On Friday evening, still reeling from the extortionate price of a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in our local Budgens (a supermarket one only goes to for wine if personal stocks have evaporated and you are late for dinner), Mr Carmichael and I headed off on a double date with friends and a takeaway curry.
Mr C was at the helm so by proxy I was too. It’s always safer if not at all relaxing. I find another pair of eyes and breaking foot imperative. My husband does not concur. In fact he gets very cross if I correct, criticise, brace myself or God forbid, gasp. It’s just something we disagree upon.
We stopped at the T junction in the centre of our village, not only because someone was on the pedestrian crossing and Mr Carmichael had seen him without prompting but because of the deafening roar coming from our right.
I though of planes crashing (we’re not too far from Heathrow). I wondered if a train was about to tumble off the bridge beside us. Or maybe the Moscow meteor hadn’t all come to earth in the Russian Steppes. I jerked my head to look and almost missed a silver streak as it zoomed across our headlights. I gasped a non-confrontational and therefore permissible gasp and we turned right towards our papadums, chicken madras, sag aloo and Peshwari nan as a boy racer careered up the hill towards a 20mph zone.
Editor’s note: mrscarmichael is not in a position to confirm it was a ‘boy’ at the wheel.
Oh, please? Don’t even go there, Ed.
“I’m asking you this because I’d really like to know. I don’t want to start anything but what did you think when you saw that car?” I asked.
Mr C looked at me.
“Eyes on the road, please. No, it’s a genuine question although I do think I know the answer.” The last portion of the sentence was sotto voce I admit.
“He’s enjoying himself.”
Author’s note: See, Ed even my man assumes a male driver.
“I think it might be a Noble but I’m not sure about the fairing. Have you heard of them? It’s an English make.”
What have I started? And notice that he hasn’t asked what I thought because of course he knows what I think.
“I thought,” I said, ” I thought, what a wanker!”
“He isn’t hurting anyone. He must live round here.”
“Let’s hope not (hurting anyone) and let’s hope not (living around here). I think it’s truly embarrassing,” I replied.
“I wish we’d never sold the Porsche.”
Oh good Lord, what have I started? He’s forgotten that we were fighting each other not to drive it by the end, so hard was the ride and so difficult, nay impossible was it to fit four carseats in.
“I just don’t get racing cars on the road. If you rock up one day with a convertible Maserati I’ll let you give me a set of keys,” I said confident in the fact this will never happen.
And the girls don’t need car seats anymore. Perfect.
“Or a Bentley. What about a Bentley?”
But I know what he wants, what he really, really wants, what he starts mumbling about every time he crosses a decade boundary.
“If I ever had the money ………..”
He wants this to drive to London in the rush hour, to cram golf clubs into a miniscule boot on a Summer’s eve, to transport the one remaining dog to walks on the common and to pour all his disposable income into the fuel tank.
Well, it ain’t happening, Mister. Not on my watch and not, I’m afraid, in your lifetime.
We got to our friends house without mishap. We enjoyed a very yummy curry. We did not speak about cars again that night. I drive a Fiat 500
and yesterday morning Mr Carmichael woke me overwhelmed with the news that on the way to get the Sunday papers he had tracked the silver streak down to a neighbouring street and that it is indeed a Noble. It was 7.30 am.
Men really are from Mars and, on occasion, I wish they’d go back for a sabbatical.