Monday, 31 May 2010

Facing up to my adult responsibilities

One of the envelopes waiting in the mail mountain is about the Naughty Driver course I have to attend.

Dig says I am foolish. I should have my day in court and escape on a technicality.

1980s epic courtroom drama would be good. Grit, nuclear-fuelled power shoulders and plastic puffed up hair reveals the surprise witness! Let me now uncover the sinister webs of lies and deceit! I stare, bouffant, steeled vengeance. My witness nervously ropes her hair. The wooden panelled courtroom holds breath. Is it he who hid the CD case under the toilet waste pipe? Stare. IS IT HE? Tick tock tick tock. Hear the seconds: the sword of truth and justice falls.

The other way is more likely. An elderly bloke sporting an official-looking badge peers sternly at me. I have done something naughty. I am aged four. I cower, trembling, burst into tears. Pee dribbles into my sock. He is only the usher.

Anyway, I do not have a good defence, I tell Dig. I could not argue it through. Hopelessness would show on my face.

The nub of the problem is, that the conviction is for Holding a Mobile Phone Whilst Driving.

That is nonsense. I was doing no such thing. I have never done that. I am the irritating cow that flicks the finger at you if she sees you doing that while you spin your 90mph Audi to the M1. You look pathetic, driving your car like it's negotiating triangles while you wheeeewheeewheee in first gear clamping a mobile phone to your punk hair-do. You should stop.

And anyone who knows me, knows I could not possibly be on the phone. Because I am phobic about phones. Over a phone, I cannot see your face. I do not know if you despise me. Your mouth only does the talking. I need to see your eyes. They might not smile. Even Dig falls into that category. With him, Skype only and full video access to his hotel room. The only person who can make me hang on a phone is Oo. And that is because of her bezzymate status and the fact that she does most of the talking while I go off to make a cup of tea.

Phone? Clearly not. I was speeding. 36 in a 30 zone. Downhill, enjoying the company of my children, radio playing. Which I accept is no great defence. No defence in court. I cannot be convicted for phone holding, because, Your Honour, I was speeding at the time. It is a bit like saying I could not possibly have stabbed the bystander with a poison-tipped parasol, because right at that moment I was busy, bludgeoning the old lady to death with a cudgel.

It is too late for court. I already accepted a Naughty Driver course. Now I must be grown up about this and book the whensandwheres.

You can ask why I went for that route.

The points do not matter to me much, because I am not yet at 12 naughty crosses. I can have 12, can I? I already got six, expired.

The first time, four days after my mother died. I was a wreck. I probably was driver dangerous, swimming around in a blurry tear-filled head, sweeping floods from my face. My eyeballs alone would have needed the automatic washers and wipers. It was a 30 zone and what speed was I travelling? I can't recall. 39? 45? 2,740? Makes no difference.

The second time, an art exam. I was late, and stressed. It was all a blur. One minute I was lecturing Dig on how the correct mushy broccoli consistency can avoid killing your ggg toddlers, then half an hour on and an unmarked white van with a man and a hairdryer blipped me at 76 in a 70 zone.

I did get a NIPs after the smash up following the trip to the psychologist, but that doesn't count. They never prosecuted me. I reckon they thought about it and took pity on me: prosecution would be like violence committed upon the helpless and hopeless; like torturing a sick puppy about to die in your arms. And anyway, I had done them a favour. The other car in the mix was driven by one of their local crims, and it was me Lord, what brought them to book.

I'm taking the Naughty Driver course for all the wrong reasons. Of course they will already know those reasons and humiliate me with them when I get there.

I can humiliate myself, quicker and easier, so here goes. It will lift me out the house for an afternoon. Dig must stay at home to take the children. I get to be lectured at, hopefully by a nice-looking man with a firm chest and big hands.

And a friend of mine might be on the same course. The type of friend I so dearly wished I had misspent my school days with. We would have made a fantastic pair. She would have made me sup cider and cherryade from a tin can underneath the staffroom window. I would have made her shop-lift Bay City Roller fanzines. I would like that still. We could even make a day of it. We could meet up early, do our Naughty Driver course, then hang around the precinct. Good day out, and much better than court.


Rachel M. said...

Sounds like a bit of a break for all the kids and stuff! Might as well enjoy it!

My recent adventures with the car (while pregnant) have been to bang into the back of 2 parked cars at red lights. Somehow in my peripheral vision I thought one was moving and the 2nd my foot just lifted off the break and I drifted into the car. Neither car victim had damage so they let me go without dealing with insurance and stuff.

Rachel M. said...

I meant to say "from all the kids and stuff". Haven't had my tea yet.

Sugarplum Kawaii said...

Hopefully your mate might just rock up onto that course. You won't then have to take the walk of shame into the classroom on your own! As for drivers glued to their's right up there on my grumpy list.

Great blog by the way. I enjoy reading it immensely (-:

Big mamma frog said...

A friend of mine went on one of those naughty driver seems to be a combination of lots of shots of post-car-crash scenes and a good ticking off. But she said it worked for her. (?)

Mostly my collisions are with the kerb and with whatever is sliding around the dashboard and lands in my lap.

Deb said...

Ah, Grit! I am so glad you are back! And I realize that you closed comments on the vacation posts probably for a very good reason.

But. I have one teeny-tiny question: Why exactly did the washbasins and flushing toilets inspire such interest? I mean, I have heard that conditions at Chateau Grit can be rustic...

sharon said...

It'll be fun, think of the blog fodder ;-)

Expat mum said...

Yes, definitely good blog fodder. I look forward to hearing about it.

MadameSmokinGun said...

One more flashing nazi camera for me and it's naughty Driver Course or the salt mines. I call them nazi cameras because although I obviously do not advocate speeding, they only ever seem to catch people doing 33 in a 30 limit after turning off a motorway 3 seconds earlier when you're on a diversion at 11O'c at night..... But of course I'm not bitter.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Ooh - PS all your Northumberland posts are works of genius - made me almost want to up north.

Grit said...

hi people, and thank you for your comments.

i am deeply incohernet at the moment and cruelly forgetful and disorganised. it is not a good time to drive anywhere right now. i would bicycle but i cannot find the bike. did someone steal it again?