Baby you can drive my car

Shit! My car has just told me it needs a service! It didn't speak obviously - but it did leave a message which repeats every time I turn the ignition.
This is worrying because after years of being in the ignoble position of perpertual second-car ownership (Mini Cooper – good; Mini Metro – shite and accident prone; Ford Escort – good and awful depending on the weather; Peugeot 405 – not bad but ugly; VW Golf – best car ever; Frontera – ridiculous, why oh why?; new BMW Mini Cooper – oh just grow up!; Audi A4 – God I feel old).
However, few things (and remember I once stopped a runaway horse on my own – and impressed my mother no end as it tried to run down Main Street, Menston, West Yorkshire) make me feel less manly than getting my car serviced. On some level, I feel I should be doing that stuff myself, but I struggle to even open the bonnet (the hood for our ex-Colonial friends).
I can point at the tyres and say: “Tyres”. I can even point at the engine and say: “Engine”. But I suspect that will not impress the service engineer (as they are called now) or lowly Grease Monkey (which I much prefer).
The appointment starts thus on the phone:
Me: "I'd like to get my car serviced. It's an A4." (This in the tone of a man who seems to know what he is talking about.)
Grease Monkey: "What year is it?"
Me: "Um... I don't know."
Grease Monkey: "What? You don't know the year your car was made?"
Me: “No. Does anyone? Does it matter?”
Grease Monkey: “Not really but if we need to order parts it’s useful to know.”
Me: “I’ve only had it about year – what can have gone wrong with the parts? The car told me to get in touch with you.”
Grease Monkey can already sense my fear and stupidity and at this point in the telephone conversation, I hope the kids burst in to tell me how well they are doing in Total Combat with their new mate in Moscow and can I come and look at their score. It doesn’t happen.
Now at this point it worries me I am taking advice from my car about when it gets serviced - in the past I only had them serviced when they broke down - but what do I know?
When I take the car in, the people at Audi (Wakefield by the way) are very professional but treat me like a mechanical idiot – which is very good judgment on their side. But they ooze so much automotive testosterone, even the woman, who appears to have watched too much Top Gear and believes that Jeremy Clarkson is some sort of style icon even with that hair cut. As a result I just curl up into the usual foetal position
So, in a service driven economy – I just keep my mouth shut and pay up the £400-odd requested with no idea what I have paid for. But hey! The windscreen wipers don’t make that noise anymore.

Sorry about this but the internal combustion engine pisses me off!

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