Those who can

Saturday May 27, 2006

I did my duty by Dolly today, driving over to Minehead to pick up a sack of litter, just as any conscientious minder of a Mega-cat would. Didn’t mind the duty. Could have done without the circumstances of the drive.

I witnessed the first sign of road rage just outside the camp, when an impatient driver came shooting up behind me on the winding narrow road, doing perhaps 60mph in a 30mph zone, swerved to overtake, ignoring the double white lines that forbid it, and then braked hard and swerved back in front of me to avoid an oncoming car. The driver of the latter blared his horn, shook his fist, and mouthed obscenities at the offending idiot. I braked to avoid the twit but kept my fists on the steering wheel.

Lulled into a false sense of security, perhaps, I narrowly avoided crunching into the side of another careless driver who pulled out right in front of me without checking the road was clear. I did hit the horn on that one, after braking hard, and then was overcome with shame at my silliness.

Williton, Washford and points west each exhibited at least one more example of bad driving and ill-tempered drivers and I drove into the supermarket car park with some relief, only to find it stuffed full of impatient provisioning grockles and their vehicles, in random motion, like a marauding army of driver ants.

I tell ya, it’d be a strange fellow who ventured out on the roads of a Bank Holiday Weekend for pleasure.

Inside the store the ants had transmogrified themselves into locusts, and were busy stripping the shelves of anything edible. And a lot of stuff that wasn’t edible. I managed to grab a sack of litter and two pints of milk, but that was about the limit of it.

And this was little more than a dress rehearsal for the madness that comes on the August Bank Holiday. I shall plan my affairs better for that one, and stay firmly home.

“I hope you’re suitably grateful, Dolly,” I said when I got back to the caravan.

She may have been but she showed no sign of it.

By then the influx of holiday-makers to the camp was well under way and, calling in at the club-house, I found it stuffed with people tucking in to lunch. Chips, mostly. I could have murdered for a plate of chips just then.

I found Graham in a quiet corner, peaceably polishing glasses in readiness for his formal wine reception.

“Very sensible,” I said. “Leaving the staff to handle the grockles is good management technique in my book.”

“Can’t understand ’em,” he said. “They hate this job and would rather stand behind the bar and hand out drinks and food to the starving hordes.”

“No accounting for folk. Don’t suppose this’d be a good time to try and scrounge some chips?”

“You gotta be kidding,” he said, eying the the crush of sustenance-seeking holiday-makers at the bar.”

“Thought so. No matter. I’ll go back and get our lunch ready.”

“Good. I’ll be done here in twenty minutes.”

It was a lot more than twenty minutes as it turned out because, as he left, he was accosted by an irate touring caravan owner who’d just arrived to find he’d been booked in to the wrong pitch. When he’d sorted that one out, he was distracted by another minor emergency, delegated it quick as he could, and came breezing down to the caravan, ready for his lunch and siesta.

The job description of a bars manager at a busy little holiday camp is a broad one, it seems, and a major eye-opener for me. It certainly leans rather heavily on the ‘other related duties’ sub-clause. I couldn’t do the job, never could have, and I tip my cap to those who can.



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