Oh dear. He whittled that barge pole, and it wasn’t good.


My very talented husband, he of the ‘spitting indifference’ about the lush Volvo 4×4 automatic we’re swanning about in while his ‘honest’ and venerable Land Rover Discovery is being repaired, yesterday broke his word and tried to drive the new-fangled interloper.

It didn’t end happily. He had said he wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole he’d whittled himself. Instead, he pole vaulted into the drive of his wife.

Having whacked himself in the eye (yes, the one he nearly had out with the pointy stick) with the extravagant flourish on the top of the door frame his mood on entry into the driving seat wasn’t pleasant.

I was hailed three times with increasing panic (I was in and out of the house) to be asked how to move the seat, how to start the car, where the hand brake was, how to get it to go forward. Amazingly the seat behaved and didn’t burn his trousers.

He said he couldn’t manage a hill start. I pointed out, helpfully, that in an automatic, so long as it was in drive, he wouldn’t need to worry about that. I was summarily dismissed for a third time in a hissing rage. Pah.

Then I heard shouting and saw this colossal vehicle ‘hopping’ up the hill. ‘No, no, stop’ I shouted as I raced toward the vehicle ‘You’ve still got the ruddy handbrake on’. More shouting emanated from the car as he yelled that he couldn’t work out the ******* handbrake, or even locate it.

So the drive back, me at the wheel, saw us treated by a lecture about how these spawn of the devil cars are made ‘for girls’ who don’t like to get up close and personal with engineering. ‘I could drive it but I have to understand what everything does,’ he says airily.

Why then, I wondered, when I was suggesting he use his right foot for the brake pedal did he keep insisting on using his left foot (the clutch foot). ‘Because it’s not doing anything’ he yelled. I thought quietly to myself, ‘but it is, its staying where it is, is keeping your other foot off the ruddy accelerator, while you brake.’ However, being a mere girl who needs buttons, apparently, for opening the boot, setting your arse on fire with a heated seat you can’t switch off, and to terrify you with loud traffic announcements while you’re working out how to get the rear windscreen wiper to STOP THAT NOW OR I’LL KILL YOU, I wouldn’t understand.

While I dislike riding in his Land Rover pick up (it’s a two bra car), I do appreciate its bonuses. Draughty in the extreme one’s trousers remain at the perma-setting ‘freezing your arse off’ at all times.


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