In-Car Valeting

By Ian D Smith

Location: A34 by Parrs Wood

At Parrs Wood on the A34 heading south, I saw a man in a suit at the side of the road holding up a cardboard sign with In-Car Valeting scrawled on it. At his feet, an open briefcase contained the tools of his trade.

The windows were greasy, the carpets were filthy and there was dust lying all over my ‘86 Metro, so I was interested in the idea. I’d provide the lift; Mr In-Car Valeting would do the hard graft. We’d both be happy. So I stopped and opened the door.

The man peered inside.

He sniffed, ‘Where to?’

‘London,’ I replied.

He nodded, ‘S’fine.’

And he hopped right in. He slammed the door and smoothed down his hair. He put both hands on top of his briefcase.

I set off and reached the M6 junction, but he just sat there staring straight ahead, and he didn’t say a dickie bird. He looked at his watch. His shoes shone like diamonds. I asked him when he was going to start doing some valeting.

‘London,’ he replied. ‘I’d be a mug to start before then wouldn’t I?’

‘That’s not part of the deal.’

‘There was no deal.’

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4 Responses to “In-Car Valeting”

  1. January 07, 2010 at 3:42 pm, Ian D Smith said:

    Dear all you wonderful people at Rainy City Stories, my artwork accompanying this piece can be seen @

  2. January 09, 2010 at 10:42 am, Update On My Writing « Tony Blair in the Wilderness said:

    […] Those great people at Rainy City Stories chose to publish a story I submitted months ago, In-Car Valeting. Look, it’s a giant metaphor, which is like a semaphore but […]

  3. January 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm, Joel K said:

    Bizarre, but with a point, so it’s actually real.

  4. July 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm, The Sci-Fictional Quasi-Literary Conundrum | Incwriters said:

    […] City Stories: Sofa Sorbet and In-Car Valeting The Front View (aka The View From Here): Telescopes @ Transmission: The […]


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