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10:05pm on Wednesday, 27th February, 2008:

Three Bongs


I took my elder daughter to York University today, as part of her quest to find somewhere to go to get her degree (decision: it won't be York).

On the way back, three bongs sounded in the car. Only I heard them the first time, but my daughter also did the second. We didn't know where they were coming from, but they sounded like the kind of noise something makes when it's running out of battery. I checked my phone and the satnav, but it wasn't those. Then it happened again, and again four minutes later, and again four minutes after that. There were no instruments showing anything untoward in the car, it was just periodically emiting these three bongs.

They stopped for a while, then picked up again. I wondered if they might be speed-related, although this seemed unlikely because the first time I'd heard them I was just setting off round a roundabout, so can't have been doing more than about 20mph. Also, I'd looked at the speed while it was bonging and at no point was I going faster than 70mph.

Nevertheless, on a particularly wondrous stretch of the A1 I took the car up to, er, well for reasons on not wanting to be cautioned by the police, let's call Xmph. Nothing happened, until I returned to normal speeds — then it bonged three times. I repeated this twice more, and got the same result: the bongs only came when I'd gone over a particular trigger speed, then returned to normal.

The car has never done this before. What's more, it didn't do it when I tried the same thing later on the A120 rather than the A1.

Oh well, it's probably nothing more serious than a ghost.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).