Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Turning into one's father

When one reaches a certain age, with children of one's own, one tends to notice a disturbing trend to become one's own father/mother according to gender.

Let me say at the outset that this may not be in and of itself a bad thing. My father is a lovely man and I'd far rather turn into him than pretty much anyone else, and having a close role model into whom to turn is doubtless infinitely preferable to a fatherless childhood.

However, one does notice certain half-forgotten character traits surfacing at odd moments. Such as - in my case - while driving.

My father had, and I am developing, a habit of dissipating frustration by giving a sarcastic running commentary on other people's driving. I find this better than reacting angrily or noticeably to the other driver in question. So "road rage" is replaced by "road unsolicited advice"; and to the guilty party it appears that you remain placid and unaffected and are merely having a pleasant conversation with your passenger. Or - if alone, singing along to the radio.
"Reduce your carbon footprint by refusing to use either indicator on approaching a mini-roundabout! Brilliant!" I say, smiling broadly.

Or "Yes - why not wait until the last moment to change lanes on approaching the lights, thus neatly blocking two lanes instead of one!"

Mrs Byard, inevitably, takes the side of the other person. "Well he might be lost. Or confused by all those big painted arrows on the road indicating which lane to use," she will say.

For a time, I experimented with Shakespearean road rage. "Fie upon thee for an inobservant knave, sirrah!" I would mutter. But it became too predictable.

9 comments:

M C Ward said...

Be careful - I believe this is how Hitler got going.

No Good Boyo said...

Hitler couldn't drive, and lived to a ripe old age. Heydrich was a petrolhead and got shot by some Czechs. Fact that is.

I've just had my first driving lesson after two weeks in Kiev, and it shows. Junctions, signals, handbrakes - they're things that happen to other people.

My instructor is a tolerant man, and doesn't mind my echoing your tart commentaries on other drivers while backing his Corsa up onto the kerb at 30 mph.

Gyppo Byard said...

M Ward, Boyo -
I'm intrigued by your theory that Hitler got National Socilaism together by driving up and down the M40 in a Renault Megane.

Though now I come to analyse footage of his driving along a freshly-inaugurated autobahn in his open-top car, one can indeed lip-read the German and reveal him to be saying "Ja - vhy not cut in front of ze fuehrer in your vhite van, schreckliche untermensch?"

No Good Boyo said...

He was like that, the Fuehrer, very droll. But people only remember the bad things.

Wanabehuman said...

Hola mi amigos! 'Tis I, Shuvra ^_^

I too have a blog/website: http://wanabehuman.blogpsot.com - inspired by Master Jedi Scaryduck way back in 2005.

Gyppo Byard said...

Wotcha Shuvra.
True vignette from the workplace: I show the Shuvster my blog, and his reaction is "Gosh - you're using your real name!"

So now the secret is out - I really am called Gyppo. And I'm a guinea-pig.

No Good Boyo said...

On the way to the shops the other day I saw a car with the customised number plate "JIPOH". I thought it might be you at first, but then noticed a tax disc.

Gyppo Byard said...

Did you count the wheels? If it had four, it's probably not mine.

No Good Boyo said...

There were four, if you include the steering-wheel.