A lift home in the fog

Three-minute story

A lift home in the fog

At one time there had been a roundabout here, where Whalebone Lane crosses the A12. I am told that one day an uncle of mine forgot that he needed to drive around it and kept going in a straight line. Fortunately someone was cutting the grass on the roundabout and had removed the decorative chains that would have smashed against the front of Uncle George’s car.

Now we were stuck here at the crossroads, traffic solid around us, as far as we could see. Essex was blanketed in fog, a real pea-souper that had swirled out of London’s East End and cut down visibility to a matter of a few yards. Paul and I had been offered a lift home by our music teacher. Now all we could do was to stare out into the damp greyness, as if we were wrapped up in a ball of filthy cotton wool.

From my window behind our teacher I could just make out a car stuck next to us, in the fast lane. Someone was waving from the passenger window. It was the driver of the other car who leaned over and wound down the window – no easy electric windows then. He was shouting something and before our teacher could respond I had wound down my window.

“Are we on the right road for Colchester?” the other driver shouted.

We were; Romford, Brentwood and Chelmsford lay somewhere in front of us but, yes, we were on the way to Colchester.

“No, mate.” At fourteen it is very difficult not to play tricks on adults – once you have them at a disadvantage it is so difficult to behave and do the grown-up thing.

“No mate, we’re going to Birmingham.”

The man’s face was a picture. As our teacher managed to wind down his window – I thought he was going to reassure the man – the traffic in front cleared and we pulled away. In the back Paul and I could not disguise our laughter and, as he wound up his window we heard our teacher chuckling with us.

Several times a year I drive over that spot and always wonder how long it was before our victim discovered that we had been pulling his leg.

In the second paragraph how does the writer try to give an impression of the weather?

The writer says that, at the age of fourteen it is not difficult to play tricks on teachers. What tricks have you played on teachers?

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