I HAVE heard all the dire warnings about global warming so to complain about car sharing seems inappropriate.
But I’m going to anyway.
Before I go any further, I should say I regularly give a colleague a lift to work and we get along just fine. We are both of a certain age (certain we’re past our sell-by date) and can be a pair of grumpy old women together.
Generally speaking, though, I consider giving lifts a necessary evil.
For a start, you can’t do any of those antisocial things like spit, fart and chew baccy. I don’t particularly want to spit, fart and chew baccy – but I want to feel I can if the mood takes me. And I’m not sure of the etiquette . Radio on or radio off? My passenger might not like my choice of Gran Radio – the channel that puts glamour into incontinence pads. But give them the choice, and you can bet your life you'll be subjected to some dire 60s country and western channel. There’s only so many times you can hear a mountain gal sing about her love for poor old dying Yeller without tossing her the humane killer.
So the radio is off and I have to, horror of horrors, make conversation. For some of these people I would feign unconsciousness to get away from at a party, but here I am trapped inside this metal tube with some gormless idiot chuntering on beside me for 20 miles.
I used to give a teenager from my village a lift to college. I'm not sure what she was studying - I'm not sure she knew what she was studying - but her area of expertise was relationships. I'd nod sagely at pearls of wisdom like, "Well Kelly thinks that Tyler fancies her but I could tell her for nothing that actually he thinks she's a total minger and I know for an absolute fact that he fancies Chantelle but I saw her snogging Dazza in the bus shelter and he's supposed to be going out with Mimi but I don't know what he sees in her, she's such a total scuzz-bucket and not fussy with it either, if you know what I mean, just ask Bruno, he chucked her because he was fed up of finding her with her tongue down other lads' throats and when he caught her with Simon - yes, that Simon - who's totally ancient and must be nearly 30, well he had no choice but to give her the elbow. "
I'm not sure who was worse, her or the young lad who in a year of lifts never said one word apart from the occasional grunt which I took was either a yes or no answer to the odd question I'd throw his way. Then there was the trainee hairdresser who had no conversation at all unless it related to hair and all its associated products.
That's the trouble with living in a village with only an intermittent bus service, mums knock on your door and ask if you can ferry their little darlings to town.
The next time I'm asked to give someone a lift I think I might trade my car in for a black cab and make sure the interconnecting window is well and truly shut. I can sit back, turn on Gran Radio and spit out the window.