The key to the keys

Being absolutely perfect *flapping lashes at elevation speed* I try not to discriminate against the … shall we say … less perfect people around me. AKA my husband. The father of my children.


I have to say that I’m not completely blaming him for the shortcoming I am about to explain to you in some detail. He is genetically programmed that way. It is a Grové male thing. His father and brother does the same thing and it drives their wives crazy too!

First some background.  Buckle in.  This is going to take a while.

At the moment we have two vehicles parked in our garage.  Neither is ours.

You may know by now that I drive an A160 (2000 model, fire engine red, automatic).  Wouter used to drive an Isuzu bakkie but earlier this year my dad decided that he wanted to sell his Mercedes Vito (8 seater minibus type van).  At the same time the bakkie was starting to cost more in maintenance than a new car would’ve.  That nasty stage between 250 000 and 300 000 km where everything seems to need replacing. So we sold the bakkie and bought the Vito.  Now for the first time in years we are paying a car – we lived in payed-up-bliss for a long time.

Of course getting a more expensive car means that the insurance also goes up.  But I am so glad we have insurance.  Because two weeks ago (24 November @ 11:45 to be exact) I reversed out of our garage.  The same garage that I’ve been reversing out of the 7 years that we’ve lived in this house.  And after 7 years of negotiating the same obstacles (nothing – it is a clear approach) I managed to make contact with the neighbours’ tree.  The neighbours on the opposite side of the street.  A tree that I  haven’t been close to at any time in the past 7 years. 

But this time I made perfect contact.  The one day that I wasn’t in a hurry, wasn’t dealing with the kids screaming behind me (Carien and I were fetching Boeta from school – she was sitting quietly strapped into her chair), didn’t have to dodge the dog (suicidal tendencies there – will have to tell you someday) and had nothing at all distracting me.  Obviously that doesn’t agree with me because this is what the bus looked like afterwards.


So the bus went in to get repaired last week and I will only get it back tomorrow.  We are using my mom’s bakkie in the meantime.  This is the one “strange” vehicle in our garage.

The A160, better known as Lightning McQueen, isn’t home either.  Jane, a friend of mine, went jungle gymming like a 12 year old and proved that an adult doesn’t fall like a 12 year old does.  She broke her left leg.  Which left her unable to drive a manual car.  Since Lightning is automatic we arranged a  car exchange of sorts.  😉  She is driving my car and we have hers* – the other “strange” car.

Yesterday Wouter drove to work in the bakkie.  When it was time for school I loaded the whole trek into the Fiat – to find out that the key was missing. 

Whenever a key goes missing in this house I know where to look for the guilty party.  Wouter has a way (as does his father and his brother) of putting keys in pockets and then forgetting about them. 

I immediately looked in the laundry basket, going through the pockets of all the trousers I could find.  No luck.  So I phone him.  And he doesn’t answer.  I phone again.  Starting to fume now because it is also a well known Wouter thing to put his phone on silent or just turn it off and be unreachable.  Again he doesn’t answer.  He says it never rang.  I finally reach him on his office number. 

W:  (cheerfully)  Hallo Bokkie!

S:  (abrupt)  Do you have any ideas about where the Fiat’s key is?

W:  (defensive) I don’t have it.

S:  (I can hear him digging through his stuff because he too suspects that he has the key)  How sure are you about that?

W:  (not so cheerful)  Oh here it is.  In my pocket.

S:  (letting the silence speak)

W:  (contrite)  Sorry Bokkie.  Can you make another plan?

So I phone my mom to bring her car over so that I can get the children to school.  Carien’s last day of school at this playschool, so quite important.  But my mom’s car has a flat battery.  So flat that once it was jumped you couldn’t take your foot off the fuel pedal or it would die.  So no go there too.

In the end I highjacked Jan’s (a family friend who was visiting) bakkie to get the kids to school.  And I phoned Wouter and ordered him to get the key home.  I don’t ever order Wouter.  We don’t have that kind of relationship.  We ask.  We bribe.  We negotiate.  We don’t order. 

But I ordered.  And he obeyed.  He was that deep into the dogbox.

My day (and my mood) perked up quite a lot once I had the keys.  It is really hard to get anything done when you don’t have a car available.  I will never ever (or not soon anyway) take my car for granted again.

And I won’t take Wouter for granted either.  Where else will I find a husband who not only listens to me**, but gives me lots to write about? 

I love you Babes!  🙂

* A Fiat Grande Punto.  I am so impressed with this car.  It is light but solid.  Quiet.  Easy to drive.  I never thought a Fiat could feel this good!  🙂

**Sometimes.  If he feels like it.


7 Responses

  1. I read this post really fast, it was like a cliff-hanger… I was wondering how it would end, and whether it was a drama, comedy or saga – all 3 I think in the end! 🙂

    Suzanne you are such a gem. I love you too bits! *Mwa*

    Glad you like Luigi. I am kind of fond of him too. Fiats are actually surprisingly lovely and have amazing features for their price range.

    let me know when you guys want Lightning Mc Queen back. I was able to take some steps on my leg yesterday! WooHoo, and cast will be off soon. So exciting.

    Thank-you thank-you thank-you. I too will never take my car or independence for granted again.

    ❤ x ❤ x ❤

  2. Hiya Suzanne – You don’t know me from a bar of soap, althought I have left a few messages when your posts have realllllllly touched me – which is fairly often…You seem to be back – and I am glad – Missed you – I t makes me wander, what kind of life do I have if I miss an “0n-line” life, but I think it is just interest in other peoples stories…I recently started blogging and hope to one day be able to put all the little details of my own life on my blog as well as you do ….Lots of love – Linda-Maree

  3. lmao! Baie, baie bly om weer updates van jou te kry. Ek stem 100% saam met Lida Maree.

    o, en nou weet jy hoekom ek al amper 10 jaar my fiat het. 🙂

  4. Oepsidaisy :)!!!

  5. Eish – so dekselse boom wat nie sy wortels en takke vir homself kan hou nie! :)Het ook die updates baie gemis – amper begin wonder of jy die rand vd aardbol ontdek het en die flying ding gedoen het!

  6. Suz.. you make me laugh so much! Thank you for being comic relief with real life stories! You know I love you!!

  7. ok I am reading your “blog” to learn how to “blog” … but hells this was funny!!!!! Theresa

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