Friday 11 July 2008

Deafinitely driving

As you know, I am off to see Housemate-From-Penthouse-Flat this weekend and I am sad because whenever I see her, I always see Very-First-Uni-Friend, too. This time around however, she can’t make it.

VFUF is a Mini fan like me and used to bomb about in a red one when I had Jennifer. We used to spend hours lamenting about the rusty sills that were sure to cause our cars to fail their MOTs, and swap tips on traffic jam overheating problems – we shared an invaluable knowledge on our little cars.

Now she has a posh new BMW Mini that’s rather nippy and when we’re together, this is our chosen mode of transport. Both HFPF and VFUF are incredibly thoughtful when it comes to car travel. At 8 month’s pregnant, HFPF insisted on levering herself into the back bucket seats of VFUF’s Mini so that I could sit in the front and hear them both. Had she gone into labour, we would have been screwed and VFUF’s seats would have been a bit ruined.

We made the mistake once, however, of taking my car, Boo, out shopping. This meant that I had to lipread VFUF in the rear-view mirror and look at HFPF when she spoke, which was a rather large recipe for disaster. Thankfully however, HFPF wasn’t pregnant at the time or I would almost certainly have caused her to go into premature labour – luckily I am an expert on such things!

On one roundabout VFUF’s eyes were open so wide with fear, that her eyeballs almost fell out. Once we arrived home, and HFPF had downed a strong cup of tea, she sat me down and explained that speed bumps are not the car-equivalent to skateboard ramps and that I really should slow down for them. Do I have to stop at stop signs, too?

It’s not that I don’t know how to drive – I passed first time with an instructor who spent the majority of each lesson asleep in the passenger seat. It’s just I guess that along the way, you pick up habits – and, after going over a speed bump with my Pa recently, I know where that habit came from!

Perhaps it’s time to refamiliarise myself with The Highway Code. Did you know, just the other day, The Writer asked me if I knew the old-fashioned way of indicating – before the days of orange blinkers? Rather randomly, I did… but that’s not enough. So at lunchtime, I am going to Waterstones to buy the original copy of The Highway Code that I spotted there the other day – it has a wonderfully dog-eared cover and a picture of a dashing man – and I plan to study everything in it and adhere to every road rule religiously. I wonder if the modern version has any rules about lipreading while driving? In the era of disability discrimination, surely there must be something!

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