Wednesday, October 12, 2005


An apology to Julie of Milton Keynes

Dear Julie,

You may well be wondering who I am, and be assured I wonder that myself sometimes. The transient moods that seize my being are due to the fact I am one who is at the tender mercies of fate and medicine, those roguish forces that unashamedly plague my physical body with a regularity I envy, most especially when it comes to matters of the water closet.

This may give you some clue as to why, when driving through Milton Keynes last Monday night, you happened to catch the eye of a disabled woman in the next car who appeared to be mouthing something to you. I assure you it was not an insult, just a heartfelt cry from the very depths of my being.

You might be wondering "Why me?", but then again, you might not, as you are clearly an individual who likes to attract attention, decorating your vehicle as you have with large signage, pictures and stuffed animals, along a certain theme that I am frankly, surprised would appeal to a woman old enough to own a driving licence. From the glimpse I caught of you, your sensible haircut and conservative shirt belies the frivolous display festooning your vehicle. Perhaps you expect, even crave a reaction.

Despite this, we live in a civilised society, and each individual must take responsibility for their actions, ideally behaving in a manner in which they themselves would wish to be treated. I accept fully I did not do this. But then again Julie, you must understand the incredulous reactions your particular vehicle design may prompt. You are certainly the only grown woman I have seen driving a car dedicated to Winnie-the-Pooh in such a (may I say) dreadfully tacky manner.

The dual carriageways and roundabouts of central Milton Keynes allow a certain amount of communication between drivers as they slow to take the roundabout, and it is here, after driving behind you for some time, my car drew alongside yours and I uttered those words that caused you so much puzzlement. Let me assure you they were a shock to me too, but as I have already mentioned, my desperate state and your decorated car combined to prompt this out-of-character reaction.

I have never, in all my born days, ever seen a car so dedicated to Winnie-The-Pooh. A large stuffed Pooh sliding around on your parcel shelf must surely hinder you from concentrating in the rear view mirror. I can only hope the large stickers bearing your name "Julie" covering a good third of each rear side window, and the legend "Winnie-The-Pooh" scrawled across your sun visor, do not obstruct your vision also, although perhaps an unkinder person than myself might question whether it is necessary under the auspices of natural selection for someone so obsessed to take notice of what occurs in the real world.

No, it was the sticker across the rear windscreen that prompted my outburst. I can only hope and pray you don't know how to lipread. You see, I've been rather supressed of late. Supressed, that is, in a bodily sense. The evil codeine is getting the better of me. It's the kind of thing you keep to yourself, Julie, can you understand that? In company and conversation, it is not the sort of thing one freely discusses. In the intimate world of the crip blogosphere, even, people don't usually allude to this sort of difficulty. Pain, maybe. Access, maybe. Everyday events, usually. But not behind the bathroom door.

So. When I saw that sticker, large as life, across your rear windscreen, saying "I love Pooh", my emotions got the better of me. I am ashamed Julie, but there you go. I was not swearing at you, nor berating you for your style of car decoration (unusual though I think it is) - what I was actually saying Julie, to you, being a stranger (and isn't it sometimes easier to discuss difficult issues with strangers?), was "Huh! I'D LOVE A POO!!!"

Because Julie, that is the bottom of the matter. I would. But it was coarse and inappropriate of me to expose you to this revelation. And for that, I am sorry.



Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell had the great misfortune of spending seven years of her life in Milton Keynes. She is not persuaded that the fact that she sustained her disabling accident there is sufficient to account on its own for her dislike of the place.

It is possible that the endless roundabouts addled her brains irrevocably. That, or the fact that Milton Keynes was home, at that time, to the largest population of pre-school age children in the country.

Not for nothing is MK known to its familiars as the Concrete Cowpat.

marmiteboy said...


This made me laugh and laugh. I nearly had a poo I laughed so much. Which would have been nice as I too am a martyr to the codeine. Blooming stuff is a nightmare.

Agent Fang said...

Aww, don't be too hard on MK, Lady B. It's great for shopping! The trick is not to go into the centreMK in the school holidays. As for the concrete cows, the poor things were vandalised so much they were eventually re-rendered in much tougher resin. If you see them up close, their sweet dopey grins couldn't fail to melt your heart. I've met a lot of crips who've mover closer to MK because the access is much better than most small market towns. I live in a village nearby and get the best of both worlds - no chavs, lots of accessible shopping.

And Marmite, I'm glad that made you laugh. Not quite enough, though! I can see I'll have to try even more outrageous tactics.