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Afternoon, everyone. How are we all?

(That was just me being friendly, by the way, so don’t bother responding to tell me how you actually are, as there’s a very strong chance I won’t give a shit – unless you are genuinely in a bad way, and feel you have no one else to talk to, in which case I am always here for you, buddy).

Anyway, enough pleasantries. This week’s entry is about car phones (don’t worry, it’s going to be funnier than you think… or your money back).

Despite my previous issues with Ford a few years ago (see: https://middlerageddad.com/2015/07/03/once-upon-a-blog/), last year I bought my second ever Ford Kuga.

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My current Kuga is a few years old (it’s a ‘15’ plate, like the one in the picture above), is by no means top-of-the-range, and it was not expensive. Well, it was expensive compared to my first ever car when I was 21 (coincidentally, another Ford), but that only lasted a few weeks before falling apart, and by modern standards I spent less than most people do on a car.

It isn’t very quick, it doesn’t have fancy gadgets, and it isn’t as economical as I was hoping it might be; but what it does have is lots of space, a massive boot, and a decent audio system. Best of all, the audio system allows me to connect my phone via Bluetooth so that I can make and receive calls, and whilst I know this is quite common in modern cars now, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the main reasons I returned to Ford after a two-year absence.

I hadn’t realised just how good the in-built phone system is in some Ford cars, until I switched to the Volkswagen Tiguan for my previous motor. That is not to say ‘Tiggy’ didn’t have a good in-built phone system, more that she didn’t have any phone system at all, because Volkswagen are notoriously stingy when it comes to adding technology to their cars (for example, my parents-in-law owned a VW Passat until a couple of years ago, and that still had a fucking cassette player in it).

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As a result, when Tiggy joined our family in 2016, and I realised how handy being able to make and receive calls in the car had been (usually to determine who out of my wife and I was meant to be collecting the kids from school), I purchased a ‘Parrot’ system from Halfords, assuming it would more-or-less the same.

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Well, you know what assume does.

To say the Parrot system was utterly shit, would be an insult to shit. It was worse than terrible, and for anyone inclined to see my review (which was banned from Trust Pilot for over-use of the word ‘wanky’), I wrote a blog entry about that, too: https://middlerageddad.com/2016/05/20/the-old-blog-and-bone/).

As a result, having a decent phone system was pretty crucial to me when changing cars early last year (it featured at the top end of my priorities list, somewhere near ‘good mileage’ and ‘fancy cup holders’); and because nothing else on the market tickled my pickle, and I had enjoyed my previous Kuga – despite the issues I encountered with Ford as a company – off I trundled to get myself another one. And, for the most part, this car has thankfully been faultless (if a little thirsty on the weekday commute).

Once I had made my purchase, I was relieved to learn that the phone system was actually better than in my previous Kuga, since not only does the microphone allow those I am calling to clearly hear what I am saying (take note, Parrot, as this is pretty crucial), but the voice recognition software, whilst a little judgmental*, is usually spot on.

*I think it might be the same woman who voices my sat nav, as she can be a sarcastic little bitch at times, too.

Best of all, unlike in my previous Kuga, the phone system in this one allows me to read, listen to, and reply to text messages as well.

By that, I mean that when an incoming text message arrives on my phone, the car informs me with a pleasant alert ‘ding’, then offers me the option of reading what the text says on the dashboard; or – for safety reasons – I can choose to have it read out by the same judgmental woman instead. I usually opt for this latter method of receiving the text – not for safety, but for the comedy value of her mispronouncing words and names, so I can once again feel superior.

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Anyway, I then have the option of responding to the text message via a series of pre-set replies, which the boffins at Ford have determined to be some of the most widely used communications by British drivers.

Unfortunately, this is where the system lets itself down, because Ford are – as you may be aware – an American company, and what they think are the most common responses to text messages, is not necessarily true of us Brits. Furthermore, they seem to think that no driver over the age of 25 would want to use such a system, so everything is geared towards the [gulp] millennials, even though I doubt a Ford Kuga would be the car of choice for your average skinny-jean-wearing, crushed avocado scoffing, craft beer enthusiast.

Let me give you a few examples, to illustrate my point. Here are some of the responses Ford have determined to be the most useful when responding to a text via your car’s phone system:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Ok
  4. Thanks!

