Thursday, 1 July 2010


I was sitting in my car, which was parked in a side road behind the church where I was waiting for my wife.
It was a “no through road” and its primary function was as an access road to the shops and its double yellow lines were designed to deter men from waiting for their wives but at six o’clock in the evening we were there in numbers with out fear of causing an obstruction.
It was a warm late afternoon/early evening in June and the bright sun beat down on the car and subsequently we were all sat with our windows down to benefit from the light breeze.
I was leant back in my seat. Eyes closed against the sun, listening to the world cup chatter on the radio when I heard a car horn.
This was not an uncommon occurrence, there was always someone honking for something, I myself was no stranger to the use of the horn, so I didn’t open my eyes and continued to listen to the radio.
Then came a prolonged blast which did open my eyes and caused me to turn to see where it was coming from.
I had to crane my neck to see the source of the noise which was behind me and to the right.
A woman in a large salon car who was trying to exit a car park was waving her hand in an exaggerated gesture which I took to mean “can you move the car back”
I arrived aqt this interpretation mainly because she shouted rather forcefully out of her open window.
“Move back, move back”.
Despite the fact I was not level with the entrance nor was I blocking it in anyway and had she got her positioning right she would have made the maneuver effortlessly,
I pointed out to her quite politely that she was only driving a saloon car and not a tank but this fell on deaf ears so she repeated her demand.
“Move back, move back”
I acceded to her request and reversed back out of harms way but as she was making the turn she stopped and shouted to me through the passenger window.
I was expecting a thank you but instead she shouted in a voice somewhere between Caroline Langrishe and Margot Ledbetter.
“If I didn’t have my daughter in the car I would have something to say to you, you silly old man”
I was so taken by the superciliousness of her comment that I laughed.
This was not the response she was expecting which seemed to fluster her and she missed her gear.
“Are you not even a little bit embarrassed that you can’t maneuver yourself out of a car park”?
She eventually managed to find first gear and lurched forward but then found herself tight up behind the car that was parked in front of me before I moved.
I couldn’t resist the temptation and leant out of my window.
“Would you like me to ask him to move as well”?
She reversed back quickly then lurched forward again only to find she still couldn’t clear the parked car so she through it into reverse again and quickly shot forward.
To my shame the child in me applauded as did the driver of the car in front.
Then a jeweled hand appeared from the drivers’ window and extended a single digit and from the passenger side a smaller hand appeared and gave a thumbs up.
Then the break lights came on as she violently braked sharply, at first I thought she was going to engage us in some witty repartee or that she had noticed her daughters’ supportive gesture but no, it was just that she nearly ran down some poor unsuspecting pedestrian.
The driver of the other car and myself exchanged knowing looks and I chuckled to myself and was still chuckling when my wife arrived and got in the car

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