Friday, 5 April 2019
Reading time 2 minutes 38 seconds
If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk. – Robert Baden-Powell
One of my previous jobs was a van driver.
That’s the foreshadowing taken care of.
My Cousin was more of a man’s man at 13 than I am now. He knew bloke stuff and probably owned a drill. I believe that’s the mark of a real man. The ability to own and use a drill. I have to pay someone to do my drilling for me.
He was related to my uncle, my nephew, not the drilling person and he was helping me move house with the help of his dads van. He was also stronger than me so would prove useful.
I’d finally bought my first home, it was nice. People suggest buying a house because it has a great catchment area for schools or it’s a nice location with equity growth potential. I bought it with my partner as we both liked the garden shed.
We’d never owned a shed before and wanted our first one to be perfect and this was it. Cute as a button I believe was the expression used, except buttons are never as cute as sheds. My Cousin didn’t even need to teach me that important Man fact. That shed is still standing 20 years later although it’s been sadly neglected by its current owner. Some people don’t respect a cute as a button shed, and some do. I’m in the latter group.
On move day I admitted to my cousin that I sadly suffer from hordering. Back then we didn’t know it was a problem as channel four hadn’t made programmes highlighting it. I had a lot of useless possessions which were scattered around the four corners of London in friends’ houses.
The plan was simple gather all my bits together in my new gaff then have a party and upset the neighbours.
While driving the loaned van around west London I took a short cut I knew. I was an ex van driver around these parts and had the route planned to a tee. I then came across a width barrier.
My cousin sitting next to me told me to turn around as we wouldn’t fit. I explained that I’d driven my van through here many times and just had to take it nice a slow. He explained that this was a bigger van, wider than the 6 foot 6 barrier. 13 year olds they think they know it all. Well not this time, I’ll prove him wrong.
I drove slowly towards the width barrier, he kept telling me to stop and I kept ignoring him. We were part of the way through and I thought that if I floored it now we’d be clear. So I did. The Engine revved, the van lurched forward and for a small moment we moved and then the sound of metal on metal hit my ears, both doors caved in and the van ground to a halt.
There are some horrible sounds in existence, metal on metal being one of them. The other being the phrase I told you so.
The van was what is known in the delivery driver game as proper stuck. I wanted to get out and have a peek but couldn’t open the doors. I leant out the window to survey the situation. We were never going to fit. My cousin was right. I had destroyed his dads van and he was trying not to laugh and failing. We both cracked up like naughty children which only one of us was. The other being my cousin.
I reversed back and the annoying metal crunching sound was thankfully drowned out by the beeping horns of all the traffic that had backed up behind us.
Once removed from the width barriers I drove the van back to its owner. It cost me a few hundred quid to fix the van and I decided that in future I’d hire a removal firm and leave my cousin out of it.
Picture: The names Wills, Mat Wills. License to drive vans…………Badly