Monday, 13 June 2011


I'm concerned that I might be getting a bit soft in my older age.

Travelling across the hilly, moorish bit in the middle of northern England yesterday, I found myself amongst a group of terrorists. I think they belonged to something called,  "The Popular Front For the Grinding to a Halt of Half the Country" who I believe are afilliated to the "8am to 9am School Run Road Obstruction so I don't have to walk a mile" sect, but the cunning bastards I encountered appear to go by the pseudonym of the `Happy Wanderer's Car a` Van Club`.

They trapped us as we accidentally infiltrated their, "Let's go and fuck up Cumbrian Roads" June weekend rally. After circling the wagons, they spent a weekend of whist drives, quiz competitions and lectures from Auntie Cissy Turner on such things as `a hundred and one things you can do with a primus stove` and `billy cans I have known and loved`. There may have even been a bit of key swapping for all I know, but I'm trying to supress that thought. One of these plastic portaloos-on-wheels was sporting lots of badges including, "!GOLD MEDAL! HWCC Chemical toilet emptying competition, 1998" and "Winner - `Park the van without waking the granny` competition, Pendine Sands, 1976". We were impressed to be amongst such company, I can tell you.

It was when we were chugging along behind it, and several of its fellow senior members, on the winding, undulating A65.... at 25mph.....with seventy miles ahead of us, that my new strategic plan came to me. These people need regulating for their own good, to save them from being cursed by every law abiding motorist - and gypsies - as well as to protect them from random physical attack. I'm serious, I mean heaven knows what might have happened had I still had access to my trusty Remington 800 pump action shotgun and several cases of 00 Buckshot? - Just saying.

My fantasy legislation was drafted as follows:

1. All Car a`Vans to be subjected to a congestion charge whenever they set rubber on the highway. The charge is `per road` travelled, not per journey - the smaller the road,  the bigger the charge.
2. They may only be allowed on the roads between 2am and 5am. If they are seen on the road outside these hours the police can, after removing the occupants, torch the van either on the spot or at a location to be decided based on local necessity. Alternatively, it can be donated to a charity that supplies shelters to African bush communities.
3. Owner to be billed for lighter fuel, matches and removal of the ash, in lieu of shipping costs to Malawi etc.
4. Car a`Van site must not blight the landscape.

I got home and had a couple of cold ones then re-thought this. Maybe I let my emotions run out of control? Maybe I was acting in haste? Maybe I was a little harsh in the first draft? Was I going soft in having the occupants removed before torching the van? Am I just over-reacting? I don't know what to think anymore? This really tested my humanity and I found it wanting. I'm ashamed.


Suz said...

I'd be happy to send you a couple of fully loaded logging trucks, to run them off the road, but I do like that torching thing.

powdergirl said...

I absolutely adore you! Tell the Missus she's lucky I'm married : )

I laughed and laughed...thanks!

Anne said...

How true, how true, how true!!! They are also active in the Highlands, (where they are known to some as White Monsters) where they cleverly combine with other, non-car-a-van but equally frustrating road users (known locally as tour-ists) to create huge lines of traffic fuming behind them whilst they "admire the views"...clearly not behind them!

Hogdayafternoon said...

Suz: Lets do it!

PG: You are too kind - and to show there are no hard feelings, you can buy Mrs HD a coffee in the Grateful Fed when we're next in town! You two will get on a treat :0

Anne: I try so hard NOT to be a typical tourist. (In Cornwall they're called haemorroids ie they come down, hang about until they turn red, then they disappear back where they came from - again and again)