Life extracts I feel like writing.

Proverbial Monkey’s.

Monkey see; monkey do. Everyone has heard that phrase, right?

At times I’m not entirely sure whether to laugh, be horrified, or just shrug and ignore some absolute ridiculous failings on fellow human being’s parts. Today was an example of that, where I just couldn’t decide whether to be truly scared by the actions of this woman, or almost pass it off as being something that I probably shouldn’t find all that strange in comparison to other ridiculous acts.

Now, I’ve been driving for nearly 5 years, and whilst that isn’t all that long for some people reading this, I’ve certainly clocked up a lot of miles (for a few years I did a minimum of about 400 miles a week, probably averaging closer to 600) and within that time I’ve seen some downright ridiculous manoeuvres and I don’t doubt I’ve done a couple of super special-moves myself too. To set the precedent, on my second driving lesson I was parked on the side of the road at the foot of a hill near my house and watched a bin lorry come flying down the hill in my rear view mirror and smash the wing mirrors off of at least 8 parked cars and just carry on down the road – it’s probably worth noting my instructor just shrugged and said that was what insurance was for, a great lesson right there on how to damage others’ property and swiftly scuttle off…

Anyway, today’s incident. I drive home from work along the Aston Expressway, now for anyone unfamiliar, this is the main road into and out of the heart of Birmingham, past Aston University and a football ground, which is 7 lanes wide at it’s widest, with ‘intelligent’ traffic control in place so there is no central reservation, you just drive in whichever lanes are marked as being open. Coming out of town the road leads you onto Spaghetti Junction, which I can appreciate is perhaps slightly tricky to navigate at times if your sat nav starts having a fit and telling you to keep jumping into different lanes, but really, I’m quite sure there are worse roads out there and everything is clearly marked.

So yeah, at rush hours, they open up the centre lane, in the morning it’s going into town, and the afternoon, coming out, rather simple really. The thing with the middle lane is that on both ends, it merges with both the lane coming onto it, and also the lane going off, and there are arrows to obviously point out you should be sticking left and not driving into the central reservation which you’re approaching.

This is the Aston Expressway, where it begins to split up going out, and roads join it, coming in. You can see the centre lane is painted red and has big arrows urging you to keep left as the lane is due to end.

Basically, in order to avoid the inside 3 lanes of traffic which tend to be going slower due to them heading mostly for the M6, I always drive down the centre lane coming home as it leads onto the road I want to be on.

So today, I’m driving merrily along, I’ve had a pretty gal day in the office and would just like to get home and chill the fuck out, go for a run and play some COD; when this stupid woman attempts to pull out in front of me in her spanking new bright white Z4. After deciding that all she wanted to do was make me slam my brakes on a bit, she shuffled herself back into her lane and I drove back off again, only to see her pretty pathetically pull out in front of the lorry that was following me who obviously hadn’t managed to get back upto speed after having to brake too for her – I say she did this pathetically as there appeared to be little effort to actually accelerate into the lane and so she just ambled along. She obviously had little idea where she was going as she seemed to be driving below the speed limit and at one stage started to return to her original lane then decide she didn’t want to be there after all and pointed her nose back into the centre lane.

Here is an artist’s rendition of the path that I took, in red, the obvious road signs, circled in green, and the rather creative path that the idiot and her followers took, in blue.

Couple of hundred yards later and we come to the point where the left two lanes start to go off to join their respective motorways, and the 3rd and centre lane of the Expressway get separated off with barriers on either side and head off to east Birmingham (this is where the centre lane gets ushered to the left, if you drive straight you’ll end up biting your airbag as you’ll have hit the reservation). So I ease to the left and what was the centre lane now is the outside lane of a dual carriageway, only to glance in my rear view mirror and see the crazy woman decide that ‘keep right’ that her sat nav is no doubt telling her, actually means, now drive down the wrong side of the approaching central reservation and go the wrong way down the dual carriageway.

The bit that is so fantastically mental about this story, is that I glimpsed at least 2 other cars follow her lead and part ways with reason, and just play follow the leader. I mean, who wouldn’t follow the woman whose been driving like a mentalist, down the wrong side of the road.

Whilst following the road around a couple of bends I was watching them quite confidently driving down the wrong side of the road with oncoming cars swerving to their left hand lane to avoid them. After a couple of turns I lost sight of them so I guess they either slowed down as they realised something was wrong, or attempted to do a U turn to completely correct their faux pas. I was almost tempted to turn around and head back to see the trouble that they’d gotten themselves into, but the thought of it being typical that she would crash into me whilst going the wrong way, put me off.

There you have it: monkey see; monkey do. I’m not sure whether I’m completely amazed and scared by what I witnessed, or whether I should just shrug and say that whatever accident was no doubt caused, will be covered by insurance – after all, I’m sure that was the moral of this story wasn’t it?! If there is one of those signs there tomorrow asking did you witness the incident yesterday (today) at 16:30, then I might well actually phone the number and direct them to this blog to have a little read for themselves how stupid that woman and those people who followed her actually were…


3 responses

  1. To be fair could Birmingham not invest in a central reservation, or is this a kinda survival of the fittest Darwin esk test to reduce the population of b’ham?
    That said you should know better than most the when your trapped driving down the wrong side of the road sometimes you just gotta ride it out.

    3 May 2012 at 6:24 PM

  2. To be fair could Birmingham not invest in a central reservation, or is this a kinda survival of the fittest Darwin esk test to reduce the population of b’ham?
    That said you should know better than most that sometimes when confronted with on comming traffic you just have to speed up and hope for a right hand turn appearing soon

    3 May 2012 at 6:26 PM

    • It was a left hand turn into McDonalds if I remember correctly. The fact that you think it was a right hand turn is perhaps the root cause of us being on the wrong side of the road in the first place though 😉

      3 May 2012 at 11:00 PM

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