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Old 24th August 2010, 05:25 PM
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Default WAS: when god smote the Magna

Once upon a time, the relatively then recently married Mr and Mrs WAS found themselves in need of alternative transportation. Bettie the Toyota Corolla that Mrs WAS brought into the relationship was ageing, and as WAS Jr grew, it was not quite large enough for convenience either (the two motorcycles that WAS had brought into the relationship had long been sold to contribute to a deposit on the house).

Now also, at that time, the family WAS were members of a thing called the Hephzibah Covenant Community (later and now the Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community, when it merged with the organisation of that name). Exactly what that is would take quite a bit of explanation, but let’s try to give a quick sketch so as not to distract from the story. It was a lay organisation within the Catholic Church; basically, a lay Catholic group crossed with a small Pentecostal church. So: individuals would attend their own Mass on Sundays, but the group would meet at a weekly gathering (unimaginatively called “the Gathering”), also on Sundays, at which there would be music and singing (and shouting – oh the shouting) in tongues, and teaching, and so forth. During the week there things called “sharing groups” which were sort of like a home church thingy. Individuals were under a thing called “headship”, whereby they (those under headship) would on a weekly or so basis “share” how they were getting on with their Christian walk, and receive guidance. The leaders, all male, were styled “elders”.

The term used was “charismatic”, but organisationally it really was based on Pentecostal or evangelical arrangements. Now, of course, as we know, Pentecostals, among themselves, generally have a dim view of Catholics, and it was slightly odd to be looking like Pentecostals. This was papered over by hysterical devotion to Mary and the Pope, and celebration together once a month of Mass complete with tongues and singing and being slain in the spirit and, generally, stuff to give the average pew-dweller the vapours. Over a couple of hours.

Anyway, another facet of life in Hephzibah was living in the so-called “cluster”; that is, a relatively small geographic area where people were encouraged to live in close proximity. This was so that lives could lived together and shared conveniently.

Of course what it also facilitated was everyone being constantly under everyone else’s observation, and a general sense of being under scrutiny in the minutiae of one’s life.

Anyway, back to the matter of transportation. Living under each others’ feet, and doing the best appear to be living a holy life, led to some slightly odd unspoken rules. Unsurprisingly, one was that married women didn’t work, or if they did it was only to save for a deposit or help write down the mortgage while waiting for the first child to be born (the string of shotgun marriages is another story, albeit pertinent to the ‘do xian girls do it’ question in another thread). In fact that one wasn’t quite unspoken. A more curious one was that, for some reason, it was sort of frowned upon to go to university.

Another other thing that the WASs noted was that no-one ever bought or drove a new car. Bettie the Corolla had originally been new, but that had been pre-Hephzibah and it was looking a bit the worse for wear by now.

However, WAS was doing not too badly at that time for his young age (having also been bucking the unspoken rule that good Christians don’t have careers, nor seek worldly advancement) and it was decided that a new car would be bought after all. And so it was, and it turned out to be a Maroon 1995 Mitsubishi Magna. And it was the marvel of the community: people watched it being parked at, or driven away, from the Gathering; a ride in the Magna was a sought-after pleasure. Now, as it always happens, neither WAS nor Mrs WAS were entirely good Christians, not by the lights of Hephzibah, and were always a bit of a bad fit. Anyway, in their wickedness they named the car “the Golden Calf” and referred to it thusly for a few weeks.

Given the cluster lifestyle, this of course Got Around. In the normal course of business, it might have expected to have excited some commentary from the Eldership, but it took a little while. One of WAS’s failings is a slightly debilitating shyness and awkwardness around other people, which often comes across as rude aloofness and unapproachability, and some even take it as a superior attitude. The one silver lining to this is a slight reduction in the amount of shit from other people that has to be dealt with. For example, one of WAS’s age peers got their ear pierced, and for their troubles were grabbed by an Elder by that ear and towed by it around the hall where the Gatherings took place while an explanation was tendered to the pierc-ee of what did and did not count as godly accoutrements for men. WAS was not subject to this treatment when similarly placed (or pierced) (though an emergency phone call was made to inform the chief elder who was overseas at the time); nor for his pink shirts, when they were in vogue in the secular world, either.

Anyway, eventually a mild-mannered request was made by an Elder please not to call the car the golden calf; and while the WASs were not particularly good Christians, they were sincere, and so they complied. Mostly. When in earshot of other Christians, anyway. Usually.

But too late: the Magna was doomed. God smote it mightily. But for whatever reason, it took a while for the smiting to take full effect.

In the first eight months of ownership, it was involved in three accidents ranging (in reverse order) from a mild bump to it-should-have-been-written-off. About three months after purchase, while waiting at some traffic lights, someone failing to stop at a red light, travelling at well over 100kmh, ran into another car (which was spun around and ended up sitting on the engine sump) and then bounced into the Magna, hitting the driver’s side door, pushing the Magna across a lane, and careering on for another 20m or so up a grassed hill [WAS became an instant fan of Australian Design Rules concerning anti-intrusion doors, as without them the result would have been rather more severe than bruising and being a bit dazed]. After replacement of all the panels on the right hand side, a replacement bonnet, chopping out and welding in a new centre pillar, a complete respray, and generally installing half a new car, the Magna was back on the road.

Three months after that, someone failing to give way from a driveway took out all the panels on the left hand side. Relatively slow speed that time, so no damage other than to paint and metal. Cue replacement of the entire left hand side of the car.

Then, a couple of months after that, the local school at which WAS Jr attended decided that the wood rail fences were an unsafe enticement to the kiddies, and removed them. Almost – leaving 60cm high stumps around the parking area. Guess what one of those did to the two left doors, again?

