Sat Nav by Gemma Clarke

Rubies and duels would like to welcome our newest guest writer – enjoy her story


Helmut Beergarden-Clarke was feeling very pleased with himself,

he thought his TOM-TOM sat nav purchase for £89.00 was an

absolute steal and the Which? website confirmed it! Even Bob the

guy at his local garage, who’d fitted it, thought he had, as he put it

“played a blinder.” And today he was going to christen it with a trip

to Coventry, a trip he made everyday, to check if it followed his

special short cut or sent him all around the houses – or indeed to a

Little Chef car park just outside of Orpington as had happened to

him with his old one, hence the new purchase.

After the third time of checking he’d locked his front door and

avoiding all the cracks on his garden path he eventually made it to

his car. He started the engine and on the third go pulled away. He

duly switched on the sat nav, then off again, then on, and off again

and finally on – and a voice with a thick Egyptian accent said.

‘You have switched me on three times, I now grant you three

wishes O Master.”

Helmut was a bit taken aback by this turn of events. ‘Wh what.”

he replied. I want to go to Coventry, and quick about it.”

“Can I just stop you there O Master; I have just granted you

three wishes and you want one of them to take you to Coventry, no

one has ever wished that before. Are you sure want to waste a

wish, what about improving your nose, I have a wide range to

choose from?” And on the Tom Tom screen appeared a selection of


“What do you mean improve? I have a fine nose, fine noses run in

our family. It’s a noble German nose – we’ve had this nose for five

generations.” declared Helmut.

“Apologies O Master, Coventry it is then.”

“No, wait. You can actually grant me three wishes?”

Well yes, within reason. You can’t wish for more wishes, you can’t

see or go into the future or the past.”

‘Well what kind of thing do people wish for?”

“ All sorts really…”

“Hold on where’s your Egyptian accent gone?”

“Oh yeah, that was an introductory offer for the first five minutes,

you’ll have to put up with my original Brummie now. Right, previous

wishes… Lottery win obviously, to be the new James Bond, young

Daniel Craig has never looked back. No one’s ever gone for world

peace, or turning the sea into drinking water – it’s up to you Pal,

but don’t go for Bond, not with that nose, I do wishes not miracles.”

“Is my nose really that bad?” said Helmut looking in his wing

mirror, bending his long pointy nose this way and that.

“Are you kidding, it’s a tossup between you and Pinocchio after

he’s told a whopper!”

“Well which would you choose?” said Helmut looking at the Tom

Tom screen selection.

“I’m an invisible entity, I don’t need a nose, but if I had to

choose, number six, it’s what we call a Roman Nose, very popular in

the Home Counties at the moment. There you go, give it a blow”

Suddenly his old nose dissolved and the Roman Nose grew in its

place, causing him to sneeze.

‘Don’t worry that always happens.” said the voice. So, what do

you think?”

Helmut blew his nose and checked it in the wing mirror, a broad

grin spread across his face.

“Okay” said the voice “I see you like it, right that’s wish one,

what’s your next one, what about changing that awful moniker?

Helmut Beergarden-Clarke, your school days must have been


“I can do that for myself.’

“Yeah but you’ll have to sign a million forms, change your driving

License, passport, bank details, I can do it by just clicking my

invisible entity fingers, plus you won’t have to tell friends and

neighbours, I’ll make sure they think you were always called by

your new name, which is….” said the voice, expectantly.

“Muffton-Drizzlecoat, Helmut Muffton-Drizzlecoat” said Helmut.

“Ever heard the expression ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’”

said the voice. “I’m not sure you’ve got the hang of this wish

malarkey. Right to sum up; you have your new Roman Nose, your

new name, heaven help us, Helmut Muffton Drizzlecoat; right third

wish and you can’t see it but I’m crossing my invisible entity fingers

right now – shoot!

“Exactly” said Helmut. “I want to change my job from Ledger

Clerk to freelance Assassin.”

”Who do you want to kill?”

“Jeremy Clarkson”

“Wish granted,” said the voice

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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