My batmobile recently lost the will to live, and normally the passing of such a majestic steed (which had reliably carried its owner for almost a decade) would elicit a respectful amount of mourning, maybe a poem to mark the occasion, perhaps a small plaque on the side of my house or a flower wreath to mark the spot where it fell. But no, the red git decided to go loco in the middle of Buckingham town centre, so no big send off in this instance.
Talk about choosing your perfect moment.
Minutes before its seizure I had picked up Captain Bahookie (sibling) from his house, we’d completed a ninja raid on Tesco’s (other supermarkets of equally world dominating size are available) for juice and nibbles, and the two of us were in the batmobile on our way to see The Mothership (self explanatory, unless you’re an Area51 advocate, in which case the truth is out there), our appetites suitably prepped for the feast of Indian food awaiting us (The Mothership happens to be an exciting cultural mix hailing from warmer climes and boasting a natural tan to her skin – sadly her marriage to Mr Europe resulted in her children turning out to be hairy little mongrels and lacking any hint of tan, although give me enough time in the sun and my pale chicken-white skin will take on a definite olive tone). So, to summarise: in car with Bruv, on way to Muv, belly producing a constant grumbling growl, appetites a-go-go.
There aren’t enough naughty words in the world to adequately communicate to you the emotions you go through when you slip your car into 1st gear, prepare to sleekly glide away from a mini-roundabout, and as you complete this most perfect of manoeuvres and prepare to move the gearstick you hear the instantly horrible crunchy crunch of something important inside the depths of your car giving way. And 2nd gear was suddenly no longer an option. That’s ok, I’m still in motion, I’ve got 4 other gears at my disposal, let’s try for 3rd…crunchy crunch shudder. Maybe I was too hasty, let’s return it back to 1st…crunch crunch von cruncherson. Crud. I couldn’t slip it into 1st, I was unable to shift it into reverse, and if you know Buckingham you may appreciate that all roads leading off from the Town Hall are fairly narrow, therefore you can imagine the magnificent traffic jam that appeared, as if by magic, within seconds.
Around about then the rain started to fall.
Got out, tried to push car forwards down a side street (because 2 starving siblings obviously have enough strength to move a ton of dead weight metal). Roped in a very frowny man from an nearby Estate Agency to help us try to push it forwards (it’s all very well standing there in your window looking smug, making annoyingly chirpy hand gestures to draw my attention to the humongous traffic jam that I possibly could have forgotten about, and reminding me why I put all Estate Agents into the ‘Complete and Utter Tool’ box, but once the guilt trip is applied and you’re manipulated into getting your creepily moisturised hands dirty then you’re not so smug are you. Git). Even with the combined force of 3 annoyed adults, there was no shifting the Batmobile, my chubby little motor.
Eventually we allowed it to roll backwards and parked it up in front of the Town Hall: you know, that lovely area where newlyweds pose for photos and glorious waxed cars park’n’pose. Yes, there my little red horror set up camp.
Cut a long story short: I kiss the ground in thanks for the AA; I owe a debt of gratitude to The White Hart for not having a ‘too soggy to enter’ rule and I salute everyone who got snarled up in traffic that evening and yet did not once beep or curse or throw projectiles at me.
So, having given you the background I can resume my Devil Wee story:
Now car-less I make my way to work in Milton Keynes on one of the coaches that run through our fair town, and the coach that I was on during the evening in question picked me up from central MK, then trundled on to its next stop at MK railway station.
I may have mentioned The Mothership hailing from warmer climes, and part of the way I was raised instilled in me a love of the freebie, the bargain, the blag, the haggle. As we approached the station, I and others on the coach noticed a fluorescent greeny-yellow stand set up in front of the station. Getting closer, we identified garishly clothed Mountain Dew promo staff weaving amongst the pedestrians waiting for buses and coaches, handing out bottles of an equally eye-violating colour. Free free free freeeeeeeeee!
Conundrum: once on the coach, you stay on the coach. No emergency stops, no stretching your legs mid journey, once on the coach you remain there until your destination. However a solution presented itself as Mr Coach Driver clearly fancied a freebie as well. A newly alighted passenger sitting down with a bottle of free neon gloop was asked to send her son back out to get the driver a bottle, and so my seat buddy and myself convinced her to grab us both a bottle as well.
