Driving Myself Mad (again, such a clever title)
Since 2002 I have done many, many things. I have graduated university. I have lived in eight houses. I have tried Yorkshire pudding with golden syrup. But what I haven’t done in that time however, is drive on a motorway.
‘Wow Ellie, you must be a hoot at dinner parties with interesting nuggets like that,’ you may be thinking. But, with all due respect dear reader, up yours. Cos a comic never driving on a motorway, is like a new member of a university rugby team never having to put a cherry up his arse and run naked through campus, yelling ‘I’VE PUT A CHERRY UP MY ARSE!’ It is a necessary right of passage.
Read any life-story of any comic and they’ll mention late night drives back from a gig in Hull via their favourite Little Chef on the A1, or how the Watford Gap Services South Bound have really improved over the last few years.
So due to a combination of a lack of motoring anecdotes in my autobiography (working title ‘No, I’m not Steve Tyler, I Just Have Big Lips’) and also because I now live in the silly suburbs, I had no option on Wednesday but to motorway it for the first time in ten years . No more trains for me. No, the only way I was undertaking this perilous journey through country riddled with savages, namely, Rochester, Kent, was by car.
To prepare, first, I created a mental list entitled ‘How I will attack this journey head-on’. But ‘head-on’ seemed like an unfortunate choice of words, so I changed it to ‘How I will get to Kent without causing death/ grievous harm/the voiding of my parents car insurance’.
The list was as follows:
1. Buy sat nav
2. Drive awesomely to Kent and back
The reality was more like this:
1. Buy sat nav.
2. Change sat nav voice to an Irish man called ‘Daniel’ who sounds like he has good geography but also twinkly eyes.
3. Plug in destination and watch demo of journey .
4. Start panicking when Daniel says I have to go over a big bridge.
5. Turn panic into crying when Daniel mentions entering a tunnel .
6. Shout loudly (using a niche child’s song reference) ‘I just want to go on normal roads! Why do I have to go over things and under things? What is this? A FRICKING BEAR HUNT?’
7. Realise I have to leave immediately to get to gig in time.
8. Tell mum I love her. Get in car.
9. Pull onto M25 with heart pounding at a rate only previously experienced during the climax of the ‘The Cube’ McFly special.
10. Notice I have been driving for 20 minutes and haven’t died.
11. Relax and find myself overtaking a lorry and saying ‘Well, hello fifth gear!’.
12. Realise I am a bellend.
13. Get to gig and tell everyone about my accomplishment.
14. Realise no one cares, so do gig, drive home and write a blog about my adventure in the hope that in written form, it will be more impressive.
15. Realise ‘Driving to Kent’ probably isn’t going to fill up a chapter in my autobiography.
16. Put sat nav in cupboard and book train tickets.
17. Think about how much I’ll miss Daniel’s voice telling me to ‘Perform a u-turn when possible’.