MURPHY left us, but he didn't go far. Seems he just likes to hang around our family.
Our Steve called the other day. His car had broken down and the RACV said it was leaking LPG from the gas converter, or thereabouts.
"We'll send a technician to look at it."
Technician arrives, takes one look, says "I'll call a tow truck" and leaves.
While waiting (for four hours), Steve gives me a call
"Where can I take it dad?"
Yours truly suggests a local, well-known LPG fitter and specialist.
"Everyone has good raps about them," says I.
This is on a Monday and he is anxious because on the Thursday he is heading off on a 12-day break - his first holiday in five years.
The tickets for the music festival are booked, the trailer is loaded with tents, lounges (sooky la la), et al, just waiting to be hooked up.
Rita and I insisted on meeting him at the specialist in case they needed the car overnight, so we could give him a lift home (and help out with the bill if it was horrendous).
When we arrived he was out the front waiting.
"They are test driving it now."
Five minutes later the car returns. "All fixed." And only $52!
This is good. Really good. Time for a quick drink at a nearby pub and we head off on our merry ways.
At 6pm my mobile rings. It's Steve.
"Hey dad. Everyone's okay, I'm okay. Don't worry. .... The car blew up - in a fireball from under the bonnet - 400m from home.
"I just leapt out of the car. Left my phone, wallet, everything."
Unfortunately when he leapt out he ran in the wrong direction - downhill towards his house - and the unmanned Commodore followed him until it hit the kerb and ended up merrily ablaze against a tree, along with a grassfire started by a blazing air filter hurled through the air by the blast.
Hyperventilating, he made it home and a housemate called the CFA. Back to the car to wait and a cosy little crowd had gathered to watch the beloved Commodore barbecuing itself.
"You might like to stand back a little," said Steve.
"There's a full gas tank in there."
"Do you mean there's a gas tank in there?" replied one onlooker.
"No shit, Sherlock," said Steve.
"That's what those LPG stickers on the number plates mean."
He didn't relate whether 'Sherlock' moved away.
The CFA arrived and doused the flames.
"Hope you're not worried about the paintwork son. This foam really f***s it."
"That, I think, is the least of my problems," replied Steve.
Cops arrived and filled out an incident report and the fire brigade left - without turning off the gas tank or disconnecting the battery.
To wrap it up, the tow truck finally arrived and did the CFA's job, hooked up the car, towed it the 400m to Steve's home and charged him $330.
"Specialist tow, after hours," he cheerily informed Steve as he wrote out the receipt.
An initial phone call to the LPG people got the response, "It was okay when it left here."
The conversation ended with them telling Steve to take it to an independent assessor and they "will take it from there".
Given he could easily have lost his life, they will want to "take it from there" to a very satisfactory resolution.
I have not published the company's name... yet.
If they come to the party and do the right thing, all's good.
If not - watch this space.
Take care of you,
0418 139 415
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