I had either the good fortune, or bad fortune, I haven’t made up my mind yet, of listening to some half-wit chuntering away on the wireless last night.
The poor old sod was stuck in his car on the M6 near
Wigan in the snow, having travelled about a quarter of a mile in about three and a half hours.
One feels a degree of sympathy, as it would appear that our transport system is, once again, completely unprepared for the winter weather we tend to get in winter.
My sympathy began to waver when I heard his plaintive cries about lack of action, lack of information (it’s snowing, you’re on the motorway, traffic has stopped, use your imagination – in this case a jack-knifed HGV) and that calls to the Greater Manchester Police non-emergency number had resulted in referral to the Highways Agency. Well, it wasn’t an emergency, so that sounds about right to me.
Apart from it could have been an emergency.
You see, despite advice from a copper with scrambled egg all over the peak of his cap, the usual stuff, you know, ‘the weather is very bad, do not travel unless it is a matter of life or death’ that was given out that afternoon, this man was in his car with a colleague of his who was eight and a half months pregnant.
No, he wasn’t taking her to the hospital in an act of fraternal solidarity. He was giving her a lift home, and found himself stuck in the snow, with a very pregnant woman, returning from their office Christmas party.
My sympathy evaporated quicker than a Scottish footballer playing in a Qatari world cup match when I discovered they were estate agents.
So, senior copper says stay at home, and what do you do? Take your pregnant colleague out into the snow to attend the office shindig?
And you have the nerve to demand to know who is at fault for your current predicament?
OK, here’s how you find out. Whilst you're sat behind the wheel of your immobile car, the fuel tank indicator needle inexorably drifting to the red ‘E’ as you keep the engine running to power the blower, look up at the centre of the top of the windscreen. Just tilt that mirror until you see a face in it. That is the person at fault, you utter, utter mong.