(pausing there for one second, I do accept that these first four responses are, whilst a little abrupt for us Brits, relatively common and practical, but bear with me…)

  1. See u in 10 min
  2. See u in 20 min

(pausing again here, I would never abbreviate ‘you’ to ‘u’ – nor would most other Kuga drivers, I suspect – so this really annoys me. Even worse, those are the only time-based options offered by Ford, so they evidently assume very few British journeys take longer than about an hour to complete, what with us being on an adorable little island ‘n’ all).

  1. Stuck in traffic

(the only one I might actually need/use).

  1. Too funny 🙂 

(don’t get me started on this one. It makes me so fucking angry to think this is considered a common text response in Britain, especially among the Kuga driving community. Who the hell uses this kind of response when texting from their car?)

  1. Yee-haw
  2. OMG! There’s been another shooting

(ok, I made the last two up)

However, the one which really surprised me, was ‘I love you’.

Now, not only would I argue this an odd thing to tell someone via the power of automotive text messaging, but they have placed it directly below ‘Thanks!’ on the list – which is the only other response, aside from ‘Stuck in traffic’, that I tend to use.

As a result, when my (female) colleague texted me during the morning commute a few weeks ago, and I tried to thank her in response, I inadvertently declared my love for her. That took some explaining when I arrived at the office, let me tell you.

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Consequently, I have decided to contact Ford in order to suggest a series of more suitable alternatives for the British market, and ideally I would like my own personalised list (having checked online and in the car’s manual, I don’t think it is possible to change the replies manually myself, but I’m sure Ford could re-programme the car for me).

In truth, my list of ‘common’ text responses is quite extensive, but having whittled it down to just the top ten, and in particular those I am most likely to need whilst driving, I’ll be asking Ford to replace my own list with the following:

  1. Knobhead
  2. Who’s picking the boys up?
  3. Stuck behind a sodding tractor.
  4. Why are BMW drivers such arseholes?
  5. There in about an hour
  6. There in about two hours
  7. May not get to you before midnight at this rate
  8. Fucking roadworks again. I’m going to take a shit in a box, and post it to Cheshire East Council
  9. Old people should be banned from driving during rush hour
  10. Just killed another cyclist. Oops 🙂 

There. That should cover it.

Thanks for reading x

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We Blog Any Car.Com

A couple of months ago (entry #29), I posted a rather frustrated account of my recent dealings with Ford. This was prompted by the fact my Kuga has developed an engine management problem which, apparently, even they cannot diagnose – despite being the company who built the damn thing. There are hackers out there who can worm their way into the Pentagon mainframe for Christ’s sake, yet Ford can’t seem to crack a computer of their own design.

So, after a number of visits, and £800 spent on guesswork that might as well have included ‘giving it a good hard kick’ and ‘turning it off and on again’ (actually, no, I tell a lie, they did try that), Ford were none the wiser and seemed to wash their hands of the situation.

Perhaps I am being slightly unfair here. They did manage to stop the car from revving uncontrollably, even when I wasn’t touching the accelerator, but the unfortunate side-effect of whatever they did appears to be the engine occasionally cutting out.

I don’t even know why I was surprised when the Kuga started playing up, as car trouble is something I am all-too-familiar with, and my motoring history has been somewhat chequered to say the least.

Let me take you back to 2002, when it all began…

Ford Fiesta (2002 – slightly later in 2002)

My first ever car: a G-reg Ford Fiesta in white. It’s not the one in the picture, as I didn’t own mine long enough to get a photo processed by Truprint, but it looked a lot like it.

I bought it from a garage near Altrincham. I best not mention the name of the garage, for reasons which will become clear, but I would advise anyone to steer clear of Navigation Road when purchasing a new vehicle, in case you stumble upon the same place.

I was at Law School when I got it, and although I only paid around £600 (which, in student terms, is roughly a year’s worth of food and drink), I had hoped it would last me slightly longer than a few months. Sadly, it did not, and in terms of the mileage I got in return, I would have been better off financially if I had just taken taxis everywhere.

In short, there were a number of problems with the car, culminating in a failed trip from Poynton to Norwich, which ended roughly four miles into a trip of nearly two hundred.

Having had the car assessed by an engineer, it turned out that I had been sold a duff and, more importantly, the garage would have known this when they took my money. I shouldn’t have complained really, as I had essentially been sold two cars for the price of one (such was the mix-and-match job that had been done to it), but I decided to ask for my money back.

