It’s a Citroen Xsara, quite elderly, with threadbare tyres and a scrape or two down the offside. It had been parked nearly opposite my drive since May. It usually didn’t cause me any actual inconvenience – I could reverse round it without having to make more than three points, even in the worst sloppy-parking configurations, of which there are many out there – but it irritated me.
So I checked it on the DVLA. It was taxed to next April, but had no MoT. So a few weeks ago I shopped it to the council. Last week, an abandoned vehicle sticker was attached to the windscreen. Ah, progress, I thought. And sure enough, today progress has been made, though not quite the sort I’d anticipated.
I’d been down to pick up a prescription, and was passing the end of the Close when a voice hailed me. I couldn’t make out the words, if there were any, but I saw the blue car stuck diagonally across the road. A burly, bald man with a grey ponytail was waving madly at me. He looked angry. Normally, in such situations I avoid eye contact and hurry on, but this was personal.
This man was apoplectic. By means of body language and smiley gestures, I managed to persuade him that his immediate predicament – car stuck across the road – wasn’t my personal fault, whereupon he gradually dissolved into tearful contrition. He’d been in a bad place (I didn’t ask where), desperately wanted to save his car from getting towed away, was trying to move it until the spare part he needed arrived from Plymouth or somewhere, had got stuck, could I give him a push please?
Well, I didn’t believe a word of it, but what would you do? I put my shoulder to it and together we manoeuvred the rusty old wreck into a less obtrusive location. This took some of my managerial skills, especially when it transpired that the concepts of left and right lock were novel to him. But we managed it. He was embarrassingly grateful, and I had to tear myself away. As I left, I heard him mutter something like:
“It was that cow down the end what reported it, wasn’t it?”
I thought it best not to correct him on this point.
If it’s still there this time next week, I’m going to report it as dumped. Again.