17 June 2010
I think I'm a reasonably good driver. I've never had a car accident (er, apart from the odd bumper crunch and scrape...); I try to be considerate, I use my indicator and pull over well before turning to enable traffic behind me to keep flowing. Not everyone is as a good a driver as me though (oops, did I say that out loud?)
Almost every time I get in the car I seem to come across people who would be better off riding a bike, so poor is their command of a motor vehicle, so lacking in consideration for other drivers are they.
Which brings me to the beginning point of my story. It's a woeful tale. I'm almost ashamed to tell it. But I think I will, for the sake of transparency and perhaps for bit of a wry laugh and shake of the head: "There but for the absence of a traffic cop go I..."
My Tale begins with a Task: Take the family car in for it's WOF (hubby usually does it but this time he asked me to).
It runs out tomorrow, so it must be done today... can you do that, wifey???
Are you sure???
Why dost thou doubt me, good sir?
The plan was take the car to the Testing Station in the morning. Oh, but the morning was so cold!!! And then my little Scraggadag wanted a nap (and it was so warm and cosy in the house) and so I did what all dyed-in-the-wool procrastinators do when faced with a bleak task on a cold day: I procrastinated.
Sure enough there she is at school on the monkey bars; she decided not to come on the walking bus but to hang around and play while daddy takes his team for training. Grrrrrr. There are a few sharp words as we drive off... and run smack bang into The Worst Driver I have ever had the displeasure to drive behind. Not literally of course. There was no actually smacking or crashing involved.
Just lots of frustration as the Worlds Worst Driver ambled along in the middle of the road... then STOPPED. In the middle of the road. No indication... then turned right veeeeery slowly from the middle of the road. Did I mention no indication??
I flash my lights, toot my horn and shout, "Get a license!" (as if they can hear me)
I can feel the blood pressure rising. Calm, down girl, your daughter is watching your every move!
"Sorry, AbFab, " I say, "Mummy shouldn't have shouted like that..."
Don't speak too soon Simoney. Because you are about to meet a carload of the Worlds Worst Driver's Cousins. Oh yes. Driving along at 20km per hour. They pause in the middle of the road... then move ahead slowly... then pause... then move ahead slowly... then STOP!! What is it with people stopping in the middle of the road...? Finally they turn left (without indicating) and I plant my foot and accelerate at last, as I fling insults over my shoulder... "Where did you learnt to drive?? Useless, hopeless, idiots..."
Then as if in slow motion I see the man in blue, pointing something at me... its a...a... a speed camera??? Oh no - he's waving me over! A wave of shock hits me as I pull over and wind down the window.
Barely able to gasp out my address, my shaking fingers fumble for my license and I slump over my steering wheel as the Officer writes out my ticket. Did you know what speed you were travelling at? 61km. And you have children in the car...
As I begin to weep hot shameful tears, he says: "Don't cry, it's only a speeding ticket!"
At this my shoulders start to shake and heave and the Officer begins to doubt my ability to drive safely.
He suggests I forget the WOF and head back home. I follow his orders, sniffling all the way.
Back home, after growling at Miss Fab and making her cry too, we miserably head for our separate rooms to await Daddy's return. Guilt-ridden, I apologise for growling, and she forgives me. We snuggle on the sofa until the soccer boys return and I have to pour out my tale of woe and my failure to achieve my Task (and of course the dreaded traffic fine)
Thankfully Mr G does not recriminate, does not lecture or nag. He hugs me, and said, you tried, you're just terribly disorganised! I promise to take the car in first thing tomorrow.
Today I finally made it, the car passed its WOF and I managed to stay calm the whole way. Miss Fab had a doctors' appointment so she wasn't in school. As we drove she laid her hand gently on my shoulder and said, "Now mummy, this time if you meet any bad drivers, just take a deep breath and don't get upset, OK?"
Waiting for the paperwork at the Testing Station, my kids were singing and laughing together. The lady behind the desk remarked, "Lovely kids you have. Hearing their happy voices just made my day."
Ohhh, what a nice warm fuzzy! And that is where I should have left this post...
Except that we also popped in to a fruit shop where I came across the rudest meanest old lady I have ever laid eyes on. I was lined up in the wrong place but she saw me waiting there long before she stepped up, and just put her stuff on the counter ahead of me anyway.
I said, "Excuse me but I was next, I just wasn't sure where to line up!"
"For your information you are meant to line up on this side!" she flung at me.
I couldn't help myself. I couldn't, gentle reader!
Before I knew what was happening, I had blurted sarcastically, "Oh thankyou! That's so kind of you to tell me! You are obviously a very kind person! Actually you saw me waiting here for ages, and you knew I was there and you just pushed in!"
Sigh. I guess I have a way to go with my temper.
PS: The Pictures of Miss Fab sleeping have absolutely nothing to do with the story. I just liked them. Doesn't she look peaceful??