The garage failed to respond to various letters and calls, however, so I started Court proceedings against them to recover my money. When they ignored the Court papers as well, I got Judgment against them and the bailiffs were sent round. It was only at this point, around six months after I first complained, that the owner took notice and applied to the Court to have my Judgment overturned.

I remember sitting in front of an ancient District Judge at Altrincham County Court (who, again, I best not name, even though I suspect/hope he is no longer breathing), and to my shock he overturned the Judgment, pointing out that reputable businesses have better things to do than come along to Court to fight frivolous cases like mine. He laughed along with the owner of the garage as he said this.

To make matters worse, the garage owner waited for me outside the Court, along with the hired muscle he had brought with him (not that I was a physical threat, as I must have weight ten stone soaking wet at the time), and they followed me back to my car. On the way, they kept reminding me that they had my address, and if I didn’t want my family to come to any harm, I best drop the case. In the end, I had no choice.

Rover Metro (2002 – 2004)

The next car I owned was a red J-reg Metro, which I bought off a friend’s sister. Again, the photo isn’t of the exact car, but it’s close enough – except mine had cool rally-style fog lamps on the front.

The one incident I remember from driving the Metro, again involves a trip to Norwich (which, unlike the Fiesta, it managed to complete). Basically, a few days before we were due to go, my mum’s next door neighbour had reversed off her drive and into the front of the car. Fortunately, she was going so slowly that there appeared to be no damage.

However, later that week, as we travelled along a deserted, unlit, and eerily misty stretch of the A47 near Swaffham, I put the full beam fog lamps on… and realised that they had been bent backwards. With nowhere to pull over, I drove for several miles with two beams of light pointing up into the night sky, like I was trying to get a message to Batman.

Needless to say, the combination of my ‘search lights’ in the sky, the weird ghostly fog, and the fact we were near Swaffham (where inbreeding appears to be something of a local sport), led to numerous reports of alien-sightings in the local press.

Vauxhall Corsa (2004 – 2006)

Next up was my Corsa, and the reason I would now buy a camel for transportation before I would ever go back to Vauxhall. It was, in a word, shit.

Again, I don’t seem to have a picture of it, but this one is almost spot on (including the colour), save for the fact it is a year older, as mine was an R-reg. Not that this made it any better, you understand.

I encountered that many problems with the engine management system on this car, and it broke down so many times, that I ended up getting a letter from the RAC to advise that my membership would only allow me to be towed once more before my renewal (which was still months away). I didn’t even know the RAC placed a limit on how many times you could be rescued, cold and crying, from the side of the road. Heartless bastards.

Volkswagen Golf (2006 – 2009)

Probably my favourite of all the cars I have owned, but again it had some issues. I am almost certain I have a photo somewhere, as I kept this car for a few years, but I can’t be arsed searching for it – so this picture will do. The colour and year of registration are both correct, so the only difference is that mine was usually more horizontal.

It did break down once or twice, but by this point I was starting to believe that I was the problem rather than the cars, so I never resented the Golf as I had done its predecessors.

Compared to the 1.0 litre Corsa, which had a 0-60 time comparable to myself after a large meal, the Golf was a sporty 1.6 litre, which I know isn’t much, but it seemed fast at the time. It was also the first car I owned which had a CD player (which I had admittedly fitted myself, since the 2003 Golf still came with a cassette player as standard) and I was genuinely sad to see it go.

Volkswagen Golf Plus (2009 – 2013)

Since I liked the Golf so much, it was no surprise when we replaced it with another, newer Volkswagen – only one with extra room for my gangly limbs. Sadly, where my first experience of owning a VW had been very good, this car had the opposite effect and, yet again, it was the jinxed journey to Norwich which was its downfall.

This time, we broke down on the A50 just outside Derby. There was an almighty bang and the car started decelerating, even though my foot was to the floor.

Having pulled over, I once again phoned my trusty friends at the RAC (by now we were on first name terms and had swapped mobile numbers) and they promised to get to us as soon as possible. Unfortunately, despite having a baby in the car (Ollie), we were not considered to be a priority, as we were safely parked up in a lay-by, so it was over an hour before they arrived.

Once the mechanic had looked under the bonnet, and I had done my best ‘manly man’ impression of nodding and frowning at what I felt were the right points of the conversation, he determined that we were, to coin a technical phrase, fucked.

