Every morning I’m overtaken by an idiot. Well, I’m overtaken by many idiots, but one regular idiot has a car registration ending “EAN”. The assonantal coincidence meant that I was worried for a while that it actually belonged to my co-worker Ian, even though he’s not the sort to have a personalized number plate: worried only because of the volleys of sarcastic comments I’d aimed at its windows whenever it romped past me like a thick and excitable puppy in a two-ton metal exoskeleton. Although I finally worked out that it wasn’t Ian’s car, the driver does make much of the same journey as me; but, while busy trying to avoid her, I never had the presence of mind to learn the whole registration.
Yesterday was different, though, as EAN did her usual post-singletrack swerve and accelerate around me, only to have to screech to a halt on the other side of a blind corner to let an enormous van through. She’d been going too fast to stop in time and so had to reverse, pushing me backwards in turn and landing me in a few loose wisps of nettles. As I said in my best projecting stage voice that she was “probably the most consistently bad driver I’d ever encountered,” I got a good, long, close look at her registration plate, I was able to memorize it as… er, 728? 278…? Was there a J? Or another N? Oh, bloody hell, I thought, as I’d completely lost a grip on it by the time I got into work.
I needn’t have worried. This morning, some impatient twat sounded their horn—a tried, tested and only slightly illegal way to make cyclists magically disappear—on an entirely different blind corner of the single-track road this morning. I wasn’t likely to cycle into the lee of an entirely different road just to let whoever it was pass, and they could just bloody wait until a proper passing place. When one arrived, which must have been a terribly agonising two hundred yards away for the twat, she once again bounded past me and swerved on her way, the numberplated boot behind, rocking on its suspension like her car’s wobbly bum. Every day there’s something different from V728 EAN.