Do it yourself

Why do I keep doing these things? Over the decades I’ve managed to put my foot in it verbally and physically with monotonous regularity, and some of these cock-ups have related to my work as a motoring journalist. Take the case of the wrong trousers, or more specifically, the only trousers. I’d been invited on a Mitsubishi launch to Spain, had dragged out a suitcase for my clothes and packed everything in it except the spare pair of trousers I’d laid out beside me, ready to go.

The ones I was wearing had seen life. I was in my hotel room preparing to head for dinner when I did another stupid thing. I bent down. There was a tearing noise as my trousers’ crotch seam stitching gave way, and a quick look in the mirror revealed a rather ragged under carriage and the occasional flash of yellow pants. With an increasing sense of panic, I searched through my case for the other trousers, but, of course, those were still sitting on my bed in Kent, well beyond reach.

Contemplating an evening of trouser anxiety and a persistent draft, I had a flash of inspiration. I was in a hotel room. Hotel rooms usually have sewing kits, along with bibles and vacuous lifestyle magazines. A frantic rummage in the bathroom revealed a kit with needles and thread, but there was a further complication. My trousers were black. Someone had used the kit and the only thread left was a vibrant red. There was nothing for it, so I de-bagged and re-stitched the tired trouser sections together again, using crude, cross shaped stitching that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Frankenstein monster’s forehead. I spent the rest of that press trip taking very short steps and sitting down whenever I could.

Then there was the glass walled Munich hotel used for the international launch of the BMW 1 Series. It was filled with a multi-national array of hacks, all waiting for coaches to take them to a press conference of Cecil B. DeMille proportions. The lobby had glass sliding doors and glass walls on either side of them. I walked smartly towards what I thought was a door that would open; finding it was a wall that didn’t when my face slammed into it. There was a terrific, very public ‘thud!’ as flesh and bone connected with the all-to-solid glazing. I could still see stars as I staggered out and onto the waiting bus, and during the interminably long press conference, my face started swelling up.

“You been in a fight mate?” said a photographer as I staggered back to the hotel. Hearing my tale of woe, this man said he ‘used to do a bit of boxing’ and ‘knew just the thing for that.’ He made for the bar, returning with a towel wrapped around some ice cubes, which I clasped to my throbbing temple.

The swelling didn’t take long to go down, leaving the right-hand side of my face looking jaundiced and a bit down in the mouth. The associated burning embarrassment took rather longer to recede.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



and save over 40%

Looks like you're leaving

Subscribe to Diesel&EcoCar for just £5.99 a Month

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.