Now, due to my unreliable car history, I had wisely opted for the best cover RAC offer, and one of the benefits of my policy was that I could be towed to any destination. Imagine his surprise when we asked to go to Norwich, pretty please.

Not surprisingly, he wasn’t that keen to tow us a few hundred miles, so he contacted a company from Derby to do it instead. Although we had to wait for another hour to be collected, and didn’t arrive in Norwich until around 3am, we did eventually get there in one piece.

The car, it transpired, was in a bad way, as the turbo had exploded in spectacular fashion and it ended up costing me over £1,500 to repair. Even then, the car was never the same, and we changed it shortly afterwards for…

Ford Kuga (2013 -)

Our current transportation. I have gone to great lengths in my previous blog entry to express my frustration with Ford, but I do actually like this car (when it works), and I haven’t been put off perhaps having another Kuga in the future.   For now, though, I cannot face going back to Ford again, so I need to think carefully when I come to buy something new early next year.

2016 – ?

Here’s the problem, though.  For one reason or another, I will probably be avoiding all of the car manufacturers I have experienced to date – partly because I fancy a change, partly because they don’t exist anymore (Rover, I’m looking at you – not that you were a contender anyway), but mostly because I no longer trust any of them. Even reliable old VW have been caught with their pants down recently with this emissions scandal.

However, when you add in my various prejudices and irrational quirks, my choice is rather restricted:

Mercedes – I’m not over 40.

Toyota – I’m not a taxi driver either.

Nissan – The only car in their fleet which isn’t pig-ugly is the Qashqai, and I’m not driving around in something Wayne Rooney (who is pig-ugly) might name one of his children.

Audi – Nice, attractive, seemingly well-built cars, but we would have to sell one (or both) of the children to afford a decent one. Tempting, but I fear it would be ethically questionable.

BMW – I’m not a complete dickhead, and I have this nasty habit of indicating occasionally.

Peugeot – I don’t trust anything French, unless it’s wine.

Hyundai – The ix35 is ok, I guess, but it sounds like either a ground-to-air missile, or something Clive Sinclair might have built in the ‘80s.

Citroen – See Peugeot. Besides, I once had a C3 as a courtesy car, and it broke after 32 miles (and by that, I mean it was brand new and had done 32 miles in total).

Mini – Disqualified, since I don’t have girl parts.

Renault – See Peugeot and Citroen. Bloody French.

Skoda – Well built, from what I hear, but they don’t really do an SUV, and they all have daft names. Can you imagine telling someone you drive a Yeti?

Volvo – See Audi.

Honda – Apart from the Civic Type R, which is for boy-racers with large speakers and small genitalia, the entire Honda range is reserved to those not long for this world, who drive everywhere at 18mph.

I know there are others, but I would have equally valid (well, valid to me) reasons for dismissing them all. Well, all except for one.

So, expect a Kia-based rant in around two years’ time….

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Once Upon A Blog…

Are we sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin….

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (depending on where you live), there was a prince called Prince Sandbach of Chatter, although everyone called him Sandy. He was tall, dark and…. well, he was tall and dark, let’s leave it at that.

Sandy was married to a beautiful princess – the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk – and together they had two children, Princes Oliver and Isaac, who were always up to no good. They all lived in a barn with the unfittingly grandiose title of ‘Sandbach Towers’, deep within the Kingdom of Cheshiravia.

‘Sandbach Towers’ had once been a fine palace, fit for the prince and princess, but soon after they wed they took in a dog named Bexley, and then a few years later Oliver and Isaac had been born. As the family grew, the palace had slowly fallen into disrepair. Where once stood a proud castle, there was now a barn, with many hidden hazards and stains, and the odour of wet canine.

Shortly before the beautiful princess had delivered forth Prince Isaac to the family, they had saved what little gold they had, and had purchased a new steed called ‘Kuga’.

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Kuga was a fine, noble steed, and the family were very fond of her. She would transport them around the country, even as far as the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, where Prince Sandy and his family would oft visit in the summer months and at Yuletide. Kuga was capable of carrying many bags, together with the family and Bexley the dog, and had never once complained of the burden, no matter how great.

Then, in the month of May, in the year of our Lord 2015, Kuga began to exhibit strange behavioural characteristics, which caused Prince Sandy some concern. For no reason, Kuga would make a deep grumbling noise, and then lurch forwards without Prince Sandy requesting this of her. Some of the village folk believed this to be the ancient ‘curse of the engine malfunction’, but Prince Sandy was fond of his steed and did not wish to take her to be examined, for fear she would be taken from him.

