Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday Travel Woes

Something to take your breath away.

Does this mean I get a free calendar?.

Perhaps it is Thursdays.

Somehow I slept through my alarm this morning. This isn’t easy, it is an annoying electronic warble with a skull vibrating intensity and pitch. None the less, I slept through it.

When I did drag myself out of bed, I had squandered my valuable coming too time and had to throw myself into preparing for my travels. (Note 1)

The procrastinating sun was only prepared to tinge the eastern sky with the darkest blue while strands of cloud did their best to cling to their night time black.

There was something not quite right. Somehow the radio seemed, well rather quiet. (Note 2) I turned it up a bit and continued on my way, despite something feeling a little odd.

I pulled onto the motorway, the delightful A1(M). The surface seemed rougher than I remember. I worked my way to the outside lane and slowly let my right foot get a touch heavy. The motorway changed from three lanes to four.

The road started to make its own little bass beat, whispered thrum, thrum, thrum. That was unusual, something wasn’t quite right. Someone twiddled with the tarmac amp. THRUM! THRUM! THRUM!

Yes, good yeomen, it was the sound of a thrombosis of the wallet.

A blow out on the drivers side front tyre at around 80mph in the outside lane. Any remaining cobwebs are soon expelled from the brain. Any lingering constipation is miraculously cured. Your knuckles turn a funny colour.

With amazing presence of mind, I managed to manoeuvre the car across the other three lanes of traffic. The inside lane being the worst as I had to move between two lorries which had fed off the adrenaline of my situation and grown ridiculously large.

Fair dos to the Highways Agency, they answered the emergency phone very quickly. Mind you, at half six in the morning, I doubt they had much else to do.

The man took all my details and even took the details of my roadside assistance details. I thought getting me to wave to the camera was a bit much, but I suppose it helped cement a bond of friendship. (Note 3)

I stood behind the crash barrier for about half an hour waiting for my night in a day glow overall.

The man from the AA was a nice man. A very nice man. A very, very nice man. He had the wheel changed for the spare in a trice. He even gave me directions to the nearest Kwick Fit.

Now, that was a fun journey. My car doesn’t have a proper spare tyre. It has one of those smaller, emergency tyres that you are not supposed to drive over 50 mph. It seems very slow driving at 50 mph on a British motorway.

And a new one for the other side. You never get away with buying just ONE tyre.

It’s for that reason that I will make sure that my next car has a proper spare wheel. The thing is that as soon as you turn up at a tyre fitters with an emergency spare fitted, the guys eyes light up with glee. They have a captive market. I’m sure that tyres suffer a bout of severe inflation at the sight of an emergency spare wheel!

From 14th June, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: Without my coming too time, I have a tendency to try to wear my underpants on my head, use the cat as a toothbrush and mistake various furniture for breakfast. Click to return

NOTE 2 : For some reason, the presenters seemed to be talking indistinctly, almost whispering. I decided that I’d reached the age where my ears start to take a little longer to attune to the world in the mornings. Click to return

NOTE 3: OK, I admit it. It’s not that I cannot change a wheel or even that I was in my suit. The truth is, I didn’t have the bottle. The idea of kneeling on the hard shoulder with my arse sticking out perilously close to the traffic thundering along the motorway was just too much for me. Click to return

The van of the very, very nice man.

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