A sign promoting Mr Clutch jumped out at me, so to speak, as I was cycling down the Cowley Road a few days ago. The name of the business reminded me of a story a pal told me some time ago, concerning a friend of his.

This chap, who is a bit of a boy racer, had been making swift progress in his car when he was flagged down by a uniformed police officer. The usual sort of conversation ensued, complete very likely with a reference to Stirling Moss (or is it Lewis Hamilton, these days?).

The malefactor showed suitable contrition and made apologetic noises to the officer.

Then, said my friend, the policeman adopted a patronising tone and told the speeder: “It’s all very to say you’re sorry, sir, but what would have happened if you had run into Mr Fog?”

Noting the rather childish turn of phrase and deducing that the officer might be mollified by a response in a similar vein, the driver replied: “Well, I suppose I would have to put Mr Foot on Mr Brake.”

The officer, I am afraid, did not look mollified. Rather the opposite.

With a fierce look on his face he snapped: “I said ‘mist or fog’.”