Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Houston, we have a problem

Today's post was going to be about a little project for the home that I completed recently.  It was going to be nice.  It was even a little bit instructional.  There were going to be pretty pictures and everything.  In short, it was going to be just what a blog post should be.

Unfortunately, my wish to show off my recycled printer's tray project is less compelling than my intense need to rant until I can rant no more.

Sorry, tray-appreciaters of the world.


This morning Thomas hid the car-key.  Despite being told a million and one times to leave it alone, he decided that he just couldn't resist the urge any longer.  Because of course none of his toys are anywhere near as much fun as a small bit of black plastic with a flicky-out metal bit.

So just as I was rejoicing in the fact that I was going to make the vital pre-7.30 deadline for  getting out the door (after which the traffic mysteriously trebles) I discovered that the only car key had disappeared. 

"That was me," Thomas volunteered helpfully.

I enquired as calmly and pleasantly as possible about the location of the key.

"Oh," he said, looking about vaguely.  "I don't know."

I could feel my teeth trying to grit.  I forced a smile and asked him to try to remember.

"Baby Ben's smiling," he announced cheerfully.

Baby Ben was indeed smiling, but I felt it worth pointing out that mummy was most definitely not smiling.

"Oh.  Yes."

Could he possibly see his way to helping me look for the key?

"Oh yes."  And off he went to the bedroom.  I began to get my hopes up.

He stuck his head through the door.  "Not in here," he shouted.

It was inevitable.  Within five minutes there was not the slightest trace of calm, reasonable me.  She had been replaced by sweating, foot-stamping, shouting me.  I waved my arms.  I jumped up and down and demanded that he sit down and think about where the key might be.  I am prepared to accept that this might have been just a teeny bit unreasonable given that he is two and a half with the attention span of a gnat with an unusually short attention span.

This went on for forty minutes, during which time Thomas and Ben mainly sat and grinned conspiratorially at each other, which eventually raised my suspicions so much that I searched Ben for the missing key.
I finally located it under back corner of the sofa.  It could only have got there if Thomas had crawled under the table and placed it there.  I refuse to accept that he had no recollection of doing this and I told him so.

"Oh.  Yes," he said.

We were on our way.  Unfortunately we were now substantially on the wrong side of 7.30 and therefore doomed to spend at least twenty minutes trying to get through the roadworks that have entirely cut off this corner of London for the last 6 weeks.

'Lots of traffic,' Thomas remarked with an air of surprise. 'Why it stopped?'

Now I am willing to admit that, on occasion, I am capable of reaching the kind of incandescences of seething rage that are probably visible from the space station. This being the case, you would think some kind of alert system would have been put in place.  You would think that somewhere up there above the earth, a Russian astronaut would be pushing a big red button to inform the good citizens of London that I was coming. If such a system does not exist, it bloody well should do.

So why, in the name of arse, have the commuters of London conspired to wind me up even more?

You would think that the woman who decided to create an extra lane on an entirely normal, single-lane road in order to squeeze to the front of the queue might have considered not then going into a frenzy of mouthing and gesticulating her displeasure at finding me in her way and therefore having to remain on the wrong side of the road, blocking all oncoming traffic.

You would think that the Very bad Driver might have had the sense, given that I am still grieving for my poor little Ford Puma, lost in an unfortunate M4 engine disintegration, not to weave all over the road in his shiny Puma right in front of me.

You would think that the school run mum in the enormous car might possibly give some consideration to not double parking and bringing an already congested, central London road to a grinding halt in order to get her offspring about ten feet nearer the school gates.  You would also think that she would avoid adding insult to injury by glaring and shaking her head at the van driver who dared to toot at her.

You would think that word might have got out somehow.  But no.

And all this to a running commentary from the back seat of “No, that way, mummy.  Turn left here.  Why you stopped?  You going right way?”  With occasional bursts of righteous indignation at the actions of other road users.

“Indicate, woman.”

“Come ON!”

“What you doing?”

“It’s thirty.  THIRTY.  Not twenty.”

Thomas regularly holds up a sobering mirror to my constant state of low-level road rage.  I was relieved when he abandoned his driving critique and simply began to drone a strange version of Baa Baa Blacksheep that involved thanking every day of the week individually.  “Thank you Saturday, thank you Sunday, thank you, Wednesday, three bags full.”

There’s nothing like a spot of repetitive, tuneless toddler droning to calm a rage.  Yes, you lose the will to live, but at least your blood pressure comes down a little bit.

Anyway, as fraught as the morning has been, it was nothing compared to the distress and horror of the story I read in Metro this morning. 

Woman in “almost loses something but doesn’t” shocker.  Must be a slow news day.

And yes.  I am fully aware of the irony of this sarcasm given that this post could be entitled “Woman almost loses something but doesn’t” but at least I didn’t ring Metro about my missing car-keys.

Besides, in the immortal words of Ally Mcbeal when asked why her problems are so much bigger than everyone else’s, it’s because they are mine.  

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