However, the problem worsened, and when the local blacksmith was unable to discover why Kuga would act in such a way, despite his supposedly clever equipment, Prince Sandy was given the news that he had dreaded: the only way to discover what was wrong with Kuga, was to take her to ‘King Ford. Prince Sandy had heard evil stories of ‘King Ford, and was wary of being robbed of what little gold he had, yet he loved Kuga dearly and she was part of the family, so he had no choice.

Verily it came to pass, that one day late in the month of June, Prince Sandy took Kuga to see ‘King Ford on his way to work. He was told that he would have to leave Kuga there for her to be thoroughly examined, but he explained that he needed transportation to complete his journey, as he was an advocate and there were many people in the district who had suffered minor ailments and who needed someone to shout at.

‘King Ford listened to Prince Sandy’s pleas, and eventually granted him the use of one of their lesser steeds, ‘Fiesta’. Fiesta was much smaller than Kuga, and nowhere near as powerful, but Prince Sandy was desperate and so he accepted their offer. He waved goodbye to Kuga, hoping he would see her again soon.

Whereas Kuga was a proud, black beast, Fiesta was in comparison small and white. Prince Sandy was not fond of white steeds, and indeed had recently written about his dislike for such transportation, so he questioned whether ‘King Ford had read his musings and provided him with Fiesta as a cruel joke. Nevertheless, he mounted Fiesta and set off to complete his journey to work.

It was immediately clear that Fiesta was not a fast steed. Whereas Kuga would set off from a starting position with some pace, Fiesta struggled to achieve any acceleration at all. Indeed, Fiesta was so slow, that Prince Sandy doubted she had ever recorded a 0-60 time in any jousting competition, and even if she had, he feared it would have exceeded two hours. He mused to himself that Baroness Susan of Boyle would surely out-pace Fiesta in a straight sprint.

Eventually, however, Fiesta delivered Prince Sandy to his place of work.

Later that morning, Prince Sandy received word from a messenger that ‘King Ford could not locate the reason for Kuga’s behaviour, as she was not displaying any unusual characteristics at the time, so he should collect her that evening and return to ‘King Ford if the behaviour occurred again.

Despite not being able to locate the source of the problem, ‘King Ford still levied a fee of 78 gold coins on Prince Sandy, and advised that there were other issues with Kuga which required prompt attention. Prince Sandy was not impressed, and told ‘King Ford he would address any such issues at a later time. He prayed that, since ‘King Ford had not located any real defect with Kuga, perhaps the behaviour would now stop.

His prayers were not answered.

The very next morning, having delivered Prince Oliver to his House of Education, Prince Sandy mounted Kuga, only for the behaviour to commence once more. As he had been instructed by ‘King Ford, Prince Sandy at once communicated to them (via the ‘Tooth of Blue’, should any Sheriffs be reading this), and gave advance warning that he would bring the ailing steed straight to them.

He arrived within one half of an hour, to discover that Squire Dominic (who had tended to his needs the day before) was away on an errand, and so poor Prince Sandy had to explain the situation to Squiress Dee instead. Squiress Dee was a pleasant wench, but bereft of any technical knowledge. Worse, whilst Fiesta had been a poor replacement for Kuga the day before, even Fiesta was away on other business, and so Prince Sandy had to call his Mother, Lady Jill of Poyntonia, to collect him. Lady Jill was a reliable mother, and arrived shortly afterwards to deliver Prince Sandy to his place of work, (in another breed of Fiesta, as it happens).

Prince Sandy received word later that day that the problem with Kuga was still undetermined; however Ian, the Dark Baron of Engineerdom, believed a change to the filter of fuel stood a good chance of rectifying the issue. Reluctantly, Prince Sandy agreed to part with further gold coins to carry out this work, and decided for the sake of his family to also replace Kuga’s front two hooves, (which had apparently worn thin with years of heavy labour) together with both front coils. Whatever the frig they are.

The total cost was to be 650 gold coins, but the prince consoled himself in the knowledge that at least his beloved Kuga would then be restored to her former glory, ready to commence battle and conquer the terrains of Goostrey, The Edge of Alderley and the Holmes of Chapel once more.