We waited, the coach idled, passengers further back within the depths of the vehicle (with hands noticeably free from neon bottles) quietly grumbled…then our angelic little freebiehunter returned with an armful of bottles. We took one eagerly from him with suitable thanks offered.
I can’t claim to be completely ignorant of the existence of this product as the eye is invariably drawn to it when you see it on shelves, but I’ve never bought or been given a bottle, and to my mind it has something of the witches brew about it. That is not a colour you find in nature.
I took the bottle, put on my sunglasses and admired its appearance, but I wasn’t tempted to break the seal and taste it as I knew that was an experience best reserved for when I was on my own. It may have been a proudly held freebie, but I wasn’t proud about what had been freebie’d.
The Mother of the freebiehunter was about to twist open her bottle, but as she read the side she threw out a hand and grabbed the bottle her son was in the process of opening. “Not suitable for children,” she gasped. This lurid witch brew in my bag suddenly took on darker, more evil importance, and my levels of intrigue were definitely on the up. To my knowledge, so few drinks that are readily available in supermarkets come with restrictions, and yet this Mountain Dew was forbidden to munchkins.
A couple of days passed and the bottle remained unopened in my bag – I can’t profess that it was due to fear on my part, sadly, as this oversight was purely due to the fact that my handbag is a fabric Tardis, and the bottle was simply forgotten in its shadowy depths.
I eventually had to go into the subterranean levels of my bag to retrieve an apple (terrible things have happened to previous bags when I stupidly left fruit to its own devices, even though it assured me it could keep itself amused and not cause a bother to anyone. Lies) and my hand brushed against the surprising smoothness of a plastic bottle.
I pulled the bottle out of my bag, and drew forth a second sun into my bedroom. I’m fairly confident that even now, 3-days after this occurred, each time I close my eyes I can still see an image of that inhuman glowing bottle (due to it being burned onto my retinas).
What’s the harm in a little sip? I’m neither a child nor a stranger to soft drinks; I’m a veteran of fizz, a veritable connoisseur of bubbly filth.
I twisted off the cap, hearing the reassuring and almost comforting gasp of escaping gas. Bringing the bottle closer to my face I ducked my head and took a sniff: the pleasant odour of citrus and the almost ticklish sensation of carbonated bubbles. Clearly nothing more than another normal soft drink, disgustingly branded and packaged for the Xtreme Yoof Generation of today. Another freebie in hand.
Raising my nose away, I tilted the bottle and set it to my lips. Not too much as it’s getting a little late, not too little as I at least want to be able to taste it…I had the pressure of making a Three Bears judgement call and pouring the perfect amount.
If someone knocked a bottle of lemon cleaner into a sack of sugar and then, again in their obviously clumsy state, swiped a pack of fluorescent markers into the slowly dissolving mess, I imagine they would have cracked the secret recipe for Mountain Dew.
Who would make such filth? Who could possibly sleep at night knowing that they unleashed such evil upon the world? Even Pandora, as she lay in a heap sobbing at her own stupidity, would have taken comfort in the softly whispered reassurance that although yes, life was now a horrible, horrible place for all mankind thanks to her, at the very least she was not responsible for letting loose upon humanity Mountain Dew, and that she would not have to endure that plague in her lifetime.
I tipped it down the sink, put the bottle in the recycling box and poured myself a glass of water. And then, due to the caffeine loaded into that one teeny tiny sip of MD, promptly stayed awake for 2-days whist my leg constantly jiggled and a corner of my eye twitched.
Welcome to the UK Mountain Dew, I salute you my nemesis. One day soon we shall again meet on the field of battle, and only then when our metal is tested shall we know who the true victor is.
Today I noticed that the MD team have relocated from the railway station to the shopping centre…my entire nature is at war with itself in a Freebie vs. Filth battle of wills.
Ok, enough days have passed and the caffeine must surely have left my bloodstream by now, so I’m going to try and get some sleep and not dream about citrus flavoured deliciousness.