Saturday, 1 October 2011

A Tale from Lucky Bob

One of the pleasures of wandering and traveling the country lanes is finding a like minded soul and exchanging a tale or two. A few years ago I was working in an office in south Lincolnshire for a couple of days a week, it was there I was introduced to Lucky Bob. A that time Bob was approaching his retirement age and was one of those people who I tend to think of as a true gentleman. He was friendly, polite and professional but also had a razor sharp wit and a perceptive mind ensuring he was nobodies fool. Although he had not been blessed with the best of luck in his earlier life, it seemed fortune had begun to smile on him over the previous few years and had even won three significant wins on European lotteries setting himself up nicely for his oncoming retirement. He continued to work because he enjoyed it and he was good at it.

Realising we both had travelled the rural lanes on many occasions (Bob was often driving, where as I have a preference for walking) we began to chat and exchange experiences, I will now pass on a little tale he told me, this has brightened a few peoples days over the years when I have recounted it, I hope it does for you. For me it proves that wealth does not mean worth. I hope Bob is now retired to his cottage in France and is enjoying both red wine and fine company.

Working freelance, Bob had often to take contracts in offices some distance from his home. He tried to make his journeys as enjoyable as he could to avoid the scrum of driving in the rush hour traffic and the scenic routes were a welcome break from the nose to tail driving. He recalled that one such morning many years ago (in the time when mobile phones were not affordable almost all of the population) he was winding his way down a country lane, enjoying the peace and freedom of a quiet road before a day in a warm office. He glanced in his mirror to see a car in the distance behind him and thinking nothing of it he carried on driving as he felt was safe for the road. A few moments later he glanced in his mirror again and realised the vehicle behind him was closing fast and must surely be traveling well in excess of the 60mph speed limit of the road. Feeling a little wary of the driver behind him he carried on, deciding to maintain his speed just has he would if the driver was not there.

Within seconds his rear view mirror was filled with the sight of an expensive Jaguar car just a couple of feet from his back bumper  and snaking around in the lane to try and overtake. Bob carried on keeping one eye on the mirror wondering what the driver behind must be in such a rush for. Again he kept to his speed and within his lane deciding the driver would overtake when it was safe to do so. The lane weaved its way towards a sharp blind corner and Bob slowed his speed as any normal driver would. The roar of engine noise behind him became deafening, glancing into his mirror Bob was horrified to see the driver behind had lost both patience and reason. He started to overtake on the blind corner, the next moments felt like an eternity as the Jaguar rounded the corner on the wrong side of the road and with no possibility of getting back into lane without colliding with Bobs car. Luckily for both Bob and the other driver there was no oncoming traffic and in a squeal of tires and smoke the Jaguar found its way in front and back into the correct lane before accelerating off into the distance.

Bob was left shaking with adrenaline as the danger passed. He was also left opened mouthed by the recklessness of the Jaguar driver, if another vehicle had been coming the other way, they would have been lucky if any of them had survived. A few deep breaths and a shake of the head helped him regain his composure and he carried on his way thankful to be in one piece.

The next few miles passed uneventfully until Bob could see something to chill the blood just off the road ahead. He pulled up at another steep corner to find the Jaguar wrecked in a hedge having crashed at some considerable speed. He switched his hazard lights on and leapt out expecting to find bodies among the wreckage. He was surprised to see a business man clearly shaken but apparently unhurt. "Oh my god, is there anybody else in there?" Bob asked. The business man replied "No", Bob looked about and could see no other vehicles or people what so ever. "Is there anybody else involved?" Bob asked. The business man shook his head "No, just me he replied,". Bob looked the man up and down before asking "And are you ok?". "Yes I am fine, its just the car that is wrecked," he answered.

Bob just smiled and said "Thats a pity," with that he climbed back into his own car, switched off the hazards and drove off leaving a stunned business man stranded in the middle of the countryside.

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