Picture this scene; It’s been a long day, and you’re looking forward to the long drive home. There’s nothing I like more than being alone in my own thoughts, driving the winding roads with the wind in my hair (or heater blasting in my face, if you live in cold England!) music playing…bliss! But wait, someone wants a lift with you. Your heart sinks. Driving with a passenger is not quite the same. You get all that annoying small talk, map drawing upon the windows and don’t get me started on those ‘safety comes first’ types! Being buckled up is not enough, as they apply their headgear. What are they trying to imply? That I am a bad driver? Every corner I turn, their hands are up on the dashboard and their feet are pressed down on their imaginary foot pedals. The revs are barely past 30 miles per hour, and they’re screaming….
“You’re driving too fast!”
If that’s not enough to throw you off course, there are the ‘extreme talkers’. Once they start, they just can’t stop….they go “on and on and on”. When you’re driving, you just want a little bit of peace. The odd one-liner is fine, but NO we don’t want to hear Bob’s entire life story! “Bob, I know the death of your dog was heart-breaking, but you’re making me want to drive off the cliff”.
I can handle the constant drone of the passenger’s voice. But the one thing that really drives me insane (excuse the pun!) is when your favourite song comes on, and your passenger goes and RUINS IT with their ‘out of tune’ ear-offending noise. You smile gracefully, as you turn the radio up a notch, trying to drown out their voice…only, they see this as a cue to sing LOUDER, and suddenly you’re faced with an inharmonious screeching! If I turn it up a notch more, surely it will drown out their abysmal singing and I’ll be able to enjoy my song in peace? Not happening! The decibels increase, as the ear drums decrease.
My daughter is the worst culprit for this! As soon as the radio goes on, she’s squawking into my ear. I strategically turn the radio over, perhaps she won’t know this song… “I love this song”, she shrieks, the cries of a strangled cat continue. If singing isn’t bad enough, she pulls some dance moves out of her bag. Before I know it, she is doing an entire dance routine, flapping her arms and legs around like an octopus in the quicksand, slapping me in the face in the process. “Phoebe, why don’t you read a book” I suggest, as I begin to resemble a bag of nerves.
Generally, children aren’t the best passengers. If they aren’t destroying our favourite songs with their unmelodious noise, they’re squabbling, crying, smudging food over our sparkling clean windows, or throwing up! If you think children are bad passengers, try travelling with pets. Rewinding back to my childhood to a time when my mum, her beloved ‘wart-infested’ dog and I, were on a particularity long journey. She thought it was a great idea to give the dog a chicken bone to munch on. She later regretted this decision, as the dog threw up the chicken bone, and ate it again…threw it up, and ate it again….threw it up… Oh please STOP! Now, if the dog was a cute Pomeranian puppy, perhaps this wouldn’t have been such a mortifying experience. Sadly, my mum’s dog looked like a Gremlin, and not of the cute variety! *God bless her soul*…“Mum, can we pull over, please?” I begged. “Nah, she’s fine!”
…The longest journey of my life!
There is nothing worse than travelling with the nauseous. Too scared to take the corners too quickly…too terrified to drive over the bumps. “Watch out, I’m going to hurl”, and the car smells like vomit for the next 3 months!
If it isn’t the smell of sick reeking out your car, it’s someone letting out a ‘backdoor breeze’. Suddenly, you’re the one reaching for the sick bucket! Eyes watering, a gagging sensation in the back of your throat, those windows can’t wind down fast enough! You politely try not to make it obvious you’re aware of the smell, and yet there’s no disguising the tears streaming down your face. “Are you okay, love?” They ask, rubbing your knee sympathetically. “It’s just hay fever!” you reply, as you think “Oh please lord, just get this person out my car!”
Finally, they get out of the car! But wait…there’s a tap on the window, and they say…