It Shouldn’t Happen to a Van Driver – But It Does… Part II

Level Crossings: you may have seen the adds… the guy tries to sneak round the half barrier… and stops just as the train flashes past.

I know why they’re there, but obviously some people don’t; however, does the wait have to be that long? I got caught by three ‘red lights’ Monday (granted it was twice at Wye). The first at Aylesford took fifteen minutes. True, two trains past. Seven-and-a-half minutes a train, though? Can’t they make it a bit shorter? Or is this another aspect of health and safety law? The barriers must be lowered long before the train driver’s poured his mug of tea… Personally, I think we can get away with a little bit less time: I say as soon as a lorry driver can smell the brakes of a train, the barriers should be shut.

It’ll keep the wheels of industry moving… well, most of them anyway. Some might become a little buckled and stick a bit. I don’t know why the Coalition Administration can’t take this on as a job creation scheme or something… Or perhaps not.

Well, I had the opportunity to slurp my coffee while I waited and watched the sun burn off some of the morning dew from the playing fields across the road. A gentle mist rose from the sward. It hung like drapery between the trees…

A train passed and I looked down the line of waiting cars expectantly. By the barrier I noticed a figure pointing towards the station and I assumed this to be the signalman. Silly me. It was just a member of the public. Nothing more happened until a large blue High Speed train crawled over the crossing. The lights stopped flashing and barriers rose; and Mr Pointing Man came walking towards me… in the middle of the road… in the middle of a stream of rush-hour traffic. Mate, I thought, if you want an appointment at the hospital, there are easier ways to go about it. But Pointing Man made it a pedestrian pavement before any mishap befell him. And the wheels of industry moved on…

And what a lovely morning for the wheels of industry to get moving! It was gorgeous. The M20 towards Ashford positively gleamed in the brilliant sunshine. The foliage and countryside resonated as the warming rays burning the early morning moisture. It was a sight to warm any hardened heart… Even mine, which was hardened further that day as I expected a war with the Ex later.

The previous weekend had been turned upside down due to my unwillingness to waste time with trying to convince our wailing and squawking four-year-old that it might be good to go out for the day/morning/an hour; and my Ex’s insistence I took even more debt; and my insistence she could stuff her idea. She then threatened me with the CSA and I bit the bullet and backed down…

The CSA shadow cast long over my route that day and I was loathed to enjoy any aspect of it… Indeed, I turned into a grumpy old swine long before midday (when my Fairy Godmother’s magic usually wears off). This CSA, by the way, is not to be confused with CSI. The later is entertainment. The former is only entertainment if you’re male and you enjoy having parts of your anatomy prodded with electrodes. I’m not suggesting for one minute that CSA operatives tie men to chairs and prod them with anything… from what I’ve heard it just feels that way.

When I climbed out of Dover and into an unexpected fog, it seemed the aspect from my windscreen aped my future prospects…

About malekmontag

I am a writer and a wage-slave, and proud father of George Giraffe. I live in the UK, but I exist everywhere. My first stories were published this year (2016) in Short Stories and Tall Tales (Atla Publishing). Follow me on Twitter @Malek_Montag15. My Work is also available on Niume.com.
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