Change is difficult and in my experience comes in two distinct flavours: gradual and rapid. I have experienced both equally and on rare occasions at the same time. For instance, when I was a teenager, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I was a big fan of cake. Not just cake mind you, pies, chips, deep fried Mars Bars and the occasional pastry covered burger. After all I lived in Scotland, a country of unemployed nutritionists and where the major food groups consist of fried, deep fried, takeaway and alcohol. Oh how I miss those days. Anyway, the change that occurred was some major weight loss that to me appeared gradual, but to those around me, rapid. Within four months I had shed the weight of a large toddler, and aside from the two weeks where I had a very thin head on a gargantuan body, all was good. Sadly, not all change is so positive.
Sometimes change can lead you down a dark ally and then kick your head in and steal your trainers. Today I experienced such a rapid change. This morning I was required by the scary beepy flashing light on my dashboard, to take my car in for a service. As I trundled along the Autobahn in my gleaming white carriage of affable good nature and general politeness, I received a phone call from a nice mechanic saying they would be offering me a replacement car for the day. Surprised by my good fortune and glad I wouldn’t have to get on a train, I felt compelled to sing along to ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ as I made my way to the garage. To put it mildly, I felt quite good.
After going through the formalities with the nice fellow at the garage, signing some documents and handing over some other documents, I was told my replacement car would be arriving at the front. I whistled to myself, despite the rain, and waited patiently for its arrival. I should have guessed something was up when the sky began to darken. I defiantly should have sussed something was askew when a flock of birds, several deer and what I think was a family of beavers came tearing around the corner, fleeing an unknown enemy. As this began to play, the hair on my neck stood up and I saw it. Something horrible, something evil, the garage had brought me an Audi.
From the moment the keys were in my hand I felt myself change, rapidly. The wizened mechanic attempted to warn me of the corrupting influence, but I couldn’t hear him. My mind was consumed with the unnatural desire to drive like a maniac and crush all before me. The mechanic saw the look in my eye and began to carefully edge himself out the passenger door. He attempted to say something, but it was lost in the noise and smoke of the wheel spin I pulled. Roaring out of the garage, I was on the hunt. Everywhere I could look there were potential prey. I angrily flicked the V sign at an old women in a Citroen, as I overtook her on the hard shoulder. Next I attempted to run a family in a people carrier off the road. I chased a school bus half way to Berlin and as I went passed I mooned them. I had turned to the dark side and I was enjoying it.
All day I roamed the streets, cutting people off, flashing my headlights at people I perceived to be too slow and drove within inches of anyone with the temerity to be in front of me. They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. I have no idea who “They” are, but I would hazard a guess they were victims of or former Audi drivers. Before I knew it, I had received the call to return and pick up my car. I flew down the Autobahn, screaming and foaming at the mouth. As I hand break turned into the garage car park I expertly ran over a dawdling pigeon. Stepping out of the car, I was met by the same mechanic as before. He attempted to take the key back. I resisted at first, until he threatened me with a large wrench. As if by magic I was returned to myself. I polity thanked the fine gentleman mechanic and walked in the direction of my now serviced car. Sadly, I walked right into the path of someone who had just been given the keys to my former vehicle.
The doctors say I should be right as rain once the full body cast comes off, although walking might be a bit of an issue.