Long-time readers will recall that I had to get a replacement back door for Rio the Clio back in May, following an unfortunate incident with Mrs. C’s gatepost. Well, incredibly, I almost wrecked the same door last night. I am thankful for the fact that this time, I am able to use the word ‘almost’. I am also amused at how utterly ridiculous the story would have been if I’d had to explain to the car-fixer-people how I’d destroyed another door.
Parked at the side of the road in Ahoghill, the neighbours and I returned to my car to make the journey home. There was a lot going on – I was talking to Joy, who was returning to her own car, I was waving at Red, who was walking down the street, and I was checking that all four interns had deposited themselves safely in my car, with all doors closed. Which they had, although there was a lot of general Loudness which I was casually blocking from my mind due to the other activities with which I was preoccupied. With a final wave to Red, a shouted farewell to Joy, and a glance in the wing mirror to check that the road was clear, I indicated and pulled out from behind another parked car.
Screams of horror and disbelief filled the air. Wait, wait, what are you DOING?! – NO! – The door, the door! – Dirk! – Stop, STOP! – I panicked, braked, swerved, and squealed all at the same time, completely clueless as to the reason for the uproar. Glancing behind me, I saw Jay practically hanging out of the car, grabbing the previously closed door and pulling it shut. The car came to a standstill in the middle of the road and I sat there in a state of dazed confusion.
“Where,” I said through gritted teeth after taking a deep breath, “is Dirk?”
E1 was sitting beside me with her head in her hands. “He got out of the car.”
“Why,” I said with forced calmness, “did he get out of the car?”
“To fart,” she replied in a quietly despairing voice.
Jay leaned forward from the back seat. “Dude, you almost tore your door off!” he informed me quite unnecessarily.
My nerves thoroughly shot, I pulled over to the side of the road, several metres away from where I’d originally parked. Dirk was nowhere to be seen. In the end I got out and walked back, where I found him forlornly sitting on a wall at the last spot where he’d seen my car. “Where did you go?” he asked sadly, looking as impossibly innocent as only he can do. “I thought you’d left me here.”
I have learned my lesson. Always pay attention to the general Loudness. Sometimes it can mean someone has left the vehicle at the request of other passengers with sensitive noses.
Or maybe that sort of thing only happens when you keep the sort of company I do.