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May 2003 - Summer DriversDid you all have a good Easter? Well, I thought I'd be polite and ask. I'll bet you were one of those stuck in that traffic jam, weren't you?
I'll wager it will have been one of those traffic jams caused by the driver of a Tupperware Outhouse. You mean to say that you've not heard all about the drivers of Tupperware Outhouses? Oh, well, you'd better settle back, then, so I can explain.
Considering the fact that Easter moves about in the calendar like it does, it's a mystery to me how the Tupperware Outhouse driver manages to synchronise the end of his hibernation with that particular weekend.
I wonder if he has a built-in body clock like a tortoise, which makes him stir from his slumbers around about Maundy Thursday?
Whatever it is, he's always ready to inflict himself on all the other unsuspecting motorists, promptly at dawn on Good Friday.
I should perhaps explain, before I confuse every single one of you any further, about the Tupperware Outhouse itself. This wonderful description is said to have originated with a Bournemouth taxi driver, although I suspect many others will try to claim it.
Said taxi driver picked up a lady passenger and was asked to take her to the end of a particular road. On their arrival in the road in question, he asked where exactly to drop her and was told to stop in front of the car, down by the corner.
"Oh, in front of the Tupperware Outhouse?" he replied in order to confirm the instruction.
"That Reliant Robin is my husband's car!" was the rather terse reply as his fare paid up and got out of the cab.
I must say that ever since that tale was first told to me, I simply can't help imagining that every Reliant Robin I see, is made of floppy plastic and full of rotting sandwiches. Mind you, the floppy plastic bit is fairly accurate in any case. And, having seen more than my fair share of Tupperware Outhouse drivers over the Easter weekend, I'm beginning to believe that all of them DO actually look like rotting sandwiches, with their edges gently curling up.
But I digress as usual. The subject for in-depth investigation in this month's exciting edition of Comment is the body clock of aforementioned sandwiches.
I mean, how many Tupperware Outhouses do you see around the place in the winter? Apart from the odd one that's obviously been woken early because its garage is being demolished, the answer to that has got to be somewhere close to zero.
They hibernate you see. From 27th September till Good Friday each winter they hide indoors for fear of getting wet or cold.
And if you've ever wasted the odd couple of minutes closely examining a Tupperware Outhouse, they NEED to hide from the cold and wet, as they afford no protection from same to the unfortunate sandwiches inside.
In fact, on reflection, the only difference between them and the tortoise is the fact that the body of the tortoise is of far superior construction.
So, to return to the subject in hand for a moment, what on earth is it that brings them out in their droves on Good Friday to cause upset and distress to all the other road users who actually know how to drive properly?
I know Good Friday is at the end of Lent and we're supposed to give up something for Lent; but this is ridiculous.
Why is it that I'm supposed to give up driving at more than thirty-five miles an hour on Good Friday, just because there's a Tupperware Outhouse fifty-three cars ahead at the front of the queue?
The only good thing about this particular brand of motor car (I use the term very loosely!) is that they're not strong enough to tow a caravan!
As for the sandwich sitting in the driving seat, I don't know which planet his copy of the Highway Code was produced on, but they obviously drive on the right there, as witnessed by his insistence on staying in the overtaking lane of the motorway for sixty odd miles, whilst still only doing thirty-five.
Perhaps it's because he's a bit out of practice?
Of course, I keep forgetting that he hasn't touched a steering wheel since the end of last September when he put his darling little toy away for the winter.
I reckon we should make everyone who hasn't driven for more than two months take a re-test before they're let loose on the roads to hold up the rest of us proper motorists again.
And what is it about Tupperware Outhouse drivers which makes them insist that it's impossible to drive unless their flat cap is pulled tightly down over their eyes so they can't see where they're going?
I think it's to ensure they don't see any road signs as they proceed about their journey. That's why they go round every roundabout at least twice.
It's also so Mabel in the passenger seat can distract the driver behind by frantically waving her arms about every so often, each time Henry misses a turning.
On close examination you'll notice that she sticks her arm out of the left hand window whenever she wants him to turn left; and pokes him in the face every time she wants him to turn right.
It's as if the basic design of the Tupperware Outhouse starts from the assumption of two person driving, or at least, one driver and one navigator.
This however, makes you wonder why they don't actually fit the damn thing with an engine which is powerful enough to actually propel the weight of two people in the direction they want to go.
I almost started to worry about the effect that a rear seat passenger would have on the power-to-weight ratio then; but don't worry, I'm not going completely mad, I've now remembered that there isn't room for a rear seat passenger in one of those things anyway.
Isn't it amazing how you nearly think of them as REAL cars, just on the odd occasion!
Perhaps the solution is for the government to accept that they aren't real cars at all, and bring in a law to force them to use the pavement or the bicycle lanes instead.
At least that would get them out of the way of the people who actually have this strange desire to get to their destination on time, even on Good Friday.
Thinking about it, never having wasted any of my precious time on a detailed look round one of the flaming things, do they actually have gearboxes I wonder?
Perhaps that's the answer. Just one gear which goes up to about thirty-five miles an hour and then runs out of steam. At least that would make it easier to classify them as not for use on the roads.
It's either that, or the sandwiches which drive them haven't actually mastered the art of shifting the thing from first into second.
Perhaps it's part of the induction course which must come free with each model that you're taught how NOT to change gear, at the same time as you get the lessons in not letting anyone get past you in a queue of traffic.
That's the main problem you see. These damn Tupperware Outhouses seem destined to be at the front of queues and carefully positioned in the road so the car behind simply can't overtake, even if it wants to.
In any case, the rules of the road seem to insist that the car behind the Outhouse is towing an overweight caravan and therefore hasn't a hope of getting past anyway.
Additionally, the first six cars in the queue have to drive with less than a foot between them, so the likes of me in my red racer can't possibly overtake the whole lot in one go even by booting it in third and doing ninety miles an hour past the lot of them.
Roll on September 27th when all the Outhouses get put back in their outhouses for the winter.
I suppose I'll get used to it after a week or two, but I'm afraid my body clock wasn't ready for the Tupperware invasion this year.
They've obviously got some special magic ingredient which I lack in my body clock. Perhaps if we did away with Easter in future years they'd never wake up again and we'd be free of them for ever; and could drive at whatever speed we liked.
By the way, in case you've heard the original story before, yes, I did change the word "Shithouse" to "Outhouse", but only to protect the sensitive sensibilities of my many lady readers from the use of such an unpleasant word on so many occasions.
After all, the vehicle itself is unpleasant enough, without repeatedly repeating the name it was actually given by the taxi driver.
Well, the next stupendous edition of this load of old rubbish is scheduled to arrive at the beginning of June. That's on the assumption that it doesn't get held up in a queue of traffic.
Till then, make sure you keep taking those driving lessons! Right, I'm off, where's me flat cap?
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