In light of the restorative work that would be required, Kuga was to remain with ‘King Ford for another day, and so again Prince Sandy complained that he required transportation. As ‘luck’ would have it, Fiesta was again available, and so it was agreed that Prince Sandy would collect her later that evening.

Having struggled to coerce Fiesta the full distance to Sandbach Towers, which at one point involved passing around another traveller – a manoeuvre which Fiesta made an unnecessary meal out of (due to apparently suffering with chronic asthma) even though it was only a slow-moving tractor, Prince Sandy arrived safely and collected Prince Oliver to take him home.

Bizarrely, Prince Oliver fell in love with Fiesta, and decided that he in fact preferred her to Kuga, news that upset Prince Sandy greatly. He indicated to Prince Oliver that Fiesta was much smaller than Kuga, and could not carry as heavy a burden, making a trip to the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk a nigh impossibility, but Prince Oliver was not swayed. Even indicating that Fiesta had a small storage compartment, meaning that Bexley the family dog would need to leave the kingdom, did not deter the young prince, who promptly announced that he would happily cast poor Bexley out, were it to mean the family could keep Fiesta as their steed.

Nevertheless, retaining Fiesta was not an option, and the following day it sluggishly transported Prince Sandy to his place of work for the final time, to be returned to ‘King Ford before sunset.

However, when Prince Sandy returned Fiesta to ‘King Ford that evening, Kuga was not present, as Ian the Dark Baron was still testing her around the Dean of Handforth.

Having waited for many an hour, Ian eventually returned and presented devastating news – Kuga was still unwell, despite the expensive alterations which had been carried out. Prince Sandy was upset, but was assured by the Dark Baron that the ailment may be minor and, indeed, may not occur again. He was keen for Prince Sandy to retain Fiesta over the weekend and leave Kuga there, but Prince Sandy was at his tether’s end, and just wanted Kuga returned to his family. It was agreed that Prince Sandy would take Kuga home, under the hope that she would display no more unusual behaviour in the future.

Despite having to part with 650 gold coins, Prince Sandy was happy to be reunited with his steed again. She seemed renewed, even mightier than before, but no sooner had Prince Sandy set her on the road home, she announced that she required refreshments. It appeared that ‘King Ford had depleted her fuel supplies to such an extent in testing her, she was in urgent need of nourishment. Prince Sandy was again distraught, but had no choice other than to part with further gold coins in order to refill Kuga’s belly at the market place of Shell.

Nevertheless, in spite of all the trauma of that week, Kuga returned home triumphant. She sat resplendent outside Sandbach Towers, having been cleaned thoroughly by ‘King Ford (which was the least the robbing highwaymen could offer in the circumstances) and the following day Prince Sandy took great delight in riding her on a number of errands around the township.

And the family Sandy lived happily ever after….

 

 

… for one day.

On the last Sunday of that month of June, Prince Sandy and the young Prince Oliver mounted Kuga early in the morning to travel to the local water baths, only for Kuga to fail to move at all. She would come to life, briefly, but would then immediately collapse with a wheeze. This angered Prince Sandy, as he had paid ‘King Ford over 700 gold coins, and now Kuga was worse than she had been before. At least prior to visiting ‘King Ford she had been willing to run, albeit unusually, whereas now she would not leave the stable at all.

Eventually, having feasted on a luncheon of meat and eggs, Prince Sandy was able to coax Kuga into moving, and she managed to transport the family to the People’s Republic of Crewe, but this still left Prince Sandy with a battle on his hands.

A number of messages were sent to ‘King Ford, outlining Prince Sandy’s displeasure at the treatment Kuga had received at great personal expense, however no messages were returned. ‘King Ford remain silent to this day.

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Prince Sandy was so angered by the turn of events, he set forth penning the whole episode onto parchment, in order to share his woe with the masses, and warn them against visiting ‘King Ford with their own steed-related issues. He commenced writing the tale on that Sunday eve, having consumed almost a full flagon of mead, which might explain the unusual style he adopted. Either that, or the distressing situation had caused him to suffer some form of ailment to the head.

**********

Over the following days, having sobered and reflected on the events, Prince Sandy was unsure whether the tale would gain favour with those reading it, and he worried that the masses might find the style (and consequently him), rather strange.

However, it dawned on Prince Sandy that, in his drunken, angered, state, he had penned close to 2,000 words on that Sunday eve, and he was fuck’d if he was starting again and writing anything else.

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