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These Are A Few Of My Least Favourite Things

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These Are A Few Of My Least Favourite Things

Geoff Maxted
August 31, 2013

Cars on British Road
Buses. Where would we be without them - apart from actually at the destination we were trying to get to, obviously. Just lately I ’ve noticed some advertising campaigns promoting the services of these public service charabancs as if their very use created some sort of idyllic new world where everyone is young, happy, unblemished, carefree, brightly dressed, multicultural and moderately wealthy yet caring enough to know that buying a car is tantamount to Earthly suicide. A particular bus company - craven fear of litigation stops me from naming them - some time ago ran a television advertisement in primary colours designed for children’s programmes where we are expected to believe the world is a clean, fresh place where even the bus drivers are happy-clappy people. It’s at this point that any last vestige of credibility goes out of the window. Well, tsk, say I; and other spluttering expletives. We all know the truth.

Tractors. Don’t you just love ‘em? Now, I am a just and virtuous person and understand that agricultural vehicles must, perforce, sometimes need to go on public roads. My question is: why always in front of me?

On leaving a car park the other day we became lodged behind an old bus, the owners of which had clearly decided that they could save money by reducing the servicing schedule. Thus we had a long opportunity to study a poster of a world where everyone is young, happy etc, etc. After it had stopped at a lay-by I was able to sneak by, feeling guilty as the turbo spooled itself up, and immediately came upon our old friend the tractor. I say ‘old friend’ because this guy actually seems to know when I’m going to be using this particular road and makes a point of laying in wait… What? Paranoid? Me?

Here’s the thing. We work hard. We try to be young, happy etc, etc, and yet circumstances never quite work out as we would like. Take driving. We all strive to buy the best car we can afford and yet we are constantly thwarted. With one hand the Government proposes to give us an 80mph speed limit on certain roads (or not, depending upon who is transport minister in any given week); with the other they increase the number of items to be found on an MOT list (roll on 2014!) to ensure we have to constantly be forking out for repairs and renewals. This demonstrates that, although we could do 80mph, we won’t be able to because our cars will be off the road whilst we scrimp and save for the new parts. This is the big hypocrisy. They pander to the motoring lobby even as they twist the knife. The answer is, naturally, to be young, happy etc, etc, and go by bus.

Or buy a tractor and always be in front of everybody else.

Written by Geoff Maxted with thanks to Julie Andrews without whom etc

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