Shhh! Just between you and me, Ned’s on a secret mission to the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying that Shag is involved, but let’s just say that it involves secret caches of Maketu Pies behind enemy lines. To cover my undercover moments, I’ve selected a few choice moments from the Road To Redemption.
Originally published 11 May 2011
We once owned the worst car in the world. A Yugo.
Let me say, in my defence, at the outset, that I did not buy it: MrsDavy did. She had started a real job while I was still bumming at university, so really it was her money and I was just along for the ride.
And what a ride. The gearbox appeared to have been made out of concrete and barbed wire. The ride quality was right up there with tractors and wheelbarrows, and the windscreen wipers were particularly good for absolutely nothing. It had all the acceleration of a bicycle with flat tyres.
The Yugo was one of those remnants of the Cold War: made in Yugoslavia based on old Fiat technology. (Old as in medieval. Old as in broken. Old as in we don’t use it any more.) It was briefly famous as the preferred vehicle of the brutish paramilitaries on all sides of the Yugoslav civil wars of the 1990s.
But, as you can imagine, it was cheap. Cheap to buy (MrsDavy bought hers for a packet of chewing gum from the bloke who had bought it new) and cheap to run: not having any power, it didn’t need much petrol. We eventually used it as a trade-in when we bought a real car: perhaps the only time I’ve felt pity for a used-car salesman who had to fight to keep a straight face while I pointed out the many fine features of such a rare, European-designed sports car.
Never mind: as we tootled in our carefree manner down the motorway, ignoring the tailbacks building up behind us wanting to go at something more than walking pace, we amused ourselves by singing loudly and badly that old kiwi classic: