on our last morning
Postprandial – and six things pee-like…
as we arrive in Gibraltar and find ourselves stationary in a ridiculous, endless traffic queue with no sign posts to the airport and no idea how to find the hire-car drop off point.
Fergus phones the 'Niza' hire company and in very broken English – we typical Brits don't speak Spanish – they explain to us where we should be, which absolutely is not sitting panicking in the lane we're in.
There's only one choice – mount the central reservation – it's only a narrow kerb after all and cross over into the correct lane, because if we don't we will miss our flight for sure. I look at Fergus – Go for it Ma!
So I turn the steering wheel, give it some welly (remember we're sitting in a vast jam) CRRRRACCCCK! CRRRRUNCCCHH! GRRRRRRIND! and we're stranded, half in one lane half in the other, the 'small' kerb acting like a fulcrum to our see-saw of a car. SHIIIIIT! Everyone looks. A man gets out of the car in front and stands gazing at us, mouth agape. Another behind us joins the audience. I studiously ignore both of them and Fergus's wide eyed gob-smackedness and give it more welly. The engine screams. The clutch oil burns. The car ain't going anywhere, fast or slow. Then I realise I'm in second gear. I ram it into first, shove pedal to the metal and in full on Starsky-and-Hutch car-chase style we clatter over the reservation, bounce off the other side and escape in a cloud of black smoke. I don't know whether to laugh or cry – I think I do both – and in one minute we're pulling up outside the car-hire office.
While I stagger inside, legs like jelly, to hand over the keys, I can see Fergus out of the corner of my eye lying prostrate on the road, not entirely surreptitiously checking under the still very stinky car. He tells me once we're out of ear shot that he forced a large piece of heavy plastic casing back into place and something was dripping… Oops! I could taste burning clutch oil all the way home. But… We did get home. On time. All in one piece. Although I admit I can't vouch for the car. And that's my excuse for not having given up the fags!
Why does there always have to be a drama?