Like many middle-aged people Mrs May dreamt of the holiday of a life-time and spent two years planning her Grande Aventura. She arranged the perfect trip calling in on the historic and cultural centres of Europe.
The car of choice was a vintage Jaguar. It was once a byword for power, elegance and an iconic example of British engineering. Although a pleasure to drive, it wasn’t noted for its reliability. Sensibly, she signed up for the AA’s, European Breakdown Assistance.
Until she reached Salzburg, Mrs May’s Grand Tour had, largely, gone as expected, but then disaster struck. She noticed a knocking coming from the engine. Although the check engine warning light had been on for the last two years, Mrs May had been re-assured by some old school friends, there was nothing to worry about and everything would be ok.
However, things took a turn for the worse when the whole engine came to a shuddering, juddering halt. It was clear Mrs May was going to be unable to get this clapped out old banger back on the road.
She appealed for help from the locals, but, much to her surprise they were a particularly unfriendly and unhelpful bunch. No one seemed to understand a word she said, even though she spoke English very slowly and in a loud voice. The only phrase she understood was “Madam, sling votre crochet, s’il vous plait.”
Realising she was unable to drive the charabanc and not wanting to stay in a place where she was unwelcome, she decided to cut short her holiday and fly home. Clueless, she called out the AA to rescue the car.
Their breakdown team said “Look, this isn’t our fault, you’ve known there was something wrong with the car for the last two years, but you still insisted on driving it. We can’t be expected to bail you out because you couldn’t be bothered to fix it.”
Mrs May was philosophical about her holiday, she said, “Europe was not what I expected, I don’t think I’ll go back.”