Pot Luck

It’s been a while since I last whined wrote about my old nemesis, the OMGSNOW, and that’s because, as luck would have it, we’ve been experiencing non-stop rain for the past week or so, which has washed all of the white stuff away – yay!

The snow has, however, left its calling card behind, in the shape of the kazillionty-one pot holes that have opened up all over the roads. Now, the roads here aren’t great at the best of times. They’re not like the roads you find in America, say, which are built to withstand years of use by actual cars, and trucks, and other vehicles. No, over here they basically just put down whatever crappy surface they can find, then shrug their shoulders and go, “Meh. We’ll have to repair it again in two week’s time, and it’ll have more holes than the surface of the moon after the first bad frost, but who cares? By then everyone will be so busy Twittering about the pritty, pritty snow that they won’t even notice…”

Terry and I came face┬áto face with one of these potholes on Saturday night. There we were, driving along without a care in the world. Terry’s car is a rear-wheel drive, and it’s absolutely rubbish in the snow, so this was actually the first day he’d been able to drive it for weeks: we’ve been having to use mine all the time, and I think he was enjoying having his prechus car back again. Not for long, though. We reached the slip road onto the motorway, which was, as usual, shrouded in a cloak of darkness, (because seriously, there’s no point lighting those roads, is there?) when suddenly…

SMACK!

The car hit a pothole so large, and so deep, that it actually felt more like the road rose up to meet us, than the other way around. Rubin let out a high, girlish shriek (or actually, that might have been me?) and Terry and I turned to look at each other with despair in our eyes.

“Again…” muttered Terry. “It’s happened again…”

And indeed it had: the pothole had buckled not ne but TWO of the wheels so badly that even I, in the passenger seat of the car, could feel them rumbling awkwardly along the road, our once proud and mighty car reduced to a mere shadow of itself.

(Because our cars are like people, with actual personalities and stuff, I can’t help but take this a bit personally. I feel like the pothole had taken agin the car for some reason, and was lying there in wait for it, so that it could exact its revenge upon it. I really, really hate that pothole right now. I wish I could drop-kick it, or something, only I can’t imagine how that would work with a hole?)

Anyway. Terry got off the motorway at the next exit to inspect the damage, but there was nothing he could do, and luckily the car was still driveable (albeit slowly), so we limped sadly home, mentally counting up how much money is in our bank account right now and wondering how much of it will be left after this little incident. Verdict: probably not much. The problem, you see, is that you’re not entitled to compensation for this kind of thing, and we know this because the exact same thing happened to Terry’s last car, a few years ago. Basically, as long as the council, or whoever is in charge of the road maintenance (in this case its an agency called Bear Scotland, who “look after” the motorways) repair the pothole within 48 hours of you reporting it, they don’t have to take any responsibility for the damage which is awesome for them, but not so good for you, or the God-knows-how-many other vehicles that get damaged by the same hole (and bear in mind that this one is on a motorway, and is invisible in the dark… and that it’s dark here pretty much ALL THE TIME in winter). Terry called them as soon as we got home on Saturday night, and they confirmed this, so although they’re sending us out a claim form, we’re led to believe that the chances of them coughing up are slim to zero, so we’re left trying to get our insurance to cover it, which isn’t looking hopeful either.

Here is our newest nemesis, photographed by Terry the next morning:

(Coke can to aid perspective. To aid MY perspective, Terry explained to me that, “You could’ve put a stiletto shoe inside it!” Because, of course, I only understand things when they’re phrases in shoe-language*.)

There was a car pulled over next to it when he got there, changing its wheel, and when he called Bear Scotland back to get some more information from them, the guy he spoke to said he’d already had one call that morning about a car damaged by the same pothole, and bear in mind that he was in a call centre, so there would probably have been loads of them.

So, that’s the latest reason for me to continue hating the snow, even after it’s gone. It’s also the reason why the very next person to say, “But it’s SO PRITTY!” or “I wish there could be MOAR SNOW! Because I’m SO JELUS of the people with the MOAR SNOW!” will be responsible for my head exploding…

*That was sarcasm, by the way. You CAN talk to me about other things, too…