An Expense Hat Trick

IFine‘m currently saving up for my holiday this August and have even been doing weekend overtime at work. This is totally unheard of so is a great indicator of my dedication and determination.

Things were going quite well, but things never run entirely smoothly for me. As always, shit happened.

My car was due it’s MOT in June and last year it had received an advisory on the shock-absorbers, which all had a light misting of oil on them indicating that they would need replacing in the not-so-far-away future.

I took my car for it’s pre-MOT service and the mechanic warned me that two of the shock-absorbers were an MOT failure and that a third one was debatable. Also, one of the springs needed replacing.

I had the work done at a cost of £350.00, which was a bit of a kick in the bollocks but cars cost money and mine has otherwise always been reliable, so I can’t really complain. Plus, I had an inkling that something like that would need doing after last year’s MOT, so at least I was semi prepared for it.

I took the car back for a re-test and was gobsmacked to find out that it failed the MOT again, but this time because one of the springs hadn’t been seated properly! I went back to the mechanic who was very apologetic until he took the suspension apart and found that the spring was also broken (which he blamed for it not being seated properly). A new spring was ordered and replaced at a cost of £50.00. Annoying.

The car went for it’s second re-test and passed.

Just prior to the MOT farce, I broke my phone whilst trying to fix it. It was entirely my own fault and I guess that’s what happens when you pull technology apart. The whole screen needed replacing and could be repaired at a cost of £35.00, which is far cheaper than the excess payment on my mobile phone insurance. I’m still convinced that a cable had simply become detached but as I couldn’t get to it, I have no way of questioning the repair.

The screen was replaced and I was really chuffed that my phone was fully functional again. It’s just a shame that horizontal, flickering lines have now appeared constantly on the screen, so now I have to take it back for it to be fixed again. Another expense and another bodged, inconvenient repair.

Finally, on my last day in Edinburgh, I was caught by a pair of council wombles dropping some gum down a drain. Ordinarily, I would put gum and any other litter in the bin, but there were literally no bins anywhere along the whole length of the road I was walking down. I know it’s naughty and also disgusting, so I can’t blame anyone.

The council wombles came after me and told me I was going to receive a fine of £80.00. Awesome.

Because I’ve never been in that sort of situation before, I didn’t know whether or not the police would be called if I refused to cooperate or if I wouldn’t provide identification, so I truthfully provided my name and address.

I wish I hadn’t have been so honest.

I wasn’t asked for any identification and wasn’t even given a second glance as one of the council wombles noted my particulars. I could have provided absolutely any name (my favourite alias is Reginald Fenwick) and any address and I wouldn’t have had to have worried about a poxy fine.

 The fine had to be paid within 14 days, so I paid it yesterday (on the 13th day) to keep hold of my Finemoney for as long as possible. When I rang Edinburgh Council to pay the fine, the jolly-sounding Scot who answered the phone asked how he could help. I told him that I needed to pay a fine and his exact response was “ooohhhhhhhhhh”. I quickly alleviated his concern and acknowledged his sympathy by reassuring him that although £80.00 could probably buy a house in Scotland, I was from the south of England where £80.00 was a relatively small amount. Bizarrely, he was quite curt with me after that.

At the end of the call, I thanked him for taking my money from me. The line went dead without a further word from the previously jolly-sounding Scot.

So, in the last two weeks that I’ve been doing overtime to save up some money, I’ve spent £540.00 (including £25.00 on my crap pay-as-you-go-phone), which is probably more than the amount of money I’ve earned from the overtime.

Fucking awesome.

Do you want to buy a ninja kidney?

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