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The trick with the plunger

You can’t imagine what I learn from my guests … I should pay them instead of they me! (hey, that’s a joke!!)

“Do you have a plunger for me?” a guest asks me. I was just a little bit relaxed and enjoying a nice dinner but because of this question I am stranding up straight.

“Er … yes, yes, I have a plunger …”, he sees my growing unease and sudden alertness, and reassures me: “It has nothing to do with the sink, it works fine. It’s for the car.”

Okay … yes, of course you can use a plunger on your car …

(What else? My world upside down! What are the things you could do with a plunger?)






Now I have a brother-in-law who knows a lot about cars and has helped me many times through a car-related crisis, and a cousin who is a car mechanic, so I know quite something about the tricks of the trade. But I had never heard of a trick with a plunger.

“On arrival, I put the bags in the car, but it was a bit too big for the space. So, I press a little too much … and now there’s a dent in the door. Bad luck. I just wanted to try that trick with the plunger, maybe it works, you never know. It is not in a hurry! Relax, it’s already there for a week.”

They will go to Coimbra tomorrow and the next day they’ll go home

All together, because there are 3 families with children who became friends during their stay. The children, and the parents. Enjoy a day of shopping (the mothers and the daughters) and a day of “Choupal” – a place-at-the-river-with-a-terrace-with-a-beer (the fathers and the sons).

The following morning I make my list for the day after I have arranged the ordered bread and gave water to all my precious flowers in the Butterfly Garden. Oh yeah! The plunger!

I grab the thing and walk to the apartment, and plop it onto the door

To my surprise, it stays in one go. So. That way they can’t miss it. And I can’t forget it anymore.

At the end of the afternoon I meet him again, while I supply a well-known Portuguese neighbour of a Duvel-in-a-matching-glass. “Hey, thank you for the plunger,” he says cheerfully, “we succeeded, but unfortunately not with this trick. There were some letters in the way. The letters of the car, in 3-D.  I just unscrewed the upholstery and pushed it back by hand. All good now.”


You have to be careful with those rental cars

“We didn’t insure that kind of damage”, he says, “because that’s a few hundred euros deposit, and you have to get it back. You hear those weird stories all the time, about these rental companies! ”

Now I believe that it’s not too bad, but you have to keep paying attention when renting your holiday car. Those rental companies obviously have good deals with car manufacturers, but they have to get their profit margins somewhere.

So if you have something with a rental car, you better try to solve it yourself first

And always watch out very carefully before you take it with you!

If it’s necessary, then you know now, that we have at least a plunger here to put it back in shape … liturally!