Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Catalogue of Disaster in an Eventful Week - I Don't Believe It! Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Catalogue of Disaster in an Eventful Week - I Don't Believe It! Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Gutteridge

I'M sure age is turning me into a curmudgeonly Victor Meldrew. Nothing to do with the events of this week, for which, apparently, I only have myself to blame.

It started with the puncture. It was two miles from the National Tyre Service depot in Newcastle, where I'd just been persuaded to buy three new tyres.

You see, I'd stupidly let them sell me winter tyres last autumn, and when I came back to have them swapped for my old summer ones, they said that summer tyres shouldn't be stored, because they rot, so I now needed to spend pounds 600 on replacements.

"It's because they haven't been driven on", they explained, as if to an imbecile. "But it was winter!" I began to say, then meekly paid the bill.

On the way back to my office, the car suddenly swerved to the left and I narrowly avoided a pedestrian.

So to file now have to One of the new front tyres was flat miles to find internet Sunday as a pancake. So I called my wife, several times, but the phone appeared to be off the hook.

could blame being a little By the time the rescue vehicle arrived and I was back on the road, it was nearly midnight.

Naturally Jo berated me for being so late; supper was ruined. She'd been worried sick, with visions of the car upturned in a ditch (which it nearly was); she couldn't get hold of me because our phones and internet were down.

All because I'd stupidly switched the line to BT. For three happy years Sky had provided us with a perfectly good service and, just because an ad offered us an incredibly cheap deal, I'd switched and now we were cut off.

So I rang BT at one in the morning, standing on a window ledge above the back door to get a faint signal on my mobile.

Several chirpy songs and a fortune later ("0800 calls are charged at normal rates from mobiles" they said), I heard distant crackling, and what sounded like someone telling a joke in Hindi.

I could hear people laughing. It was probably a joke about a man who switches his service to BT to save money and spent twice as much listening to jokes in Hindi. …

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