Monday, 3 June 2013

Ready for the rubber zoom-room

Here in Britain, we tend to have a certain image of slow, elderly drivers. This image comes from the only thing we are usually able to see of them - their hats. In fact, in our family, this has become an actual term.
"Why are we going so slowly?"
"I think there's a Hat up front."
I know it's an unfair generalisation, but there are enough participants in the Granny Grand Prix each Sunday that there is more than a kernel of truth to it.


My father wasn't a complete Hat, but he was definitely working on it. With a touch of OCD and self-doubt in his psychological make-up, his approach to speed was very much 'I'll get there when I get there'. Fortunately, Dad was also quite mild and had a nice line in self-mockery. When he turned a corner and shifted up to third gear, he would purse his lips and suck air and say, "cor - burn rubber!"

Dad was full of bon mots such as this, and repeated them often enough for them to become catchphrases, sayings that the rest of us would repeat, often to the bemusement of our own passengers.
  • "It's uphill, this bit."
  • "Straight on a bit." (this on a dead straight road with no turnings for miles)
  • "Tide's out."
You may have noticed there's a fair bit of stating the obvious going on. Like I said, though, all these and more have become catchphrases within our family. Certainly me and Julie tend to repeat them when we're out and about.