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November 2007 - The Story Continues

I notice that it's approaching thirty years, now, since the first ever edition of Nick Harvey's Comment was unleashed on a poor, unsuspecting world, yet this will be the first ever occasion where the story which concluded the previous edition actually continues into the next.

I mention this fact, somewhat in passing, just to avoid any confusion among those very few readers who might have arrived here without being one of those regular devotees whom we know and love so well.

You see, if you do happen to have arrived fresh from one of those search engines, or wherever else, then you must understand that the reading of last month's epistle is almost a pre-requisite to the full enjoyment of this particular episode.

If you fall into this minute category of visitors, then would you please go directly to the bottom of this page, click your rodent upon the "Last Comment" button, then read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the October 2007 edition, before clicking on the "Next Comment" button on that page in order to return here, for maximum satisfaction and delight.

I've just had a thought whilst typing that last paragraph, you know; this trick of making you read back is going to do wonders for my viewing figures, isn't it?  Why on earth didn't I think of this wonderful wheeze many, many years ago?

It could even become self-perpetuating, couldn't it?  I send you back in this month's edition to read last month's, which sends you back to read the previous month's, which sends you back further to read the previous month's again, so you end up having to go all the way back to 1978 for a not-so-quick re-cap.  I'm beginning to like this little plan.

You see, it has to be admitted that there are seldom any great ideas contained in these regular ramblings, which turn out to be sufficiently stupendous to warrant any further reporting at any later stage.  That's why Nick Harvey's Comments tend to be, very much, stand-alone affairs, with little or no continuity between the individual offerings.

And, knowing a fair chunk of my regular audience as well as I do, perhaps I should point out at this point, purely for clarity don't you know, that I meant continuity in the purest sense of the word in the previous paragraph, not the type of excellent continuity as provided by people like Mr T of Kent or Mr A of Cardiff.

So, anyway, now we've got that little bit of a prelude out of the way, it's time to welcome you all along to this, the penultimate Comment of the year.  My goodness, it's the Christmas edition next month, isn't it?  How time flies, and not just 2007, but the whole thirty years, as far as I can see.

Over the history of these epic writings, I seem to have come up with a variety of ideas for the improvement of our lovely little world.  Banishing chatty housewives to an empty warehouse to allow the serious shoppers get on in peace in real supermarkets comes to mind as one of the better ones; then there was moving all the reservoirs from where they are to places where it actually rains.

The problem with the majority of Nick Harvey's greatest ideas, thus far, has been the lack of capital investment from anyone with capital to invest, to turn these great ideas into the great and real successes they ought to have been.

Okay, it might have been a tad costly to chop off all the pointed bits of Great Britain, move them round the coast and shove them up the odd river estuary to make all our maps nicely square and tidy, but I'm sure some enterprising entrepreneur could have used the savings in map production costs to fund the exercise.

So why is it, I was puzzling to myself last weekend, that all of a sudden, and without any warning, one of Nick Harvey' passing thoughts has been taken up by practically the entire local populace and is going ahead with a momentum never seen before for any idea, let alone one of mine?

It can only have been because it is, without any doubt whatsoever, the finest and greatest idea to have ever been thought of in that amazing supercomputer which is known as the brain of Nick Harvey.

I refer, ladies and gentlemen, dearest viewers, even leaderless Liberal Democrats, to my amazing plan to utilise the entire fleet of Wiltshire four-by-fours to rebuild our stolen by-pass.

Never did I think, as I put fingers to keyboard at the end of last month, that my idea would be taken up with such enthusiasm, zeal, passion, exuberance, gusto and every other word from that particular paragraph of the thesaurus.

You see, I thought it best to avoid that particular portion of highway for a while, which was, no doubt, exactly what the council planned for me, and thousands of other drivers, to do.  It was, therefore, about three weeks after their so-called improvement work before I ventured along that stretch of road once again, only to find that the local motorists have very quickly made hugely significant improvements to the original improvements.

Whether it be the work of my specialist four-by-four fleet, or just an incredibly large number of normal, regular users, the newly installed, newly grass seeded high banks on each side of the road are practically no more along the largest part of the length of the lane.

Seldom, if ever, have I seen such glorious devastation take place so thoroughly, so speedily and so wonderfully.

It is a tribute to the drivers of central Wiltshire and, no doubt, all their friends and colleagues just passing through the area from far and wide, that so complete a restoration of our by-pass has been achieved so completely and in so short a time.

The beautifully placed banks of earth, from the day after the road reopened, are now either completely flattened and pushed out of the way, or so marvellously deep in wheel tracks that they have only a few more days to live.  For the greatest part of its length, our glorious by-pass has been successfully returned to its pre-improvement two-lane glory.

I assume the powers-that-be send inspectors round a little while after an improvement job like that is completed, to see what the finished product looks like.  I'd love to be a fly on a moped following them round to see their reaction to things now looking so incredibly similar to how they were before the contractors started work.

I wonder if the deliberate flattening of new earthy banks is what is classed as civil disobedience in official circles?  If so, then I've just decided that I'm a great fan of it.  It was a completely stupid plan by the council and their contractors to try to close off this obvious short cut in the first place; the local populace have come out fighting over the issue and appear to have conclusively won the day.

Should there be any retaliatory action from the council or contractors at any point in the future, I shall make it my business to report back here within the month, if for no other reason than to call for reinforcements.

Perhaps I should mention at this point in the proceedings that the contractors concerned with the great by-pass fiasco are another branch of the same company who are now recommending the installation of traffic lights at the main junction in the town, right by the local brewery, to improve the flow of through traffic.

Nothing special in that, you're probably thinking to your good selves, until I mention that even before Nick Harvey's Comment was born, all those years ago, the traffic lights at the brewery corner were being removed and replaced with a mini-roundabout, yes you've guessed it, to improve the flow of through traffic.

If they're not going to give us a proper, official by-pass, then they really need to stop tinkering about with things that have been tried before and found to fail miserably.

When will they realise that that with an almost circular set of main roads round the middle of this town, the blindingly obvious solution is to make them all one way and send all the traffic smoothly through the place in a clockwise direction?  Make the town one enormous roundabout, that is what would improve the flow of through traffic.

There you go, folks, another stupendous idea from the Nick Harvey school of transport.  I wonder what the chances are of that one being picked up with similar enthusiasm, zeal, passion, exuberance and gusto as last month's?  Not a hope in hell, I can confidently predict.  After all, logic doesn't quite feature in the minds of these council and contractor people.

These contractors are the people who recently did a traffic survey in the town at the morning peak time and have assumed from their "high quality" figures that hardly anybody lives in our town but works outside it.

You see, they didn't find anybody driving out of town to work, at this morning peak time.  Of course they expletive deletedly well didn't!  If you work in another town, you normally start at morning peak time, so you drive out of your own town an hour, or half an hour earlier than that at the latest.  It doesn't take a brain the size of Nick Harvey's to work out that simple little fact, does it?

I'm in danger of going off on one again here, if I'm not careful, aren't I?  And there was I only really intending to tell you about the amazing success of my by-pass reinstatement campaign this month.  Well, it was a bit of a winner, wasn't it?  And one of those gloriously unexpected winners as well!

I think it's about time I folded that tent of mine and quietly slipped away for another month, before I get myself into any more trouble with the authorities.  I shall return for the, aforementioned, Christmas edition, promptly on the first of December, so please join me then.

I could go out for a relaxing drive, now, couldn't I?  No, perhaps not.  Right I'm off, where's me one way street sign?

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