Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But there’s also nothing like the thrill of the present. That split-second when things happen right in front of you and you are expected to react, instantly.
Except that it doesn’t always work like that, as I discovered during a recent road rage incident, when instead of acting out a James Bond scenario in my head, my lightning reactions were as quick as Eeyore at a sleepover.
The said incident took place at a petrol station in Bicester when I parked at a pump to fill up.
A very fierce looking lady then drove straight onto the forecourt in front of me, like Grace Jones in A View To A Kill, but direct from Bicester Village.
She had obviously decided she was too good/rich/important and dangerous to queue like everyone else, so reversed her car up and blocked me in totally leaving me unable to drive off.
She was wearing leather trousers and half her head was shaved, but I still got out of my car, pointed out there was a long queue of cars waiting, that she was holding everyone up, and that she needed to move.
Did she? Did she hell?
She started shouting abuse at me, picked up the pump and started filling up her gleaming, black, expensive car regardless.
Thus all the cars were gridlocked and the entire petrol station ground to a halt while we waited.
As my children were in the car, I tried to summon up the adrenaline rush required to get out and challenge her again, but a little voice in my head was saying ”she looks a bit scary, I’d stay put if were you.”
Meanwhile, the other side of my brain was shouting “for God’s sake, don’t just sit there, do something. You don’t want your children growing up thinking you’re a pushover and unable to stick up for yourself. This is a clear case of right and wrong. She may be wearing leather trousers, but you can take her on.”
So what did I do? Nothing, until all the motorists on the other side of the forecourt moved to let me out, smiling sympathetically, as I manoeuvered past the angry lady in the leather trousers with the shaved head, who was still shouting.
And I drove home feeling ridiculously sheepish and cowardly, until my teenage son said: “Don’t worry mum, you did the right thing – she looked like a total nutcase to me and would have eaten you for breakfast.” Thank God for small mercies and children. Maybe I did do something right after all...