I’ve been driving in the UK for a couple weeks. So far, an encouraging lack of vehicular manslaughter and/or mayhem has occurred. I’m not counting the post who snuck up my driveway and threw himself into the side of the mini-van as I was parking in front of my house. He had a death wish. Other than that, it’s been … boring. Wheel, lane, lights, it’s not so different from the US.
Yesterday I did get a little disoriented on the way home from a birthday party. The party was for an eight-year old girl and took place at a tenpin bowling center near Gloucester. When I think of birthday bowling parties, I think of the local bowling alley, maybe some pizza, cheesy music, carpets from the 70s saturated with soda. This is not that bowling alley.
You know the huge shiny new bowling center with glow lights and a sound system powerful enough to carry Metallica live? Me neither, but that’s where this place just gets started. Add to that your local pool hall. Add to that the largest soft play and climbing area you have every seen. There were racing slides inside the climbing cages. Add to that a blingety-bling-bling game center worthy of the loudest boardwalk arcade. Add to that a sports bar during a championship game. There was vodka. Add to that a disco, a rave, and an emcee who sounds like a BBC Radio One morning show host. And add to that a cafe pressing out espresso drinks. It awesome.
Also, for all the same reasons, it was horrible. Between the lights and the screaming you don’t know if you’re having fun or if you should call the police. By the time we stumbled out into the afternoon sunlight, I was hoarse from yell-talking with the other moms, blind from the strobing, and looking for Charon so I could thank him for guiding our boat of madness out of hell. So, when I say I was disoriented as I drove away … that is the picture you should have in your mind.
My first clue that all was not as it should be was the face of the driver in the van I passed along the roundabout. It looked something like this:
The second clue was the face of the driver who was coming towards me in my lane in the roundabout. It looked something like this:
Oh yes, I drove the wrong way around a roundabout. And then turned directly into traffic and drove over a median to get back in to the correct lane. All the while yelling (because I’m deaf from the bowling-gone-wild party) “IT’S OK HONEY WE’RE FINE” and doing that stupid ‘Thank you’ wave at the other cars. Thank you! Thank you! I’d like to thank to Academy for recognizing all my hard work in becoming the moron I am today! Thank you! Why yes, I AM American!”
That was exciting.