Twas The Night Before The Car Show

Twas the night before the car show, but I was out in the shed.
My car wasn’t budging – the danged thing was dead.
The battery and petrol had been checked twice with care,
The tires kicked too, to make sure they held air.

Season's Greetings British Car Style - original card from Driver's Road, Cincinnati, Ohio.The plugs were all snugged up, tight on their leads,
While shop towels betrayed how much knuckles can bleed.
Once more I inspected the rotor and cap,
But that car was intent on a long freakin’ nap.

When out in the street there arose such a clatter,
I sat up far too fast to see what was the matter.
Into the sump my head slammed with a bash,
Crunched back to the floor – I grew faint with the crash.

The lump on my forehead and ringing in ears,
Gave an aura of migraine, while nausea grew near.
But then what to my watering eyes should appear?
Why an old Morris tow truck with harsh grinding of gears!

There was a little old driver, so crazy and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Dip Stick.
More bewildered than brilliant his mechanics they came,
And he laughed and he hollered, and called them by name!

“Now Austin! Now Triumph! Now MG and Jaguar!
On Healey! On Mini! On Morgan and Rover!
Get that car off the lift, and watch out for that wall!
Now back away! Back away! Back away all!”

As good money before a long shop visit flies,
And when met with a rebuild, bills mount to the sky.
So up to his full height sir Dip Stick he grew,
Despite a kink in his back, and I believe his leg too.

And then, in a fuse flash, I heard under breath
The swearing and calling for previous owner’s death.
As I bandaged my head, and was fumbling around,
Down the first Castrol can came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Dickies, from his pants to his shirt,
And his clothes were adorned with gas, oil and dirt.
A couple of rags he had stuck in his belt,
And he left stains on the concrete wherever he knelt.

His eyes-how demented, his pupils how twitchy.
I offered to help him, but he laughed out of pity.
His crusty old mouth, twisted up like a bow,
And the stubble he wore had a good three days growth.

A slow burning cigar he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a nicely round belly,
You could tell he liked his chair right in front of the telly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke very few words as he turned to his work,
And after tuning the SUs, he turned with a jerk.
Then he turned the key one and hit the starter,
Wow, she started right up as he hit the gas harder!

He sprang to his truck, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all zoomed, like shot out of a missile.
But I heard him call out, over a backfiring blast,
“Happy car show to all, and to all safety fast!”

I beg your indulgence for my literary folly. I hope you all have a great Christmas and happy holidays.
– Michael Carnell

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British

Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car enthusiast, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100 and a 1977 MGB. But there is always room for more - no matter what his wife says.

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