So anyway, there’s Helpful Partner traipsing round the local county town looking for tubo (hose) for this 50-year-old Bedford truck.
The local recambios place (spare parts, winch cables, hydraulic hoses among others) is pretty versatile, but it didn’t have the right diameter hose. They are always helpful guys though – and they gave directions to a competing motor factor – even though they were risking losing some trade.
This was on the industrial estate, and full of mechanics buying parts on trade accounts. It was basically aimed at trucks. Small ones, large ones, but all trucks. And they had the tubo.
So Helpful Partner dropped Bedford Truck Man (BTM) off at the beach so he could replace the pipe between the air intake and the oil bath.
The next day, he went down the beach to see if BTM had sorted it and could get off on his travels.
Apparently he couldn’t.
He had fired up the engine, it sounded good and the fan promptly flew off the end of the water pump and straight through the radiator.
This was not good. Helpful Partner had taken down a couple of beers so they had a drink and a chat.
Then BTM offered Helpful Partner some wine (neither of them had any beer left). Not being much of a wine-drinker he said no.
So then he offered him Tequila. The bottle was nearly empty so when they finished that they moved onto a bottle of Mezcal. Tequila-type stuff with a worm in the bottom. But Helpful Partner didn’t know that until they had polished off that bottle too and BTM offered him the “worm”. To eat.
Well, right-on vegetarians don’t eat worms or any sort of similar grubs. They aren’t too keen on polishing off nearly half a bottle of spirit and find it has been fermenting with some dead grub inside it. Drowned. Pickled. Whatever.
He politely refused and was secretly pleased he had started to pour some of his Mezcal into BTM’s glass. Hence he was slightly less the worse for wear than he could have been. And he managed to walk home.
Somewhere in the midst of this grubby Mezcal story, they decided the next day they (ie Helpful Partner) would go and look for a rad at the local scrapyards.
That was worse than useless so then they asked about recoring the rad. And they were given directions to a workshop in the local market town again.
So when they eventually found it, the guys at the workshop promised to ring back later that day. This is Spain. When I rang, it turned out they were waiting for someone else to get back to them. The next day they rang. SEVEN HUNDRED EUROS.
BTM nearly died. Actually we all nearly died and it wasn’t even our rad. They agreed to pick up the rad the next day. Unrepaired. BTM thought it would be cheaper to source one from the UK, including carriage. They both forgot the next day was Saturday.
Fast forward to Monday. BTM turned up at our house. The police were getting increasingly difficult about the fact that the truck was still parked at the beach. (Technically illegal although done all the time – especially at Spanish fiestas). The police told them to move on which is difficult with a broken-down truck. BTM wanted to collect his damaged-beyond-economic-repair rad from the market town. Immediately.
Helpful Partner was out on his bike though. I didn’t know when he was coming back, and if he had stopped for a beer on his bike he wouldn’t be driving when he returned. So I told BTM this and said he might want to think about getting on the bus. Less than a euro and five/ten mins walk from the bus station to the rad workshop.
Meanwhile, unknown to me, Helpful Partner had called down the beach to see what was going on. He spoke to Bedford Truck Woman, and then managed to catch up with BTM who was by now making a fruitless journey to what he thought was a scrapyard but is actually a builders’ merchants that happens to use old trucks.
“Why don’t you get the bus?” said the Helpful Partner, repeating my words telepathically like a parrot. He had stopped for a beer in town. BTM was not impressed, he did not want to get the bus, but he wanted his rad. He didn’t want the police towing him off either. And taking him to court, leaving his 18-month-old daughter and his woman without a roof over their head.