Friday Fiction – Car shopping

As for previous weeks, please accept my apologies for not having much time this week to read and comment on other stories. We’re over halfway there, folks, and December is on the horizon! I have so many things I’m putting off till then, I fear it will still be a busy month, but hopefully a little less crazy!

As for this week’s story I know I shouldn’t prejudice you with my thoughts, but I’m not sure about this one. I had a lot more to say and perhaps with more time and effort, I could have fitted it in better, but see what you think. The picture is from Claire Fuller, other stories can be found through Rochelle.


Car Shopping

“What do you call a Skoda with two exhaust pipes?”

It was Matty’s favourite joke, and I knew the answer, but I scratched my head anyway.

“A wheelbarrow!” He ran off through the showroom, cackling wildly.

“He’ll be mortified,” said my husband, Jack, leaning on our first choice. “But that joke’s anachronistic; they’re good cars.”

“I know, but you’re not the one who’ll have to persuade him to get in it every time.”

“Hey, Mum! How do you double the value of a Skoda?”

“I blame your brother,” grumbled Jack.

“Me too,” I sighed. “Fill up the petrol tank, Matty.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

34 responses to “Friday Fiction – Car shopping

  1. I’d not heard the first one, though the second joke has certainly done the rounds. I didn’t see why you had reservations about it; I thought it was a nice vignette of family life. I’m not sure the word ‘anachronistic’ figures too much in normal familial conversation, but maybe I’m moving in the wrong families. 🙂 And I’m not sure how else you could have expressed the sentiment, given the number of words available. Niee one, made me smile.

    • My personal favourite was about overtaking a milk float (talk about anachronistic, kids these days wouldn’t know what one was!), but I can’t remember it exactly. My brother loved these jokes when we were kids, so I can just see him passing them onto Sebastian.
      It’s funny you picked up on anachronistic. It was originally “an anachronism”, which I felt comfortable educated parents might say, but I had to lose a word somewhere; anachronistic doesn’t sit as well with me for some reason and you’re right “out of date” might sound more natural, but then I’d need three words! You know what they say, claim it’s a “style point” or a “character point” and you can get away with anything. I’m going to say this is a character point about Mum’s class, education and language level 😉

      • Sometimes you’ve got to write it like it needs to be and let the word count fall where it may. I usually work really hard to try to hit an even 100, but if it reads better at 105, that’s how I’ll post it.

    • Agree with Sandra. Anachronistic didn’t fit for me.

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    The term “there’s one in every family” is a universal one I see. I’d never heard of the Skoda so I looked it up.

    I’ve heard the same types of jokes about Fords. In fact I had a little Ford station wagon back in the early 90’s that was the embodiment of the acronyms FixOrRepairDaily or FoundOnRoadDead. I imagine Matty would have fun with those as well.

    Entertaining slice of family life. Before you know it Sebastian will be telling jokes. 😉

    Well written. Smiles all around.



    • Aww, I’d never heard that about Fords. Funny how these things can be country-specific. My brother was the skoda joker when we were little, I’m not sure he ever quite forgave my Mum for getting one years later, but to me, they are a rare and impressive example of a brand turn-around.

      My first car was an MG (made by Rover). When it, predictably, blew a head gasket, I was teased with the old slogan, “Above all, it’s a Rover.”

  3. Dear Jen,
    Nice work, and for the most part, it fits nicely into the 100 words here. I didn’t quite catch why Mum is asking Matty to fill the petrol tank there in the showroom, though. Did I miss something?

    Marie Gail

  4. I have a feeling Matty isn’t going to like the new car.

  5. I like it, Jen. Full stop. Just sounds like a real family and some real families use big words, too. 🙂 Lovely slice of family life. What’s not to like?


  6. It’s a perfect piece of family life and lovely dialogue. I like how the adult conversation continues around the child’s jokes.

  7. Read the whole piece with a smirk on my face. Very amusing. 🙂

  8. I think this would have fitted back in the 70s when Skoda was really bad cars… I had only heard the second one but it was told about Trabants (my favorite one was this:

    “How come the Trabant is the most silent car in the world?”
    “It’s the only car where you are forced to drive with the knees covering your ears”

    • I grew up in the eighties, when these jokes were still popular, although the cars were slowly getting better, they only really had a big turnaround in the 90s / early 2000s. I envisage this couple as about my age, but Matty has learned the jokes from his Uncle (my brother was very keen on them as a kid!), and doesn’t know that he’s behind the times, whereas Mum and Dad are well aware that Skodas are no longer wheelbarrows.

      Never heard of a Trabant – as I said to Rochelle, funny how these things are so regional!

  9. Dear Jennifer,

    Solid and sure from grill to bumper. I like your defense and your story. You conveyed a lot with a little here. The nuance of conversation between family members, the sense of the characters reactions as they hear a joke repeated. Resignation, love, and hope all spring from your work. I can see no difference between this and one of your non-distracted-by-nanowrimo stories.

    Well done.



  10. Jennifer, Good story. I doubt many parents would change their way of doing things just to please their child. Kids can be hurtful and they don’t understand. Other kids at the high school I attended (those with no manners) used to make fun of my dad’s car because it was old. I considered the source. Creative use of the prompt. Well written as usual. 🙂 — Susan

  11. Great slice of life here. I think I was Matty when my sisters and I were small. I’m sure they’re glad I grew out of it.

  12. I love the dialogue, Jen. It’s very real and I can just see their faces.

  13. Great realistic dialogue that suits family life.

  14. Cute dialogue, interesting look at a family in the process of being a family. Took me a while to get the joke though!

  15. Great comment on car-buying dynamics – everything from marque to colour to seat upholstery is a battleground.

  16. I had to look up Skoda, but then the whole story came together wonderfully!

  17. Sarah Ann

    Love the family dynamic in this. Well depicted.

  18. Gods, those Skoda jokes are dreadful. Enjoyable story none the less

  19. Hee-hee-hee! Very good, Jen! I don’t use the word myself, but this fits it: delightful!
    Happy Thanksgiving from the U.S.A!

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