Monday, 4 July 2011
Sunday February 20th –Lovely Loathing.
Well, I’m hooked now. I just can’t stop thinking of everything that infuriates me, of every piddling trifle that I just can’t handle.
Here are a few more of my irkish delights:
Bicycles, cars, driving, breaking it gently and wheels.
They look impressive, powering along in the Tour de France and quite charming being peddled through the streets of Oxford, but it’s all an illusion. Bikes have wheels and are therefore evil.
I love my exercise bike, he is a thing of beauty, part stallion and part expensive clothes horse, but then my trusted stationary steed doesn’t actually have any wheels.
I genuinely love the idea of cycling through leafy lanes on a sunny afternoon. All that fresh air and swishing hair is such a romantic notion. However, the truth is that I am one of only two people in the known universe who failed the cycling proficiency test.
‘It’s like riding a bike.’ Well absolutely, of course I can remember how to do it and I’m still just as wobbly and ridiculous.
Those humiliating words still make me wriggle, suddenly I feel about 9, but it’s as if my clothes are too tight and I’ve got nowhere to hide.
‘Well one of the group was absolutely amazing at all of the Highway Code questions – well done Marcella! You really know the rules of the road...’
He spoke loudly and deliberately in that nauseating tone, which should, for the sake of all humanity, be made illegal. The ‘A for effort’ drawl is far worse than the direct quick fire punch of a clean failure.
‘Unfortunately, you are just not quite there yet with your riding. I think you need a wee bit more practice.’
Breaking things gently just tends to leave splinters and doing it publically suggests that you might just need a wee bit more practice with people.
Anyway, it wasn’t really a problem, as I think even at that age I had come to terms with the fact that wheels weren’t going to be my bag. No, bags would be my bag, it’s simple I love them and we are very good together...
Lethal weapons and puff-ball skirts aside, one of the most horrific inventions ever to escape into the real world must be that of the bag on wheels. Honestly, what is that about? Even as a small child I was terrified by those savage tartan contraptions and I still haven’t worked out why some of them had a big spike sticking out of their bottoms. Perhaps it was to scare the wheels into behaving properly.
I know that big luggage generally has wheels, but I still feel safer when I am carrying mine. It’s best all round when you consider that airports are basically a race track without lines, marshals, rules or limits. I once saw an old lady mown down by a speeding security guard on one those motorised po-go sticks. Those things are just not right. Wheels can’t be avoided, but don’t invent machines that are driven standing up! Anyway, surely it’s about time these sorts of people had jet-packs?
I can hardly believe that we don’t have hover-cars yet. As a little girl I hadn’t ever expected I’d have to drive one of the cumbersome road-bound engines. In fact, I don’t think anyone who knew me ever thought that I would. My first driving instructor certainly didn’t. He gave my mother a box of chocolates the first time she took me out on the road.
‘Oh, you are brave.’ He gushed. ‘Really, she ought to be a natural like her brother. What with your husband’s Rally driving, I’d expected some sort...well... and you are such a nice little driver.’
Simona forced a smile and ushered him out of the door ‘Have a nice evening Jerry.’
Off he reversed, quite oblivious to the fact that he had very narrowly escaped wearing a box of Cadbury’s Roses on his head. His poor small muddled head. I think it must have been due to the fact that he spent so much time on the road. That’s just not natural.
How could it be that hard? Some people seem to get the hang of it in a few minutes. It took me 3 instructors and more than 6 years to pass the dreaded driving test. Perhaps I should be embarrassed, but in fairness I am still congratulating myself. Sometimes, just reminding myself that I can (legally) drive can lift me out of a monumental slump.
The problem is that just because I (technically) can, doesn’t mean I’m happy about doing it. The mechanics of it all just terrify me and every mile I trundle along I know that they are underneath me spinning towards rebellion.
You might think that I am going on about this and it’s true that wheels have enabled us to.... well...cover a lot of ground, but they’ve been around for a rather long time and I’m just suggesting that they are not fault free. Look at trolleys, what sane person actually likes trolleys? Most people seem to think it’s personal, as if somehow they have inherited the curse of the wonky supermarket staple. ‘I always get the dodgy one.’ Well of course, we all do, because they are all out to get us. They are just very skinny Daleks and they might not have the power to exterminate directly, but they infuriate daily.
Please, next time you’ve got some hours to kill don’t try and reinvent the wheel. No, come up with something altogether new and entirely superior.