It seems pointless to repair at that point (and being the fault of a WAS – not naming any names, Mrs WAS – the no claim bonus implications were dire. It’s not like, having had a new centre pillar welded in, the car was worth much anyway).

There is also the point that the 1990-ish model Mitsubishi Magna was one of the most shit-awful piece of engineering and manufacture ever produced by humanity. Truly a chastisement on Australia. Clever design features like not heat-shielding the alternator, which was bolted to the engine and invariably had to be replaced in every single one of that model car after a few months. Like recessed keyholes and painted handles resulting in scratched and worn out paint after a few months. Compared with Bettie which, other than consumables, required in over then years only the replacement of the rear demister switch, between accidents and poor quality eventually the only original parts left on the Magna were the inner frame, floor pan, seats and interior trim, the gearbox, and some suspension parts.

So the family WAS learned its lesson, and the Magna was comprehensively smitten – but over about ten years, when engine #3 was going to be just uneconomical. Why did god take so long? Has his aim got poor? Or can’t he be bothered to concentrate? Or perhaps he toyed with the WASs, as with Job? And finally: what were the sins of Australia, for god to punish them with the 1995 Mitsubishi Magna?

Mrs and Mrs WAS are now happy owners of a Toyota Yaris.
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  #2  
Old 24th August 2010, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

Cool story, bro.

So how did the Hepzibah (which to me will always be the name of a wanton and sexy catwoman in the X-Men comics) thing come about, anyway?

Or is that in your orIginal hello story that I should get off my lazy arse and look for?
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Old 24th August 2010, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

Quote:
wearestardust said View Post
...
One of WAS’s failings is a slightly debilitating shyness and awkwardness around other people, which often comes across as rude aloofness and unapproachability, and some even take it as a superior attitude.
...
That's a great story, and I can indeed relate to the excerpt above.
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Old 24th August 2010, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

Umm... maybe Magna's are cursed

I don't have a great story to share like yours but it did bring back some memories... hopefully not hijacking this thread but I thought it was partly relative. You can tell me off if you want

I had a 97 Magna. I could have lost my life three times in the thing before it was doomed. It was actually my pride and joy having spent a few thousand doing it up with engine mods and the like.

Then the incidents started.

First off I was travelling at 80kmh on busy Stud Road (Victoria) in the wet when a newly licenced driver thought he would put pedal to the metal entering the road from an adjoining one, lost control... slammed into me at high speed causing me to come to a dead stop, he bounced over the center strip and into oncoming traffic... fortunately no one was seriously injured. I was the worst off and was rushed to hospital with suspected broken ribs and spinal concerns. I ended up with severely bruised lungs. They repaired the car, I wished it had been written off it was quite damaged.

Second incident I was driving to work, singing (as you do). I passed by a huge flat bed truck when all of a sudden a 3 meter steel re-enforcing rod fell off the side, got caught in the wheel and flung into my car hitting the bonnet, smashing my windscreen and spearing through the roof just above my head. It could have been really ugly. The truck driver knowing what happened drove off. I was too shocked to get his details (bastard ).

Lastly, and the last straw for the Magna... I was approaching a set of lights (red) slowing down when they turned green. There was a lot of traffic at the time and I took my foot off the brake and went through the lights. That was the last thing I recall until I was being pulled out of my mangled Magna. I was hit by a huge truck who was late running thought the intersection (I argued he ran a red light but there was no credible witness to prove it). Cut a long story short if I was any quicker or the accident happened a split second later I wouldn't be here typing this. The impact pushed my dashboard in and the steering column cracked my knee open fracturing the patela, needing wire and screws, 3 months off work, Other injuries of course but it was quite serious. That was mid 2007, I am still fighting legal side of things today.

The Magna was sold off for parts and my knee doesn't really work properly anymore. It still upsets my wife to see these photo's, it wasn't the best time. She knows how close I came to death.

Notice the bent strut brace? I was told by the assessor that this may have saved me from a worse injury, as it took a lot of force to bend that thing and may have absorbed a good portion of it.


Thank goodness for the jaws of life. Once they got the door off they asked me if I could get out... of course I said yes but soon realised my leg didn't agree with me... then I saw the blood.


Hit me so hard it buckled the car.


Repaired leg but will never be the same. I have lost most of the feeling in the knee, I can't run, can't kneel or put twisting pressure on the joint. Hoping it doesn't become arthritic in the future but have been told it might. I am just happy to be alive and walking.
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Old 24th August 2010, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

Thank you for sharing your horrific experiences with us Fearless, but let's not forget that the only purpose of red light cameras is for "revenue raising".
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Old 27th September 2015, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

Late to this, was the Corolla red?
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Old 1st October 2015, 11:27 AM
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  #7  
Old 1st October 2015, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

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paulod said View Post
Late to this, was the Corolla red?
no - but PM sent
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Old 2nd October 2015, 12:36 AM
stevebrooks stevebrooks is offline
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

Bastards!

I once spent a month in hospital, I broke my ankle, braking the bone both sides of my joint, requiring metal plates, screws and months of rest, I thrill my niece by allowing her to run her fingers down my ankle feeling the little bumps of the screws, I tell her if I undo the screws my foot will fall off, well kids, you know

Anyway the point being, I was stepping out of the shower one day and slipped on the floor, how fricking boring compared to your stories, why does god hate me so to make my most serious injury such a shit story
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Old 2nd October 2015, 01:27 AM
paulod paulod is offline
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

I saw your PM. Answer is yes, but the forum won't let me reply.

I'm still not entirely sure who this is...
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Old 2nd October 2015, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: WAS: when god smote the Magna

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paulod said View Post
I saw your PM. Answer is yes, but the forum won't let me reply.

I'm still not entirely sure who this is...
Done and fixed I think.

The forum has a time out function for approving posts, your second post just missed it but you should be good to go now.
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