Sunday, 8 April 2012

Orange Cars and Men in Caps

This post has nothing to do with media - transport not transmedia. It is, after all, Easter and I'm on holiday.


Let me say straight away: I have nothing against the colour orange - it looks fine on an orange. Orange cars on the other hand seem to be driven by people who are... hmm... differently wired from the rest of us. If you are an orange car driver and consider yourself Completely Normal, either stop reading now or accept my grudging apology in advance.


Wortham is a village on my route to and from work. By the time I arrive there on my way home, I've driven over 30 miles at the end of a long day's teaching. Ennui is inevitable. A friend of mine once prescribed pickled onions for ennui, but I can't really advise driving with a jar between your knees.
One warm afternoon last summer, I was in dire need of something to relieve the boredom. As I crossed the green in Wortham, heading for the village school, a line of traffic came sedately around the bend towards me. Obviously, far too slowly for the boy-racer in his orange car. In a howl of twin tailpipes and cloud of exhaust he pulled out and roared past the patient line - straight into a traffic bollard. The car ripped the bollard from its island and dragged it along the ground, until he pulled over. I slowed down as I passed him and noticed he had his baseball cap on backwards. I would have asked if he was OK, but I was laughing too much. I had just begin to think more soberly of how the bollard could easily have been a schoolchild crossing the road, when hilarity and delight returned, redoubled, as I realised the next vehicle approaching me was a police car.

And, from the opposite end of the orange car spectrum...

There was a time when an elderly man near here owned an orange car; a Morris Marina, I believe. I once followed him through a neighbouring village at 15mph - which was irritating but bearable. Nearly impossible  to bear though, was when he slowed down for bends. Still, we are talking about a Morris Marina here. I had plenty of time, when following him, to notice that he always wore a cap. He, his car or, more likely, both, are no longer with us.

Yet, it seems, he has handed on the baton to other drivers who wear caps.  I followed a Capman today who drove a silver super-mini, meaning he didn't have The Orange Marina Excuse.  So, I came to the conclusion  that perhaps I had misjudged orange cars and that in fact cap-wearing whilst driving is to blame.  I had several boxes of crockery in my car for delivery to Gaze auction rooms in Diss. Now Gaze's close at noon and the hour came uncomfortably closer as minute followed minute, and I followed Capman.  To avoid a steep increase in my blood pressure I made lengthy mental calculations, involving 95% of cap wearers driving at 25% of an national average speed of 35.357mph. Still, I could probably forgive him the cap and the slow driving.  What I can't forgive is the fact that he obviously waits in side roads on days when I'm in hurry, in order to pull out in front of me on a stretch of road where it's completely impossible to overtake - unless, of course, one follows the example of  Baseball Capman...