I was walking down the street today, minding my own business as much as I’m able to, when I noticed that the traffic wasn’t moving. Up ahead, a car was stopped in a narrow part of the street and the side of it had a long scrape from headlight to tail. Further on, an old German-registered van was stopped with its flashers blinking. Through the rear window I could see blankets, pots and pans, framed pictures. Somebody moving home.
That’s all you need, isn’t it? To come the whole way from Germany in a beat-up old van only to run into trouble on the final lap.
Cars were backed up in both directions because nobody had bothered to put out warning triangles. Drivers were getting tetchy. Some people were leaning on the horn, as if that was going to help anything.
When a squad car appeared, everyone smartened up. Here’s the guards.
But no. The two young policemen in the squad car, detecting the danger of work, overtook the line of traffic and darted off down a side street. I thought they knew a clever cop-only way to get around to the other side of the snarl-up but that wasn’t it. They just went away, never to be seen again.
People stood there looking at each other. Oh. Right.
I didn’t hang around too long myself, so I don’t know how the traffic jam was finally untangled, but of course the difference between me and the two young lads in uniform is that I don’t get paid to sort out car crashes.