ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A French Quarter motorist that’s constantly one major breakdown away from bankruptcy has apologised to his silver 1992 BMW 320i before feeding it a dirty big tank of E10 petrol.

Bill Carmichael’s mechanic told him to only put premium in it, for obvious reasons. It’s a German car that’s used to the finer things in life, he said, and you only get out what you put in.

However, due to failures in government policy and response, as well as other geopolitical problems, the price of fuel in the Diamantina Shire has gone through the roof.

That’s starting to affect Bill’s ability to live in his unrenovated Art Deco apartment on Rue de Putain so he’s started to cut costs where he can.

“I can’t shop at my preferred small-farm produce grocers anymore, I have to go to my Woolworths Metro like a mouth-breathing corporate johnny,” he said.

“Now I can’t afford to go to my natural wine bar, I have to go to a pub pub like a gambling addict. It’s absolutely terrible. I drank a white wine the other day that was younger than the milk in my fridge. I’m suffering,”

“But the worst is what I’m doing to my car.”

Earlier this morning, Bill gave a heartfelt apology to his Lily, his classic BMW, before putting E10 petrol in the tank for the first time.

“Lily has taken to the E10 quite poorly,” he said.

“She’s idling like a Massey-Ferguson at the lights now. In fact, the engine light came on almost immediately. I’ve heard a car knocking before but this is a whole new level. The detonation is terrifying. It sounds like a little man in under the bonnet shaking a can of marbles. Under heavy acceleration, it sounds like John Bonham playing a set of garbage cans,”

“I’m pretty sure it’s spitting burning fuel out the back. I’m pretty sure the fuel is burning in the extractors. I think it’s probably on fire when it’s inside the injectors. Great plumes of blue smoke shoot out when I pull away from the lights. Honestly, if the mechanic told me that the piston rings aren’t there anymore, I’d believe him,”

“I’m sorry, Lily. Times are tough for me.”

More to come.


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