One of the great things about being a parent, I find, is the slightly surreal nature of the conversations you end up having. This week, for example, we've had enquiries into the nature and purpose of the sky and the proper names of our wheelie bins. Then yesterday afternoon, at the end of a long and tiring stint of motorway driving, I was commanded by a voice from the back seat to observe rather than merely listen as Charlie addressed some new and exciting line of philosophical enquiry. The trouble is, I was driving. And explaining my physical inability to swivel my head like an owl, not to mention the danger of taking my eyes off the road at seventy mph was a challenge even to my persuasive powers. The exchange went something like this:
Look at me daddy, look at me.
...I can't Charlie; I'm driving.
Why not you look at me daddy? Why?
...Because I'm looking at the road; that's what you so when you're driving.
Except when you don't, of course. Except when you're on the 'phone, or eating your lunch, or texting or any of the dozen or so other things I saw other drivers doing yesterday rather than watching the road. And the most frightening culprits were those behind the wheel of some huge articulated lorry.
I can just about (just!) tolerate that thing they do on a two-lane road when one pulls out to overtake just as they start to climb a long, slow incline. I mean, what is that about? Do the two drivers have a conversation as they crawl up the hill side-by-side? Are they having a quiet chuckle at all the frustrated car drivers behind them? But driving several tons of metal bumper-to-bumper while checking your text messages is beyond a joke as far as I'm concerned.
Now, I'm not one for making extra work for the police. They're busy enough. So instead of imposing stiffer penalties on the blighters, I'd like to suggest we all take advantage of the super soaraway Sun's £9.50 holiday challenge and buy these idiots a hands-free 'phone kit before it's too late. (You can get 'em from as little as £2.80 for goodness sake!)
£9.50 might not pay for much of your holiday. But at least you might live to enjoy it!