Donald MacInnes: Swooping like an eagle to swap old banger for bargain motor

In The Red

Last week, I began relating the tale of how we had bought a replacement for my mother's old car, a Daewoo so wee, if you went to Tesco for half a dozen eggs, you would have to make two trips. Aside from its Matchbox proportions, the car was also in danger of disappearing under a heap of guano, as most of the local ravens had taken to using it as a convenient convenience. In fact, judging by the volume of poo, it was more likely to have been a gang of eagles. And in spite of the fact that all of our neighbours' cars reside under the same row of trees, they remain spotless. But, being BMWs, they probably feature some kind of Bavarian force field.

Hopeful of a trade-in, we drove both car and droppings to our local used car place. We perused the suspiciously shiny motors until we found one which seemed to fit our criteria, ie it was a nice colour, didn't smell and had an actual tape player (meaning we can make use of all those old cassettes on which we recorded the Radio 1 chart show back in the mid-17th-century).

A wiry man with leatherette skin strode over, followed by a burly youth. It was quickly apparent why the hefty-chested lad had been employed at all: the first guy was slight like a pipecleaner, but heavily tattooed, so much so that he evidently needed a supplementary person to provide skin-space for the tattoo overspill.

The first guy spoke: "Help you, my friend?" I said he could and pointed to our chosen motor. "Ah, that's a nice car, my friend," he nodded. "Good mileage," said Her Ladyship. "GREAT mileage, my darlin'," said Tattoo Man. "Mmmm," nodded Tattoo Overspill Youth. "One lady owner?" I said, using the slightly sceptical cadence one usually reserves for questions like: "Dragons? Flying down the M6?" Wiry man placed his hand on my shoulder. "Back and forward to church on Sundays, my friend." Tattoo Overspill Youth looked upwards and mumbled: "Hallelujah."

"Okay if we take it for a test drive?" asked Her Ladyship, never one to be taken in by ecclesiastical sales patter. "Not a problem, my darlin'," replied the boss.

We drove it around the area for 20 minutes, with Tattoo Man crouched in the back like a wheezing crash test dummy. Turns out the car was a bargain, so we agreed the deal and sped off in it, leaving the wee Daewoo in the clutches of Smell Boy and Prodney. So if you happen to see two blokes going back and forth to Lewisham Tesco in a tiny car, with three eggs on the roof rack, you'll know who it is.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

    Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

    Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

    £36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot