Monday 25 October 2010

Either I’m ridiculously handsome, hideously ugly, a wizard, or they’re just blinded by love!

Pootle pootle, here I am, driving into town, pootling in a slow steady stream of traffic. Pootle pootle, there’s a bloke who wants to turn into this road from a side road. 

The cars in front of me are easing along pootle pootle style, so I stop, flash my lights, smile at him and wave my hand in a gesture that suggests I won’t smash my car into the side of his car, should he want to join the main road now.


Now! Come on mate!

He sits and stares at me with gaping vacant eyes, his face and body frozen, zombiefied, wretched.

Oh bloomin’ Nora, not another one!

Over the last week I’ve been letting the same amount of fellow drivers turn in, turn off and turn around in the road as I usually do, but for some reason they have been acting collectively bizarrely.

It matters not whether it’s a young lass in an Opel Corsa, a granny in a Nissan Micra or a male sales rep in a suit in a Toyota Avensis. As one they sit and stare at me, gormless and glassy, suddenly having lost the use of their limbs, their minds and any desire to acknowledge or show signs of life.

As I have stopped in the road to let them in, the traffic builds up behind me, and others become impatient. So then I drive off, and then, of course, they drive out into the road, causing me to break sharply in an effort not to smash my car into the side of their car.

So this time I’m just going to wait, be more patient; see how long it takes for Grizzly Graham here in the VW Golf to beam back down into Galway.

But he just sits there staring at me like a waxwork on holiday.

When I mentioned this recent phenomenon to the Snapper, she suggested rather generously that all these drivers must be blinded by my radiant handsomeness, to which I pointed out that they uniformly wore a horrified and sad expression in their catatonic states. They looked like they had seen the most despicably evil and disgusting image the universe could ever offer the driver of a 5 year-old hatchback. 

Being protective, she countered that maybe I was, in fact, a wizard, and when I swept my arm across the air to motion them to pull out, I was in fact casting a spell upon them, enchanting them into dreamy timelessness. I told her to cut down on the Harry Potter, whilst secretly liking the idea of being a street sorcerer.

The only other possibility is just too sad to contemplate: that they are, in fact, in shock, because somebody has offered a random and simple act of courtesy. 

No, no no no, I don’t want to believe that minor manners and minuscule generosities are perceived as outrageous outbursts of love, throwing normal behaviour patterns out of the window.

I much prefer to live in the world of the hunky, ugly or magic options. Those make much more sense.


Jeanne said...

You've just described my drive to work this morning! Thanks, Charlie.

Charlie Adley said...

Thank you, jeanne! Good to know it's not just me going mental out there on the roads - so waht do we do? Stop being courteous?

Jeanne said...

Perhaps we just keep being courteous and maybe they will eventually catch on?

Charlie Adley said...

Absolutely - we have to hope! I just had an email from somebody who said I shouldn't be stopping on a main road to let anyone in anyway. Apparently it's too dangerous and illegal.

Pa-leese! The last thing we need is legislation against manners.