Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Delete as appropriate

Cruising through the Hertfordshire countryside in the sun yesterday afternoon, a song started playing in my head. Much to the discomfort of my fellow passengers, I hadn't realised I was singing along.

"When you get to where you wanna go
And you know the things you wanna know
You'll be so high you'll be flyiiinng."

The man in the next seat jolted me back into reality without even looking round to talk to me.

"In a moment I'm going to ask you to carry out an emergency stop..."

That's been happening a lot lately.

So now I'm back on the bus crawling through Harlesden and reflecting on my seventh unsuccessful driving test. It would seem that they're not particularly tolerant of harmless eccentricities like singing, tapping on the wheel or cutting up Ford Escorts. I blame The Man.

The Man is known in Watford as a particularly strict senior driving examiner, who failed me on two consecutive tests two weeks apart before I even got out of the car. In both cases I failed the bay park by a matter of inches and otherwise drove just fine. It was scant revenge to terrify him on the second test with a suicidal lane change.

Back to yesterday, and the examiner was young, tall and lanky, which I took to be a good sign. I'd traveled all the way to St Albans to escape my nememis, and he seemed a decent replacement. He introduced himself, and gestured to a previously empty corner.

"And this is The Man, who will be sitting in on our test today, unless you have any objections."

Somehow the correct response failed to come out of my mouth. It would have been something like:
"I'd rather you didn't, if that's ok. You're not a driving examiner, you're a human embodiment of all the negative chance events holding back my career, and that might put me off a little."

My instructor reckons he would have passed me if he wasn't being supervised by The Man. And it doesn't *sound* like I cut up that Ford Escort. She says I was just unlucky. Again. I make that 4-2 to the Forces of Chaos this year.

5-2 if you count the squash bottle full of urine that's rolling up and down the top deck of my bus. Probably best to keep my feet on the seats.


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