25 Feb 2024

Mummy’s the word

Sustainability is the watchword these days, reuse and re-purpose etc. Well, that’s all great and here in the garage this has been going on indirectly for a long time. I bet it has with you as well. You use remanufactured parts at times and have done for ages I bet – ahead of the curve, that’s us.

Of course, things can go too far sometimes. It’s nearly Halloween again, and Mrs P has decided that we will be attending a Halloween party in our neighbourhood, which is fine I guess, although I think I’d rather be here doing a head gasket. The area has changed in recent years, and is now full of young parents with ‘interesting’ ideas.

Anyway, the challenge is that we need to turn up in costumes made from recycled items. Again, that sounds simple enough surely. Just throw on some old clothes and Baron Samedi’s your uncle, or something. But no, I can’t just don my dad’s old top hat highlighted by a chicken feather purloined from The Good Life lot who almost have a farm in their back garden next door (does that make us Margo and Jerry?). These have to be costumes made from nonclothing items. Honestly, who has time for this stuff? In our industry with reman, companies set up these extremely thorough processes that mean old parts are collected, put through the system and then sold back into the sector. It’s like magic. What isn’t like magic is what I’ve been up to.

While Mrs P. has been merrily decorating reception with her collection of bats and spiderwebs, I’ve been working, working, working. I was quite happily ignoring the upcoming party and the ridiculous preparation I was expected to conform with, and instead I was busy in the workshop. Then, there I was on what was probably the 20th timing belt change of the week when the darn idea hit me; I mean it really hit me. I was taking the belt off and I slipped. I caught myself but in doing so the belt slapped me in the face. I then had an epiphany, and it was one of those stupid ideas that you wish you’d never had, that you can never seem to get out of your mind, and once it’s in there it drives you. What was it? What terrible thought did I have?

“I could go to the Halloween party as The Mummy, but instead of bandages, use old timing belts.” I mean, it doesn’t even make sense does it. I’ll look more like the Michelin Man on a cracking crash diet than the undead, but when I set my mind to something, I won’t stop until it’s done. Obviously, I worked out that in the time I have, I won’t be able to get enough to cover me completely, but having rang around I managed to put together enough with the help of my local garage chums to at least drape myself in enough stuff so I can cover up the tracksuit underneath.

The upside of this whole particular episode that it prompted us to do some training around timing systems. They have changed in recent years and I was thinking some of the staff would be quite good to get everyone up-to-speed again. What a way to end up reminding yourself though!