By Kevin Page

We are fortunate enough to be the proud owners of several methods of transportation.

To get us from A to B (that's B for Bunnings to us blokes and B for Briscoes to those of the female persuasion) we have a bus, two cars, two bicycles, a skateboard and more shoes than McDonald's has fries.

Obviously the vast majority of the shoes belong to my beloved, while one car, the bikes and skateboard (sorry, I just can't let those teenage years go) are mine.


Maintenance-wise, it's all pretty easy. I sort the bikes and the skateboard; the rest I leave up to our mechanic. Though I should point out we don't let him touch the shoes.

It is always interesting to see his reaction when I turn up with Mrs P's car. This is because it suffers regularly from the phenomenon known as WN, or Wife Noise.

This is a sound husbands cannot hear, no matter how far they stick their faces into the engine or rev the motor. It is something only a wife can hear.

Such was the case last week when, upon starting her beast, Mrs P was adamant there was "a bad sound" coming from the front.

Obviously I did the required thing — had a look under the bonnet, wiped a bit of dust off the battery and said "Hmm" in a knowing fashion.

Then I took it for a drive, knowing full well there was nothing wrong with it and no further action was required and also within 10 minutes of my relaying that view Mrs P and I would be arguing about it.

And we were.

It seems having a brother who is DIY and mechanically minded qualifies Mrs P as being all knowing when it comes to such things.


Obviously, I can argue that is probably not quite true, but it is difficult because unfortunately there is precedent for me not listening when it comes to maintenance issues.

Some 10 years or more ago we had a house where a particular damp smell emerged from a basement bathroom. Mrs P was adamant the smell was the result of a water leak.

I was equally adamant it wasn't but took the precaution of getting in various professionals over the next few years to try and sort it. They all supported my view.

Eventually we decided on a complete gutting of the said room and, you guessed it, with everything stripped back, there it was — the offending leak.

It would be fair to say I am reminded of that time I did not listen every time I don't ... well, listen.

Anyway ...

We reached that stalemate stage in our car argument where progress would not be made unless an outside opinion was sought, so I begrudgingly took the vehicle to Mr Mechanic.

I am thinking he must set aside an hour each day to deal with Wife Noise issues because I pulled up just as he was seeing off another husband with the phrase: "Don't you worry, it'll be all right."

Then it was my turn.

He hopped straight in the car, drove it down the road and came back with a comment I'll remember for a long time: "There's a belt whirr on this side."

I still couldn't hear it but obviously he's the doctor so I went along with his diagnosis.

"Most likely the cambelt needs changing," he said. "You're looking around $800 plus GST."

The grimace on my face meant he felt the need to explain a bit further.

"Sorry about that," he said apologetically.

"They are in such a difficult place you have to take everything out to get to them. They are just so time-consuming".

"It's not the cost," I said glumly. "It's just occurred to me I'm going to have to admit Mrs P was right all the time."

■Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales and a firm belief that laughter helps avoid frown lines. Your own tales and feedback are welcome on