THE GARBO is one of the great unsung heroes of local council. These humble blokes and blokettes earn their packet by rising early to patrol our darkened streets on the wrong side of a whiffy, diesel-belching dumpster to ensure our towns remain litter- and rat-free.
If you ever doubted the importance of garbologists in our urban eco-systems then consider the good folk of Napoli, who endured eight months without waste collection back in 2007-2008, leading to mountains of stinking rubbish and a multimillion- dollar bill to send the stuff north to Hamburg for incineration.
So, yes, our Garbos are champions of the first order but, as you’ve no doubt discovered, they can be a tad devil-may-care with the placement of bins once empty.
The Good Wife found this out to her detriment recently while threading a backroad short-cut to collect the kids from school.
The route avoids some traffic lights but ducks and dives, jinks and jigs to get there, mixing ragged road edges with blind crests and midspeed chicanes, among other amusements.
These, when taken at pace, provide an exhilarating appreciation of the Superb’s steering precision and handling. Normally.
But this time, our friendly garbologist had casually dropped emptied bins right on the edge of the thin ribbon of tarmac; as the Superb sailed up and over a blind crest, sticking well left to avert a nasty comingtogether with unseen approaching traffic, the passenger door and its protruding handle clipped a bin just hard enough to leave a smear halfway along the door.
It looked innocuous enough and, after the Superb had pitted and race control were advised of the incident, I thought we’d escaped with just a mark that would buff out.
Sadly, it wasn’t quite that simple: the whack had taken out the Skoda’s keyless entry function, which the amber alert on the dash and its accompanying chime has been eager to remind us of ever since.
Acknowledging the warning via the rotary dial on the steering wheel shuts it up for a bit, but the moment speed drops below 60km/h it comes back. And despite trawling the Skoda’s touch-screen menu, I can’t find a way to shut it up more permanently.
If it weren’t for the pre-Christmas rush I’d have had it in for a good seeing-to by a Skoda technician … but in lieu of that I handed the keys to acting editor Inwood for his annual festive-season road trip to the family home in Bathurst.
The bloke reckoned the Skoda’s air-sprung cruising road manners, its commodious 625-litre boot, all-wheel drive and gutsy 206kW turbo-petrol engine would be an ideal combination for hauling better-half Bek, their border collie Riley and a swag of Chrissie gifts on the 1000km inland run.
I couldn’t agree more, but may have failed to mention that damn warning chime during the handover...
Quick-release levers fold the second row, and Velcro-bottomed plastic barriers can be placed to stop load items sliding about
Date acquired: September 2016 Price as tested: $60,190 This month: 1115km @ 13.5L/100km Overall: 4480km @ 11.6L/100km km
URBAN COUNTRY SPORTS FAMILY MOTORWAY
Rear-seat passengers are pampered with features like individual window privacy shades, centre-console vents, overhead map lights, plus seat heating and cooling. There’s acres of legroom, but NBA-types can access even more via electric seat switches mounted on the inside edges of the front seat bolsters, allowing rear-seat passengers to adjust the front seats.
It’s novel, but maybe not so great with mischievous children. Finally, sited beneath the front seats are a pair of little carpeted ‘foot stools’ to elevate the tootsies of those in the rear on long-haul trips. Luxury!