Wrong thing

What’s the most wrong thing that’s happened to you this week? The most outrageously wrong thing, the wrong thing that made you sit up and say to yourself (or say out loud) ‘You cannot be serious!’ You can pretend to be John McEnroe while you say that, if it helps.

Even though it is not yet 10.00 on Thursday, I feel I can tell you about the most wrong thing that’s happened (and that will happen) to me this week. And probably next week. And maybe every week for the rest of the year. But first I have to set the scene.

Small rural town. Residential area. Normal-width road, one lane westbound, the other east, each lane separated by the usual long-dashed white line. I’m driving westbound, there’s a secondary school 300m behind me. I have a long clear, unobstructed lane, the eastbound lane has cars parked almost the entire length, but with occasional gaps to allow driveway access. The footpath on my side of the road is 2-3 children deep as they make their way to school because it’s nearly clocking-on time for them. I am the front car in a line of five vehicles.

Oncoming are two white vans. Instead of pulling over at a wider place, they both drive towards me. The lead van, a small Escort type, is able to pull into a driveway gap. The second van, a long wheelbase Transit, attempts to squeeze its entire body length into what’s left behind the Escort. Its attempt to override the laws of physics and dimensions are unsuccessful. It is unable to get more than 20% of its length in behind the Escort.

I check my mirror. Hope of reversing to let the Escort van and then the Transit van through are nil, the cars behind me are locked in. So I sit there, while I wait for the Transit van driver to arrive at the inescapable point where logic takes over. Instead, though, he gets out of his van and taps on my window.

‘Do you want me to pull it forward for you?’ He asked.

I check the dimensions he’s left for me to not squeeze through. Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

‘I’m not mounting the pavement,’ I say.

‘Why not?’ He asks.

I scrape my chin off the floor and say ‘Because it’s illegal.’

‘So what?’ is his Mastermind-level response.

I look at the schoolchildren on the pavement that he wants me to drive at least 50% of my car’s width onto.

‘I’m not moving.’

‘Well fuck you.’ He said, with all the eloquence of a not terribly eloquent person.

He got back into his van, reversed out of the space he’d tried to cram it into, reversed down the road to the wide place and then (no, seriously) instead of pulling in to the wide space on his side of the road, he continued reversing and then reversed up onto the pavement, causing half a dozen schoolchildren to scatter.

I drove forward and waved at him. He didn’t smile. Fortunately no schoolchildren were hurt during the making of this scene. I’ve taken his number and reported him to the local rozzers, but we all know nothing’s going to come out of that.

But I offer this as the most wrong situation that I have (and will) experience this week. What’s yours?

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