what makes them go. I put the key in the ignition, I turn it and if it doesn't work, I'll calmly get out and try the key in another car's ignition. Only joking. Basically, if it doesn't work, I'll shrug, get out, stick out my thumb and get a lift with someone who has a car who has a key that seemed to work that morning. Or something.
Now batteries exist not only in torches that you find in the boots of cars, but actually, I have since learnt, exist in engines as well and need to remain fully charged.
So, when me and my sweetheart used to go and drive to Sutton Park (see, there is logic to this piece) and feel all clandestine and excited, if it was raining we would sit in the car until the rain had passed. We were remarkably lucky with our clandestineness cos the weather would as a rule hold out for us. A passing shower was the only dampener to our ardour.
But on one particularly wet Thursday, our ardour was well and truly brought to an abrupt halt by that most typical of Britishy weathers, a drizzle. Not a monsoon. Just a wistful drizzle. We retired back to the car from the bushes and sat. And sat.
Time to put the radio on. Well, the weather stayed the same, and a couple of hours later it was time for us to go our separate ways. However, having the radio on for two or so hours had made the key used to turn the engine on not work.
I'm courting a lady here and am in a tight spot. She sagely informs me that the battery has gone flat, due to our having been playing the radio whilst the car has been parked.
I nod. I nod in a way as to suggest that she will be telling me more. No. That would appear to be that. The battery has gone flat. I thought some words of wisdom would make it not be flat, but no, something will have to be done.
Then the sun comes out. Had it come from behind the clouds a couple of hours earlier, the engine would now be working. I think the sun might actually be smirking, but I can't be sure.
Sweetheart passes me some thick pieces of cable, so we can be towed. As I walk over to a nearby car to ask for assistance, I hear her tell me that they are "jump leads." I've heard of these.
Well, fortunately, at this point, I learn that she isn't entirely sure which nasty bit is the positive, which is negative. I feel on level terms again, though awkward. The couple in the car I had been approaching are watching. I can do one of two things here. I can endanger myself considerably, or simper inanely, allowing the man in the other car to impress his girlfriend no end with his knowledge of electrical currents.
My simper melts him. He's only too pleased to attach the leads correctly, rev his engine to the point where I'm frightened and impress his girlfriend into the bargain. His ability to have his car remain stationary whilst he depresses the accelerator to the level that would have had him pulled over on the motorway, had he been in gear, causes the blonde in his passenger seat to visibly swoon with delight. She's impressed.
Turns out my sweetheart was more impressed that I didn't know how to sort out a flat battery...
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