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This Vehicle Is Alarmed

Your bloody vehicle will be alarmed when I start smashing its bloody windows with my hammer, you moron.

Ban car alarms now; tear them from every vehicle and deposit them in the nearest incinerator.

You have my express permission to start with the one on the Volvo belonging to the gurning git with limited mental acuity living at number 47 who thinks it’s hilariously amusing to disturb his neighbours every fifteen minutes with his faulty shriek-machine, his impossibly ugly face that looks like a dislocated knee, and his bad breath which pervades every house on the street.

(If you are the git from number 47 and you are reading this – if you can read: yes, I mean you. Clown.)

Everyday Things I Wish I Was Better at Doing

6. Driving

I have never been the world’s best driver, but it is not my lack of basic driving ability to which I refer here. More specifically, it is the fact that I am so bad at being able to sound a car’s horn properly whenever the need arises.

My driving instructor Kevin – who was so loathsome and unattractive, I decided on our introductory meeting that they must have broken the mould before he left the factory that produced him – never actually thought it necessary to devote any time during our lessons together in which to instruct me in its effective and proper use. Therefore, I would feel more than confident in my position if I were to suggest that it is he, and not yours truly, who is responsible for this particular inadequacy of mine.

I am, on the other hand, an expert when it comes to sounding the horn at inappropriate times or when I did not actually mean to do so.

I am reminded of a particular occasion when I was fortunate to have with me in the car a pretty date on a hot sunny afternoon. I remember huffing and puffing away in embarrassment as I attempted with elaborate and manic movements of my sweaty hands to open for her the passenger side window by repeatedly depressing the small button that activated the car horn. I was simply trying to impress her by being a gentleman but I fancy she thought I was mad. I was doing my best for her but I think I actually rather frightened her. I dropped her back at her parents’ house an hour later and that was the last I ever saw of her.

I also recall, with the greatest regret, another instance when I was happily driving along minding my own business when I saw a male acquaintance of mine coming out of the Woolworth’s store in Nottingham. In order to attract his attention and to alert him to my presence, I sounded the horn of my little car with all the eager enthusiasm I could muster. An old woman with very heavy shopping bags who was shuffling along behind him suddenly launched herself about two feet into the air and then collapsed in a heap on the pavement as she fell back to earth. Her shopping was escaping everywhere. I glanced in my rear-view mirror and I could see dozens of oranges and potatoes rolling down the busy hill as concerned passers-by began attending to her. As I turned the corner and merged with traffic coming from the roundabout, I could just make out through the back window a fat, hairy man who was shaking his fist at me and shouting something that was probably quite insalubrious.

My biggest problem with a car’s hooter, however, is that whenever the situation demands its urgent employ, I can never find the damn thing. I always manage to effect the use of another, completely inappropriate instrument or to activate a function of the vehicle’s workings that renders the situation worse.

‘Get out of my way, idiot!’ I once demanded of the young driver of a colourful and stylishly-customised Ford Focus. He did not notice my intense protestations however, as, instead of sounding my horn, I found myself angrily activating the windscreen washers. (Although I have found this to be a thoroughly ineffective method of issuing a warning to other drivers in numerous situations on the road, I do for some reason always seem to find myself doing it, and I must point out that, as an unexpected bonus, my windscreen is always very clean.)

Another time, I tried to sound my horn as I shouted at a dangerous female motorist who was overtaking me into oncoming traffic. ‘You can’t do that, you woman clown!’ I yelled. She paid me no heed, however, as I had merely managed to pop the hood of my car thus obscuring my view of the road ahead. In an elaborate – though skilfully executed – emergency manoeuvre, I was forced to pull over on to the grass verge and have a little cry.

By far the most embarrassing occasion was when I noticed a group of teenagers who were about to run out into the road in front of me. To alert them to the inherent danger of doing such a thing, I tried to warn them by immediately – and with expert precision – pulling a handy lever that had been thoughtfully positioned on my left-hand side by the car’s designers. To my surprise, my seat suddenly fell loose and completely reclined. In the end, the youngsters elected not to step into my path and stayed safely on the pavement as I sailed by, lying down almost completely flat on my back with only the very top of my haircut visible through the car’s side window.

The Triumph of Good over Evil

Just to keep you informed of the minutiae of day-to-day life in our Derbyshire village: the regional simpleton with the interminable, malfunctioning car-alarm has at last had his vehicle removed by the local authority. Yesterday, a man from the council arrived to carry it away on the back of a big red tow-truck. Hurrah!

It had been comprehensively vandalised (partly by me) and, apparently, never had any valid road tax. I knew that logic would prevail and that we would triumph eventually. All along, I had an unwavering feeling that good sense and objectivity would win in the end.

I think, after speaking with several of my neighbours, I am right in saying that the same conviction has held true through these difficult times for every other reasonable person living on our street. It has been rather like a religion, whereby the absence of a tangible god creates the need for faith.

Susan, who lives at no.29, told me that she saw him carrying what looked like a number of water tanks, several bags of colourful gravel and a couple of air pumps into his house yesterday. Hmm, perhaps this is The Dawning of the Age of Aquariums for our ugly buffoon.

Numbskull Avoidance

We’re moving house.

I’ve always been fascinated by people who, like me, don’t always demonstrate absolute mental stability, but at the moment, I’m having great difficulty understanding the actions of an unattractive man who lives a few doors down from Audrey and me.

For about two weeks now, his car alarm has been loudly squawking and squealing at regular intervals every morning between the hours of 8 and 11am. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that he has a habit of parking his vehicle directly outside our house.

The ear-piercing high-pitched noise is a very disturbing and annoying thing to have to endure, especially when one is trying to work. I am even more puzzled by the fact that the ignorant clown just doesn’t seem concerned about the disruption that it is causing – apparently anyway – because he has, as yet, done nothing to rectify the situation. He just sniggers and shrugs when I or any of my other friendly neighbours bring the subject up with him. I have decided that either his basic reasoning is sadly lacking in proficiency, or that he is an errant arsehole.

I have seriously considered stepping outside once or twice and delivering to his car a keen and vigorous thrashing with my favourite crowbar, but that would only lead to my arrest and eventual imprisonment.

I don’t suppose that the obvious mechanical difficulties he is experiencing with his vehicle and its peripheral devices are completely unpredictable – cars are like computers: they are entirely problematical creations. But because the moron refuses to do anything constructive with his deficient alarm, contentedly leaving it to serenade us every morning, I have decided that, instead of vandalising his property, I shall move house.
(I was going to, anyway – more on this later.)

In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I sincerely hope the stupid fool and his excitable alarm will be very happy together in the coming months and years, and that the other inhabitants of the street don’t feel compelled to murder an ugly man. I know I have.