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My name is Alexander Gordon Smith, and I'm the author of various books including The Inventors series and the brand new Furnace series.

This is my blog, and is where I talk about books, writing and, well, probably other stuff too...

A Tribute to Bowser

No, I don't mean Mario's nemesis, I mean my car. I'm always astonished how easy it is to become attached to inanimate objects. Even though the logical part of your brain is telling you that a car is a hunk of metal and plastic and other lifeless materials, that it cannot possibly hear what you are saying or feel any semblance of human emotion, you still cannot help but think of it as alive, as a living, breathing, thinking, feeling thing.

Which is why, when you have to give up a car, it can be like losing a best friend, a member of the family.

Bowser has been my faithful Volvo V40 for four years now, it has carried me many thousands of miles and joined me on many an adventure. But sadly the week before last his engine went totally bonkers and he started trying to drive himself. Literally trying to drive himself. He was moving forward even when I didn't have my foot on the accelerator. At first I thought that the many years of wishing my car was alive had paid off and he had actually become a sentient vehicle. However, the people at the garage told me his throttle was shot and that he basically needed a new engine. I felt a bit like how Gepetto would have felt if, after witnessing his puppet come to life, somebody had said "actually, he's not alive at all, sorry about that. By the way, if you ever want to use him again it will cost you £3,000". Gutted.

Bowser was my second car, after a little red Dihatsu Charade called Clint which I bought from my friend Luke after uni (and yes, that's where Clint in The Inventors got his name from)! I couldn't really justify spending more money to fix him than I paid to buy him in the first place, so I said my sad farewells and traded him in for another car. But that moment when I patted him on the steering wheel for the last time, gently closed his door and said goodbye was heartbreaking!

Anyway, I'm welling up again now, but I just wanted to write a tribute to Bowser, the best car in the world. Thanks for everything. I'll miss you!

And even though my new car is pretty cool, it doesn't have an ejector seat / rockets / wings and a turn-into-a-boat button like Bowser (okay, you can't really see them on this picture, but he did!):


What a moving, heart-wrenching story. My own car is in for its MOT as we speak, and I fear the prognosis will not be good. It takes about five attempts to get started, and I have to stop it with a home-made anchor type arrangement ever since the brakes packed in back in 2008. I am bracing myself for the bad news to arrive at any moment, telling me they've had to blow the car up rather than risk it being driven on public roads again.

In other news, I hear you're going to be in Newcastle on Tuesday. Me too.

26 November 2009 at 07:41  

Hi Barry, thanks for your sympathy and your support! I'm still reeling, although the fact that my new car has heated seats is helping soothe my sense of loss :-) I really hope that your car fares better than mine. Is there any news yet? It certainly sounds like it might be on its last legs, or wheels, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that it pulls through!

In other news... I don't have anything in the diary for Newcastle tomorrow, so I am panicking ever so slightly that I might have missed something!!!! Where exactly am I going to be? If you could let me know that would be fantastic!!!!


30 November 2009 at 07:55  
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