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So, I guess you’re agog to know. So agog, people, that I sense you didn’t want to delay things by spending too much time on my little competition.
Mea culpa. Was it a good idea? A bit of collaborative fun, or a monumental act of hubris? Should I indulge in one of those Hissy Fits that so brighten up the Land of Blog from time to time? Yes? No? Well here’s the story.
But first – and foremost – what were you expecting? Clubs? Saunas? I ask you (at our age!) No. Our story takes place on the open roads of Derbyshire and – most thrillingly – in the back of a lorry.
(A confession. We were, actually, in the front of the lorry. But that last sentence just seemed too good to leave out). Read on.
A breakdown (of the automotive variety) in what passes for a minicab in those parts. A main road. A lack of mobile telephony. And a pressing need to get home.
Let me make something quite clear: neither K nor I are the hitchhiking type. Try as I might, I can summon no enthusiasm for the sport. However, it was getting late, K was somewhat tipsy and November is such an inappropriate time to be stranded on a peak with a mere thin linen shirt and anorak. We’re such townies at heart, you know.
And there’s the rub. After twenty minutes of delicate, measured thumbing at passing traffic, could we get a car to stop? Could we?
Enter Gary, our cabbie. Yes, he was possibly upset with us for leaving him ineffectually mending the engine, and yes we may have been a trifle – short, shall we say? – as we realised we were going nowhere in his clapped-out old banger – yes, banger. But yes, also, he was in the same boat and so strode out into the road in front of an approaching juggernaut.
(It was massive, I tell you. What do they put in these things?)
“We need a ride”, he explained to a welcoming face through the window. And all of a sudden – and this happened to both K and I simultaneously – we started to find the situation funny. Ha ha, not peculiar. “We need a ride!” “A ride!” Kids, eh?
Readers: I kid you not. We hoisted ourselves thrillingly into one of the cabs of one Mr Eddie Stobert – long-distance lorry driver to the stars, I think you’ll find. Nothing but the best, you know. Was that a zing of electricity as we helped each other mount the step?
Our driver was amiably friendly – but perhaps hadn’t expected a cargo quite like K and I. Have you been in the cab of one of those things? I should explain for clarity – despite their apparent humungousness they seat three thin best friends in comfort. We were (by now) all friends, but not best, and Gary was certainly not thin. We squashed together deliciously. The driver – whose name I forget – and Gary seemed to press themselves against their respective doors to avoid knee contact. Not in a nasty way, you understand. Just in the embarrassed English hetero fashion. Physical contact. It’s soooo not done.
“Where d’ya want taking?” asked our driver. And that did it. K started to laugh. And I started to laugh. And K started to laugh some more. The driver did not laugh. Gary smiled weakly.
“Drop us in Bakewell?” I requested, through teeth gritted with red-jowled embarrassment and juvenile glee. Because what was tuned in? Radio 2. The artiste? Tammy Wynette. It was perfect, I tell you. Perfect. And so we started to sing.
A journey to treasure; I expect they remember us well.