Of course, we were bombarded with requests back at the petrol station. Eventually though, we settled on an interview with the reporter who had suggested the petrol in the first place. In a strange kind of way, we felt we owed him. Sure he was a bit surly and he was a tabloid reporter, but that didn't really matter. He'd helped save our sons life and so an interview was the least we could do.
A few weeks later, once everything was arranged and a nice little sum had been deposited in our bank account, the reporter turned up at our house with a photographer. As part of the agreement, Sarah had agreed to go back into hospital for some more tests. At first, we had felt a little offended by that but when the reporter explained that not only would this clear things up for the story, it would also clear things up for the world at large and put all doubts to rest about the legitimmacy of our child, something he said would no doubt cause us problems later on if we didn't sort it all out. We didn't like the thought that we somehow had to proove to the world that our family wasn't a fraud, but he was right. I'd already received a letter from our insurance company that they could no longer provide medical insurance for Sarah and of course we'd received some legal rumblings from VW's lawyers. It was all a bit of a worry so we were glad for the reporters advice and reassurance.
The tests had come back conclusive. There had been no implantation, no surgery. Nothing out of the ordinary, well, except for the completely inexplicable growth of a miniature VW beetle in Sarah's womb. No-one could explain how it happened, the medical community was baffled as much as we were. They wanted to keep her in indefinitely, study her and the baby as long as possible, hey said they'd pay us for the privilege but all we wanted to do was to be left alone to raise the baby in peace. Life in a test-tube was no life at all for Sarah and the baby and we wouldn't allow it so we turned them down every time.
I answered the door.
"Hello there Harold - we're here for the interview." The reporter said, offering a hand.
I shook it and welcomed him and the photographer in. "Come on in, Sarah's in the living room with the baby."
"Speaking of which," the reporter said, pulling out a portable dictaphone and setting it to record, "have you decided on a name yet, it's been over a month since he was born, right?"
"Uh? Yes, yes it has and no, we haven't decided on a name. It's tricky, and we've been mulling over a few ideas, but we never expected to be naming a car. Speaking names, perhaps we all better introduce ourselves for the record?"
"Of course, silly me. Okay, I'm Jim Morrigan, here with Phillip Matthews, our photographer interviewing Harold and Sarah French in their lovely home." He said, sending a questioning glance my way which I replied to with a thumbs up.
"From the outside, you wouldn't expect this to be anything but the average family home. And your expectations would be right. Inside is the model of normal suburban life, painted with a multitude of VW Beetle paraphrenalia from pictures to models." He continued as he walked into the living room and sat down in a seat opposite the couch.
I joined Sarah on the couch and the photographer started setting up some gear.
"So Harold, Sarah, this all must be pretty exciting for you. A new addition to the family. Your first child?"
"Yes." Sarah replied.
"Why don't you tell me a little about yourselves? How long have you 2 been married? How long have you've been interested in Beetles?"
"Well," both Sarah and I began, then laughed. I let Sarah continue, "we met about 10 years ago, at an airport. We'd both been waiting for almost 24 hours, I was going on holiday and so was he and having spent so much time not talking to each other, we thought we might as well talk and things went on from there."
"Did you ever get to go on holiday?"
Sarah laughed and squeezed my hand. "No, no, we both ended up cancelling everything in the end. I didn't relish paying for a taxi and a train journey home and so Harold offered to drive me back. We were both really tired, which is probably why neither of us realised that we both lived in completely different directions! Poor Harold dropped me off and then realised that he'd now need to drive almost 80 miles to get home, I offered to let him sleep on the couch but he was so shy he said he wouldn't want to intrude, a stranger in my home, and so he'd sleep in his car in the driveway. You really were a funny thing back then Harold."
I just gave an embarrassed grin. "We don't have to print that story do we?"
"Don't worry Harold, I'm just recording all this for notes, this isn't going on the radio or anything."
"So how did you two get interested in Beetles? Just looking around the home I can see they are a big part of your life."
"Well, I'm afraid to say I'm not that interested at all, it's all Sarah's obsession, I'm just an innocent bystander." I laughed, while Sarah punched me gently in the arm.
"Yes, it's true. It's all me I'm afraid. I've always loved them, ever since school, even before. Some girls had Barbie, some girls had My Little Ponies, I had Beetles, and I've never given them up since. I think it's probably all my fathers fault. He's a mechanic and he always used to take me to work and show me how all the cars worked."
The baby started beeping so I excused myself and went to fetch another bottle of petrol from under the sink. In the living room I could her Sarah answering questions and laughing. It was good to see her being so confident and happy. All this business had hit her harder than she'd let on. She was scared enough when we found out we were pregnant that she wouldn't be a good mother and then finding out she couldn't feed him really hurt her. We'd had many a tearful night over the last week but she was coming to terms with herself as a mother now and things seemed to be going great. I was so proud of her.
I strolled back into the living room and handed over the bottle. I always let Sarah feed him.
"So, Sarah, Harold. What do you think happened? We've all heard the speculations and accusations and we've seen the medical proof that this wasn't some kind of ruse but what we haven't heard is your take on all this. How do you think this happened?"
I felt Sarah's hand on mine and I squeezed it tight. No matter how much we'd tried to ready ourselves for this question, it was still difficult.