June 12, 2014 - 7:01 AM
On Monday I tried driving fast down a fast road in a fast car. This sort of summer driving should be fun. Get the old girl’s top off (I’m talking convertibles here, but you can imagine whatever you want,) stomp on the loud pedal and head for the open road. Alas, nothing but frustration awaits.
In summer, there are road works everywhere, policed by bossy flag people with their silly SLOW/STOP lollipops, creating miles of traffic jam so one little man can weed the meridian or patch a pot hole.
But the road works pale into insignificance compared to the biggest impediments to meaningful progress: those semi-mobile rolling roadblocks otherwise known as RVs. These lumbering behemoths are dragged slowly around the country by people whose idea of a perfect vacation is spending two weeks in mosquito-infested woods living in a cupboard.
If they aren’t clogging our roads or littering our forests, they are crammed together in temporary tenements squeezed between major highways and murky lakes with painfully optimistic names like “Happy Camper Resort.” “Last Resort” might be more appropriate. I have even seen people “camping” in Wal-Mart parking lots. Frankly if that’s the best you can do for a fun vacation, your imagination has failed completely and you need to stay at home. Forever.
In order to be even remotely inhabitable, RVs are enormous. Some of them are so big they have to have their front ends mounted onto the beds of pick-up trucks, usually those foul, fume-spewing monstrosities with the extra training wheels at the back. And Alberta plates. The combination resembles some sort of vehicular copulation, the offspring of which must be motor-homes, I assume. The whole outfit is longer than a battleship, and getting stuck behind one means spending a good portion of your busy day at the pace of someone who has only warm beer and burnt marshmallows in a rustic ghetto to look forward to at his journey’s end, and is therefore in no rush to get there.
Motor-homes are unfailingly driven at twelve miles per hour by people who are too busy looking at the scenery to do anything useful. Like steer. The most wretched of all are those horrid rental things plastered with huge, overly-vivid pictures of mountains and maple leaves. Did whoever designed these enormous travelling billboards really believe they would somehow be contributing to the landscape in which they are to be parked?
When you spot one of these garish leviathans you can be absolutely certain it is being piloted by a retired civil servant from Nottingham called Dennis who has never previously driven anything larger than a Ford Fiesta. And that on the wrong side of the road. This is why the mirrors and three corners are missing.
As I dawdled along through the road works behind Dennis on Monday, it occurred to me that the irritating flag people were espousing an elemental truth: there are only two speeds to summer driving, slow and stop.
— The Grumpy Old Git is the one who calls to answer the sticker's question: How's My Driving?
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014