Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Jerk

    I turned right into Marchmount, then left into Nicol Lane. On checking my rear-view mirror, I see the same car that has been a tailing me since I drove into the lane. Has no one ever told this jerk about safe stopping distances? My stomach is churning, I can feel the beads of sweat forming above my top lip like a Thomas Magnum moustache. I drive on a further 100 yards and I glance in my offside mirror, then my rear view again. My left hand pushing up on the signalling shift simultaneously.

     The sound of the right-side indicator, ticks like an old mantle clock. Interrupting the drone of the engine that has been filling my ears for the last half hour. Removing my right foot from the accelerator pedal, I depress the brake gently with it. The car slows down, and I push down on the clutch pedal with my left foot. I take hold of the gear-shift with my left-hand and start to drop down the gears. Five, four, three, two, one. I imagine I can hear Jim, my instructor say, "Check that mirror again, before you pull in.”

     As I do, I catch sight of the reflection of the jerk, in the car behind. His face has a strange purple hue to it and his eyes look like they are standing out on stalks. I can't allow him to break my concentration. Steering the car to the right, the jerk, swerves his car passed me; only narrowly missing the rear bumper. He takes time to wave his fist and mouth an oath in my direction, before he speeds off like a boy racer. My car comes to a halt, I engage the handbrake, place the gear-shift into neutral, then I turn the engine off.

    We sit stationary for a moment, I take a deep breath and turn the ignition key, pushing the clutch pedal to the floor once more. The engine coughs a little, but then it starts to purr like a contented cat. I go through my repetitive routine again, tickling the accelerator enough to feel the car beg to start moving, disengaging the parking brake I pull back out into the traffic.

     We travel 200 yards and we turn back into Marchmount, 100 yards on we reach our destination. I carefully go through my paces and bring the car to a halt outside the driving test centre. Jim speaks for the first time in forty minutes,
     "Hey you did well. That was a great practise run. I just hope you don't meet any more jerks on the real thing."

     I'm about to agree with Jim, but the appearance of an official looking man in the doorway of the centre knocks the wind out of my sails. He looks down at his clip-board and heads towards my car. OMG, meet my examiner, 'The Jerk.'



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