Monday, December 22, 2014

Auf Wiedershen, Pet by Fred Taylor (Sphere Books 1983)

Oz's '68 Zephyr had looked pretty down even before the three of them left Newcastle. By the time they reached the queue of traffic at the Dutch border, it was at the stage of needing terminal care. Not that Oz would admit anything that didn't suit whatever his momentary view of reality demanded.

Afraid we're losin' Radio One,' he muttered darkly, fiddling with the car's studio. The material the knobs were made of looked suspiciously like bakelite.

Dennis grunted, took a drag on his newly-lit duty-free. 'We never had it in this wreck.'

Canny car, this kid,' said Oz for the dozenth time.

There was no answer to that, or leastways none that didn't stray into the realms of fantasy or insult. Dennis's square, well-fleshed face creased into a frown. He decided to change the subject.

'Here,' he said. 'Why've you got a Sunderland sticker on the back? I never knew you supported them.'

'I don't. Bloke I bought it off did.' Oz stared down at the radio, gave it a final thump and treated his mates to a gap-toothed grin. 'I was goin' to scrape it off, but I was afraid I'd lose the bumper . . .' 

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