Thursday, February 09, 2006

You wait for ages for one Briggie and then a bunch of them come along at once

Don't get me wrong, I love those funky tunes of Stevie Wonder. My childhood 70s were liberally sprinkled with replays of 'Superstition' and 'You are the Sunshine of my Life' on our life-threatening wireless set, but man oh man his harmonica sets my teeth on edge!

I was sitting here this evening gazing blankly at the Blog when I heard 'Isn't She Lovely' as a background piece to some soap opera playing on the TV in the other room.

Yes she is lovely, Stevie, but please stop blowing on that thing for mercy's sake...

When Old Nick finally gets to poke me with the barbeque fork, I reckon he's gonna have our old shockin' and rockin' radio set tuned to eternal 12-inch versions of 'Isn't She Lovely'.

Okay. Rant over.

So anyway, I finished doing overtime a few Saturdays ago and had to walk around in the afternoon from work to the LUAS terminus (the LUAS is a tram) to meet up with Briggie, the love of my life, who had kindly offered to pick me up in the car when the morning's extra work figuring out end of year accounts was over.

"I'll probably just drive around," she'd said earlier, meaning that with the LUAS terminus nearby, and Tallaght Hospital, and the Civic Theatre, and the County Council building, that the car park attendants were buzzing about on Saturdays trying to ensure that customers for The Square (The Square is a local shopping mall) had spaces in which to park their cars. If you were planning a LUAS ride, or a visit to the Theatre, you were politely told to move along.

I took this to mean that she'd probably find a space on a double-yellow line, like usual. And I'd just have to open the car door and step inside, like usual.

Nope. This time she really was circling. Like a plane waiting to come into land.

I walked over from the LUAS terminus and there was the car shooting by in a steady stream of orbiting traffic, most people looking for a parking space in the busy car park. She hadn't seen me, because of the traffic and the need to concentrate on avoiding a fender bender. Brig was steadfastly looking at the car in front, and not at the waving, smiling, suddenly feeling foolish man in her life standing on the edge of things.

"Maybe she's going to park," I thought, clinging to the hope of a simple open door, step inside scenario. I was sadly mistaken. The car went clockwise around on the far side, pausing to allow another vehicle to move out.

I stopped to size up the options for an interception.

I could run madly straight ahead, hoping to catch her eye before she pulled out into the circle of traffic again, or I could switch to the right and head her off at the pedestrian crossing. She moved off again. I had to jink right.

I scuttled past startled pedestrians pushing shopping carts and dragging children in their wake and came to a skidding halt at the zebra crossing outside the North Entrance. A large 4 x 4 security patrol vehicle stopped. I looked at the driver, who seemed to be expecting something. He looked back, then waved me over the crossing into the centre.

"I don't want to cross!" I mouthed, waving at him to move on. He looked at me with a strange expression and jerked the jeep forwards. I wasn't sure if I caught a hand gesture out of the corner of my eye.

I trotted down the roadway, thinking as I did so that people were probably giving me strange looks for good reason. I wasn't exactly the typical jogger, in waxed jacket, woolly hat and combat boots. And the massive, swinging beer-belly and rapidly purpling face were atypical health-nut features too.

Then, at last, just as lines of dayglo wearing happy-people catchers from the security firm were starting to nonchalantly converge on the North Entrance, muttering "It's alright, sir. The nice men will be here from the hospital very shortly now," here came the car tootling towards me in the traffic. I caught the door handle in relief and hopped inside.

"Did you have a good morning?" she asked me.

"Not bad," I said. "Although it got a bit hectic there towards the end."

My Cherie Amor. I could listen to that now, if Stevie goes easy on the harmonica.


joydoy said...

Well I'm glad you published this. When you know the wax jacket, the woolly hat and dare I say it the 'swinging beer belly' (your words, not mine) its wonderful to see he has written his witty and true stories down. This piece made me laugh and cry all at once, in fact my kids think I've gone mad crying in front of the computer. Well done, keep it up.

Willie_W said...

Quote: Well done, keep it up.

Would that be the jacket, the hat or the beer belly?