So the plan was to get some petrol, drive up to Zouch and walk along the canal towards Sutton Bonington, charging the battery in the process. I got my gear together and went out, turned the key in the ignition and – yep, you’ve guessed it, it was already flat. The engine wheezed once or twice but despite my furious pumping of the accelerator it failed to ignite. Not to worry! I have my trusty jump leads in the boot for just such an eventuality as this. I knocked next door and they came out and got me started. So that was that problem sorted.
Zouch was unsurprisingly very muddy when I got there but I parked up and walked a couple of miles, then turned and came back. It’s a lovely walk and in the summer I went further and came back via the very picturesque village of Sutton Bonington. Nottingham University’s botanical department has a plantation of trees between the canal and the village, which is lovely especially in autumn. And back to the car; a slight anxiety about turning round without dumping it in the canal (there was never any real risk of it but even a theoretical risk is enough for my mind to present me with scenarios of doom) and so home, where a worried OH wondered where I was since, the car engine being left running, I’d had no time to say goodbye before leaving.
I don’t know if good fences make good neighbours but good jump-leads certainly help. I always remember a story I heard when I lived in Leigh about a guy who was always baiting the police (the boys in blue were not popular up there since every second person was on some kind of hallucinogen) – anyway, this guy marched into the police station and said, ‘I’d like to report a flat battery.’
‘That’s not an offence, sir,’ replied the desk sergeant.
‘No,’ explained the guy, ‘it’s flat.’
After a few irritating exchanges he took the officer outside and showed him a car that was completely squashed – with, yes, a very flat battery. The officer was not amused; whether he did the guy for wasting police time is not recorded.
And that was my afternoon.
3 thoughts on “I’d Like to Report a Flat Battery”
Snap: my battery was flat this morning. Luckily, my appointment in town was only a comfortable half-hour walk away, and the rain desisted apart from a very fine and light drizzle on the way home, which wasn’t a problem, and I felt gratifyingly invigorated when I arrived home for lunch. The battery is now off the car ready for charging this evening, so fingers crossed it won’t be tipping it down in the morning when I refit the battery for the weekly shopping trip. Cheers, Jon.
My daughter works in an insurance call centre and she said they’ve had thousands of drivers calling in with flat batteries – though what they expect the insurance company to do, I don’t know
Because I drive so rarely, even before lockdowns, I have had to have two new batteries in the past seven years. I don’t bother to jump start them, to be honest. I just get the RAC or Green Flag to come and fit a new one. I find once they have started to go flat, they keep doing that. And so much depends on electronics in modern cars these days.
Best wishes, Pete.