28 March 2012

A Horse up my Exhaust

It was my neighbour Wendy across the road who first noticed that my car had begun to sprout a tail. 

“I found this in your exhaust pipe,” she said last week, putting into my hand what can only be described as horse hair.  Good, part of me thought.  Something to restring my chuniri bow with.  Bad, the other part thought.  What’s that doing stuck up the car’s intimate tubing?

We speculated for a moment on how it might have got there.  Someone with a surfeit of equine material and nowhere handy to store it.  Someone on their way home from the pub and deciding, right outside my front door, hang it all, time to ditch the toupĂ©e.

But that was not the end of it.

On Monday, after the usual weekly coffee ‘n’ verse session with my fellow Octavo poets, Jill ran alongside my car window as I pulled away from her house.  We had been reading and discussing poems about the power of the present moment - and for the present moment there was “something very odd trailing from the exhaust pipe.”  I hopped out of the driver’s seat to remove yet more tresses that had materialised and were waving brazenly in the wind.

Yesterday, Wendy knocked on my front door again.  “It’s back,” she said ominously.  Together we walked round the car and stared at the shaggy exhaust pipe.  I yanked at the curling locks like a magician pulling never-ending handkerchiefs from a pair of comedy trousers.  Out came a long string – fifteen feet, like black wig hair with silver highlights.  Could there be a pensioner squatting in there?

Turning for help, I googled the words fifteen feet of hair-like stuff coming out of my exhaust, and behold, there was my support group.  Cars that had started to feather and frond out of their back appendages were causing consternation all over the place.

It turns out that what my vehicle has been expelling is sound-deadening material.  And because there is a finite quantity, it will, at some point, stop this exhibitionist behaviour.  All will be fine – apart from me breaking the sound barrier each time I get behind the wheel. 

But oh the disappointment that I don’t, in fact, possess a miracle car and now can't run away to the circus.  Maybe, though, it’s time to be philosophical.  Maybe this is a simple message from the heavens: to channel my inner horse.  I’ve searched out a website with information about symbolism, and found Avia Venefica, who looks properly shamanic and can be trusted to know about these things.  She tells us how, according to Native American teachings, the horse’s “wild freedom can be harnessed and used to the benefit of the tribe…acknowledging mutual respect and awareness of responsibility to each other.”  

So now I’m thinking, wait, maybe the car is channelling its inner horse.  Maybe it’s fed up with the occasional pat on the bonnet (or hood, if you’re reading this in North America), tired of being corralled in a suburban parking space, and desperate to kick its heels. 

Surrey Hills, here we come…

Horse lovers: check out this blog about the gentle management of horses in the Alpujarras in Spain: alpeuquus.posterous.com

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