It’s hard to think of something more irresponsible than taking the driving test for someone who’s likely to fail it. But this instance of a racket run by and for immigrants is not the first I’ve read of here in Spain in the last few years. As if we didn’t have enough problems with the macho minority on the road..
Talking of driving, I have some problems with the implications of this scheme to pay drivers for being sober. There’s certainly scope for a new racket, I would have thought. Several, even.
And still on this theme . . . Cognitive dissonance is the holding of two opposing views at the same time. One example which seems to afflict Spanish drivers is “Being distracted while you’re driving is dangerous. But it’s perfectly safe for me to use one of my hands to dial a mobile phone number.” So it’s not too surprising that the traffic police, in their relentless pursuit of revenue – and possibly lower mortality and injury statistics – have announced a new crackdown on this frequent offence. Perhaps it’s time to get serious with my idea for a buttonhole camera I can use as I walk into and out of town several times a day.
And talking of mobile phones, mine came in handy today. . . . I was travelling down to the supermarket car-park in the lift when the electricity failed and it stopped between floors, in pitch darkness. This was a little worrying, especially as I could find no emergency button to press. There was a backlit SOS panel but nothing happened when I pressed it. And, when no one responded to my banging on the door and my increasingly loud shouts of Hola!, I became a little concerned about how long I’d be stuck there. And how long the choc-ices would last. So I ate one and took out my mobile phone to call the owner of the Rover garage next door to ask him to alert the staff to my predicament. But there was no signal, of course. However, there was enough light from the phone to scour the lift control panel in search of an emergency button. Which I finally found in the bottom left corner, right at the opposite end from the notice saying you should press it when the lift stopped. A notice you obviously can’t read when there’s an electricity cut and there’s no light. Anyway, a worried voice eventually came on the intercom and told me not to worry. After another 10 to 15 minutes of defiant worrying, I called again and someone came and managed to release the inner doors, leaving only the outer doors locked and me still inside. Ten minutes later, these were finally opened and I was able to hand down my eco-friendly shopping bags and jump down the 3 feet to the floor. About the only coherent thing the young staff could say was “Sorry” and “This has never happened to us before”. Nor to me but I fancy I got the raw end of the deal. And I might be humping my bags down the stairs in future.
Strangely enough, I kept thinking of what Tony Hancock would have done. Apart from getting some laughs from it.