Thursday, 10 March 2011

Drive Time

I’ve always been a hopeless driver.‭ ‬When I did my test,‭ ‬I passed, but I didn’t impress.‭ ‬The inspector said to me at the end of it,‭ ‘‬You’re not a very good driver,‭ ‬but you're almost ridiculously safe. I am giving you your licence, but only because you gave way to every single vehicle on the route.' 'Thank you,' I said, recognising the truth of what he'd told me and not wanting to say or do anything that might make him change his mind.

He handed me the bit of paper I needed and opened the car door to get out. Just before he did get out though, he turned and delivered his parting shot. 'Just remember, ' he said, 'I don’t want to see your name in the death notices.' I nodded and promised I'd do my best not to disappoint him. I've been trying to keep my side of the bargain ever since.‭

I haven’t improved though - in fact, since I had my eyes tested recently, I have, possibly, got worse. The trouble is that ‬I asked the optometrist if I had reached the point where I should start wearing glasses when I'm driving yet.‭ ‘‬Not quite,‭’ ‬he replied after considering the question for a minute. ‘‬You’re borderline,‭ ‬you see - you’re at the stage where you should think about it.‭’ ‬So I do‭ – ‬while I’m driving.‭

I hadn't really realised this until the other day when I was belting down the highway towards my mother's farm. 'Why do you keep taking your glasses off and putting them on again,'‭ ‬my husband, who was sitting beside me, asked all of a sudden. ‬I slid the things back over my ears and then almost immediately removed them. 'I’m just thinking about whether or not I need them,‭' ‬I told him.‭ Putting them on again, I explained about the optometrist and what he'd said. It didn’t seem to  my husband to be an entirely reasonable explanation.‭ ‬'Either you do or you don’t,' he said, and at the next opportunity he took over from me behind the wheel.

'By the way,' he asked me, as he nosed the car back out into the traffic, 'Why did you draw over almost into the gutter every time anyone went past us before?.' 'Well you know in films when cars pass and the window winds down and there's a sawn-off shotgun pointing in the driver's face?' 'Yeees, I suppose so.' 'Obviously, I'm anxious to avoid having my face blown off.'

My husband glanced at me then, with a vexed expression. 'So we have to stop going to the movies now, is that it?' he asked. 'We can still go to rom-coms', I said, 'provided they are gunfree.' He was overtaking a semi trailer at that moment, and so I was crouched low in my seat, out of bullet range. I couldn't see his face from that position, but I'm fairly sure I heard him groan.


  1. This was such a delight to read -- so funny.

  2. Thank you, Chris, I'll give you a lift some time - with or without my glasses.
    Hello Brit - Would LOL be an appropriate response to 'Arf!'? I await your further acronymic instructions