The first time ... I lost a part of my car
Yes, I took to them rather too fast actually. I was driving down a narrow street which approaches a leisure centre and they had handily tried to disguise their road humps as flat carriageway. I looked for discernable road markings after the incident I am about to recall and found that they were faint, but I somehow must have missed the large sign saying "Speed Humps - Slow".
I took the first one at rather a fast pace, and launched the car quite literally two feet into the air. When my passenger and I had recovered I said, "I'll take the next one a bit slower" and I did.
After we had negotiated a further three humps and parked in the car park, I was locking up when I heard a male voice.
"Excuse me," he said politely, "I think this dropped off your car when you went over the speed bump."
He handed me the maker's badge from the radiator grille of my car.
"Oh," I said, the colour rising to my cheeks.
After a moment of staring blankly at the hole in the front of my car I mumbled, "Thank you."
I put the offending badge deftly into my large coat pocket and carried on into the centre. My teenage daughter passenger was mortified. Of all the things a parent could do? I mean how much more embarrassed could she have been? And when I unveiled my new swimming hat with the chinstrap and floral design she just wept with… joy - I'm guessing.
Image © Jo Jakeman, via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence
The first time I... was best man
I had a day off yesterday. Instead of flying late into the office in a flurry of bed-tousled hair and plaintive apologies, I flew late into a Venetian church in a flurry of bed-tousled hair and plaintive apologies. It was my best mate's wedding and I was, some would argue, the misnomered best man; let's say I didn't exactly take to the job like a duck2water.
The day's nuptials have peculiar back story. The bride spent several years besotted with her groom's elder brother, gently stalking him in her thoughts, hoping that one day he would wake up with the revelation of his love for her.
It never materialised, and, like in some 19th century novel of social romance, she settled for the less attractive sibling (sorry, mate, it would be wrong to lie).
I've always refrained from mentioning the fact that my mate was a bit like Second Choice Steve, thinking that some things are best left unsaid. You can understand my shock and amusement then when Julie started walking down the aisle to the sound of the Rolling Stones classic You Can't Always Get What You Want.
The Chorus goes like this:
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well you might find
You get what you need
Whether the story is apocryphal or not, I don't know; but, according to another friend, one couple got a surprise at their wedding when, having requested that "beautiful song from the Robin Hood film", they were left having to walk down the aisle to the refrain of "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen". That's one wedding I wish I'd been at. As anecdotes go, it sure hits the target.
Image © jameseilers via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence
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