Paranoia and the art of driving sideways

July 3rd, 2005 at 9:52 pm by james

I’m back in my own corner of the sitting room, fitted in between the table and the wall behind the clothes drying rack. On the way home today we saw a car that must have been driven by very small people because the roof was so low they only had about an inch of window space to see through. This must have made driving tricky for them because they were in a field on the other side of a four-foot bank which they’d tried to drive over sideways. Seeing them there reminded me that my brother did something not dissimilar in a real BMW a few years ago. He doesn’t remember peeping out of the little windows, although he must have done because he’s here today. Which in turn reminded me that, in fact, he’s not. He and Ros moved back to South Africa today and arrived, I’m led to believe, safe and sound from that trip too.

Perhaps they weren’t very small people at all, those ones we saw today, perhaps they were just small-minded. Defensive driving must surely be a myth. No amount of paranoia is going to protect you from pusillanimity in control of half a ton of steel with a 200bhp engine.

When we passed the very small people Josie didn’t see them leaking out of their car because she was thoroughly engrossed in “Shark Tale”. If you have kids and were considering the merits of in-car dvd players buy one. Let go of the qualms about the sights they won’t see and the conversations you won’t have. You can tell them about the sights when you stop for a rest, or to clean the vomit off them because they get motion sick when concentrating on a small screen a foot in front of their faces.

Also remember that the smell of kiddie-vomit is worst when you return to the hot car following a rather nice lunch taken somewhere special along the way. Be sure to allow sufficient airing time and to send someone with a strong stomach or equipped with suitable breathing apparatus.

Contrary to the generally morbid tone of this post we had a very pleasant trip home. Josie was a little trooper, Sophie slept most of the way, Heather was a star entertaining Josie during her “more traditional entertainment” breaks, and Michelle and I shared the driving.

Back to work for me in the morning, as soon as I’ve reassembled Jo’s newly-washed car seat and re-installed it in the car …

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