It's 10 years since this Rogers Rabbits was first published in The Sun and went viral around the world, so we thought we'd celebrate the season with a little “re-gifting”, especially for our loyal readers who have requested it. Merry Christmas!
Dear Mr Claus, We have thoroughly examined your vehicle, which was delivered in a sorry state to our yard by Rudolph Towing & Salvage Co. and have prepared the following report on its condition and made some recommendations.
I have to say from the outset that the vehicle seems to have suffered some most unusual damage and repairs will not be easy, due to the age and the rare nature of this vehicle. This model, a Sleighland P76, is of course no longer in production. It may require a complete repower by John Deer. There were considerable complications, also, due to the fact that it has undergone some major custom alterations during the course of its life, presumably to cater for your peculiar line of work. There is considerable corrosion in the chassis and mudguards, which seems to have been exacerbated by the large amounts of bovine excrement accumulated under the vehicle. Some of these deposits have been frozen solid, due possibly to travelling in sub-arctic conditions and at high altitudes. The vehicle at some stage must have been used for some sort of off-road herd mustering, or possibly a venison recovery operation in the Kaimais? The suspension on this vehicle is completely knackered, worse on the driver's side, and we suspect that it has been used for long periods by a grossly overweight individual. Has it been subjected to rigorous work over rough terrain? It looks like it has been dropped repeatedly from three storeys up! There are roof tile fragments embedded in the shocks and what looks like the remains of a TV antenna has been removed from the leaf springs.
We recommend complete overhaul of the suspension and beefing up of the shock absorbers. And in future, you will need to take more care when parking. Which brings us to the handbrake. Our mechanics report that it is showing major wear and they estimate it has been left on for the last 24,900 miles, which oddly enough, is approximately the circumference of the Earth. We have taken the liberty of installing handbrake warning lights. These are multicoloured, some lantern shapes and others in various fruit configurations, which blink and flash to remind the operator that the brake is engaged. There has been considerable damage to the electronics, including the satellite navigation system, apparently caused by the spilling of beverages on the control console. We have therefore installed gimballed drink holders and Tommy Tippee cups on the dashboard. I am sorry we are not able to extend the cargo capacity any further, particularly since the boom box takes up so much space. Perhaps if you did away with the CD changer playing Jamaican rum drinking songs and Des O'Connor's Christmas Favourite Singalong, there'd be more room.
We realise from the attached market survey report that your client base has increased since last year, but we suggest that you follow the lead of a couple of our other clients in related lines of business (E. Bunny and T. Fairy) and instead of taking on more customers this year, you adopt a ‘limited supply policy,' and only deliver to your top performing clientele. Those with poor records or bad credit history may then take heed and improve their performance during the next 12 months, in order to regain a preferential listing. We will attempt to repair the deerskin upholstery, and we thank you for the supply of the carcass which we have sent to the tannery to have the hide prepared. Unfortunately there is a flawed area of the hide, which seems to have been damaged by impact with hot bricks. Also in line with your requests, we have installed the forward-facing LED flashing lights on the dashboard which can be programmed to read: “Move it, Rudolph you slackass or you're next,” although we should point out that these do not comply with MOT regulations. As for your request for panel and paint to remove the unusual hoof-shaped dents in the bonnet: we will do our best, but that particular shade of red with the iridescent sparkle is going to be very difficult to match. May I suggest the installation of a hood ornament, perhaps a staghorn, to cover the damaged area or fitting of bullbars to prevent damage from roadkill. I have taken the liberty of sending some photos of the vehicle to my cousin Marcus in Ponsonby who is a colour and design specialist. He and his partner Sebastian have just made a beautiful job of redecorating their Citroen in a lovely combination of purple and pink with sheepskin and silk trim. I'm sure they can come up with some helpful suggestions to brighten up the old buggy, which is just SO seventies. They'll help you accessorise, too. The chromed chain link steering wheel might have to go, and for the sake of Political Correctness we need to dispense with the Barbie with the flashing boobies dangling from the rear view mirror and the bumper stickers that read “I Might be Fat, but I'm in Front” and “Honk if you're Horny.” As we are only a small team of volunteers, it will be necessary to have our staff working around the clock in order to have this vehicle ready for service, according to the deadline imposed by the contract. I must point out however that you've had nearly 12 months notice to get this right, and suggest that next year any such major repairs be started in sufficient time. We're all busy at this time of year. If repairs cannot be effected within these time constraints, I have secured an undertaking from Mr Rudolph of the towing company (although I hear they are quite dear) that he and his team will again be available at short notice to tow your vehicle to complete your contract deliveries, should it not be possible to operate on its own motive power.
Specialist Transport Consultants