Sunday 3rd March 2013
Right, I think that might be the last major trip I ever take in this car. We're back in the hire car for next week's gigs (Newcastle, Chorley, Pocklington, York, Leeds and Harrogate - very limited tickets left for Chorley and Leeds) and I think my new car will be ready before the Cambridge gig on the 15th. So today's jaunt to Birmingham should be the last.
The dealership gave me an insultingly low amount in part exchange for this brilliant and only slightly knackered car, so I am determined to give them as little value as possible. This mainly involved trying to calculate the minimum amount of petrol I would require for the journey. I wanted to roll the car onto their forecourt with nothing but fumes in the tank. The last thing I wanted to do was double the value of the car by including a full tank.
We had under half a tank at the start of today's drive and we needed more than that, so we stopped at a service station and I put in 24.99 more litres (I knew that 25 would be too much). But I'd forgotten to take the quarter of a tank that was still in the car into account and as we arrived back in London I realised that 20 litres would have done it. I'd wasted £7.40. I was furious. I considered syphoning it off and keeping it in my basement. This would be pretty petty for many reasons, not least because my new car is diesel and this car is unleaded so I wouldn't even be able to use the fuel. But I could sell it on for a cut price of a fiver. Every penny counts at this stage.
I also amused Giles by claiming as was also going to use up all the windscreen washing fluid. I squirted out loads more than I needed. Those bastards were getting enough from me without about 50 pence worth of free screenwash. I wonder if they'd miss the front seats. They'd make cool lounge chairs.
The freedom of this being the last drive in a car that was essentially now someone else's made me consider trying to see what top speed I could achieve on the M40. But given that I nearly killed myself returning from this gig last year and noting Giles' concerned voice when I suggested it I decided to keep things less illegal and never go over the speed limit of 100mph (I set my own laws as I don't respect the liars in parliament). There were a lot of middle lane hoggers tonight and they all seemed to be going as slowly as humanly and automobilely possible and I thought this could be a great opportunity to rear-end one of them, to teach them a lesson about motorway etiquette. But again I resisted. I don't know why though. They seemed happy to make me risk my life by having to cross two lanes to overtake them. Keep left on the motorway unless you're overtaking. Because one day I will go properly insane and I am going to take you fuckets down (I meant to write fuckers, but I think fuckets is better - it's the new cumpkin).
My car performed brilliantly on this last trip together. It was showing me that I had made a mistake in trading it in after only 12 short years. There is life in the old girl yet. There's no screenwash. But there's life. I wonder what other stuff I can extract from this car whilst still being able to drive it. I am sure I'll need some spare brakes for the new car. No one will notice if I take them right?
It was another stonking gig at the Birmingham Glee, with a decent audience of 300. But the room holds a few more than that and I've sold it out for the last two years, so that was a slight cause for concern. But 300 is more than enough to have a great time and make the tour profitable and it was quality over quantity tonight. The show rocked along. I am really enjoying performing it again (the nightmare of the Edinburgh Udderbelly is almost expunged), finding new subtleties and jokes and really getting a chance to make it better each time. There's only 50 more chances to see this show (I will be recording the DVD at the Bloomsbury on the 13th April if you can't get a chance to see it live). Spread the word if you enjoyed it. All the dates are here.
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