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  • Writer's pictureLizzy Shannon

Blame it on the Weather

The other day I got to display what a rational, composed human being I have become. (Ahem!) I was driving Dad and the dog over to Murlough to take a walk in the slightly cooler afternoon. We've been having a heatwave in Northern Ireland, and are not used to it at all. It's evident in the short tempers and intolerance people are showing.

The lane up to the gatehouse at Murlough is extremely narrow and one always has to stay around 15 mph to be on the safe side. People who don't want to pay the fee to take the car in, park outside on the road and walk in, and there are always excited dogs and children to keep an eye out for. There's one particular bend in this lane where many times when coming back out of Murlough, a car heading in meets me head on, and if I hadn't been going slowly we would have collided. This was Sunday and the place was more crowded than I've ever seen it. Knowing how easy a collision could be, when I came to that bend I stayed over to the left-hand side, just in case. Sure enough, a blue van was emerging from the gate. But to my shock, two people and their dog were on the lane right in front of me. With nowhere to turn, I braked hard. It wasn't a big deal as I was only doing about 15 mph, but gravel shot up as the car stopped abruptly. They looked pretty shocked too, but disaster had been avoided. Then I noticed the driver of the van. His face appeared to light up with what could only be described as unholy glee. He wagged a finger at me, and wound down his window as he drew alongside. I couldn't hear him, but his mouth was busy spewing something very negative, if the expression on his face was anything to go by.

My window was wound up to let the air conditioning work, but the back ones were cracked a couple of inches to give the dog some airflow. In the split second I had to react, my thoughts careened with, "I wasn't speeding! Who made you the police? Do you work here? Who do you think you are, chastising me?" It all culminated in an almighty, "FUCK OFF!" at the top of my lungs.

Dad looked a little startled. I explained why I was annoyed and he agreed with me. The other driver should have had all the information before he decided to scold. Funny how the little things annoy us, isn't it? The only satisfaction I have is that he must have heard me, with the back windows open. Bet he didn't expect that!

Rational and composed? No.

Blame it on the weather!


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