Thursday, 9 October 2014

Number 39

This is the bridge that I drive over every morning to get to work, which I chucked the message-in-a-bottle off in challenge no. 17. It's not a job you want your kids to aspire to, but the toll-bridge guys always do it cheerfully. They start at 7, so I normally get over the bridge before then to beat the queue. Sometimes - and this is exciting - I'm the first motorist to have to pay at 7. They say 'thank you' per hour more than anyone else in the world, I reckon, and that's extremely British. I'm sure they wouldn't if Witney was in Peru.
I've got extremely good, over the years, of synching my clutch control and pressing down the 5p into the outstretched hand, so I can pay and perform the subtle social exchange without losing speed.
Originally, Freddie's baby seat was on the left-hand side of the car. All year round, he insisted on listening to his Christmas cassette in the car. So when we used to go over the toll bridge, 'Terry the lonely reindeer' would be playing in the car, but as far as the toll men could see, I was alone in the car. I'll never forget that tiny smirk they'd give me. I moved him to the right. He used to beg me to let me give the toll-bridge man the money. Eventually I said yes, and made sure he had the 5p in his hand, sticking out of the window as we approached the man, which wasn't easy. He released his grip 1/10th of a second early, unfortunately, and the 5p hit the ground and rolled away. He never stopped the badgering, and over his young years dropped around £135 just short of the toll man's hand.
Here's what they're getting. Hope it makes them feel appreciated. 
In this box. If they spot me, they'll probably be expecting a young female admirer. They may be disappointed.


Molly Potter said...

Ahem I happen to think Terry the lonely reindeer is worthy of year round attention actually, kid or no kid.

You are going to provide an update about any response you got aren't you Jimmy, please? Love it.

Helga_Kaufmann said...

Hi, I'm Helga and just turned 50 as well and I was reading the guardian when I spotted this article. Well done, for your wife' sides and for you to do everything she is suggesting! You write really well and I caught myself laughing with your stories, mainly one of your daughter and the one in Poland!
Good luck with the ones not done yet,


jim_greenan said...

You're right, Molly - they don't write them like that any more.

Thanks for the kind words, Helga. Hope you're enjoying being 50 as much as I am.

jim_greenan said...
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Blighty said...

Just discovered your blog via a lovely Australian friend of mine, and I love it already! Love this whole idea, your wife sounds a bit like Amelie, in terms of doing quirky things that cheer you and others up