You Can’t Get A Baby Seat In That Thing

Airbag cover, leather

Imagae: Pixabay

‘This has got to be a wind-up.’

‘You’ve said that three times now, Gary.’

He pointed to the BMW’s wing, to the metal crumpled like tissue, the blistered silver paint, the broken glass shimmering like a clumsy toddler had overturned the biggest pot of glitter on the road. He pointed to the dangling wing mirror, mouth stoppered by despair.

Sian smiled. ‘We’ve been struck by mutism now, have we? It’s a big improvement.’

She’d never liked the Roadster. The day he bought it there’d been snide comments – what a sport’s car said about his manhood. The remarks had got worse – more pointed – when she moved in, when they’d got engaged, as they planned the wedding. Eventually even his mum had said something. You can’t get a baby seat in that thing. He’d refused to trade it in. Why should he? In it he was Gary, Master of the A40. He wasn’t just another pleb driving a Vauxhall or a Ford. He was himself. He wasn’t giving that up for anyone.

Now his lovely girl had been massacred, dismembered, her shattered skeleton laid bare outside the Post Office. He could weep.

‘Ah, look at her,’ said Sian.

‘I know,’ sniffed Gary. ‘I’d only just bought those alloys.’

She punched his arm. It really hurt, though he managed to stop himself from crying out.

‘Not that thing,’ said Sian. ‘That poor lady.’

Across the road the killer sat on a stretcher, neck brace round her scrawny throat. Not tight enough, thought Gary.

‘She looks really shaken up,’ said Sian, using the voice she reserved for kittens and babies. ‘We should go and see if she’s okay.’

Gary’s chin almost hit his chest. ‘You want me to talk to that stupid old cow?’

‘Be nice. You weren’t even in the car at the time. No one was hurt.’

‘She destroyed my car.’

‘People are more important than things.’

Gary looked across at the old woman, at her drooping cardigan, the varicose veins popping from her calves like purple rope. He remembered how he felt the first day he took the Roadster out for a spin, the wind in his hair, the growl of the engine, how everyone had turned to watch. People vs Things. An easy choice.

‘Well, I’m going to see how she is.’

As Sian talked to the old lady, he knew what he was watching – the end of his old life. Now they’d buy a new car. Something practical. Something with a boot big enough to fit a pushchair and a week’s shopping in. He felt his eyes well, turned away, not wanting the ambulance crew to see him cry.

If he’d watched for a moment longer, he’d have seen Sian plant a kiss on the old lady’s cheek. If he’d been able to lip read, he would have seen his future wife mouth

‘Thank you.’

 


Written for The Daily Post’s Prompt WIND. See here to read more contributions and to play along.

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48 thoughts on “You Can’t Get A Baby Seat In That Thing

  1. Ooh, nice twist at the end. I felt bad enough for Gary when I thought it was an accident but eep, he’s marrying the cause of his destruction! Sian sounds like one of those villains out of Shakespeare, such a trickster. Poor Gary, why can’t he keep his fun car and also get a car that can fit a baby seat in it? If I were marrying him, I would have negotiated for my share of driving the Roadster, and stick him with the practical car every other day, he he.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’m glad you felt for Gary – I did too. Maybe he needs to think of the future a bit more, but Sian is kicking his backside good and proper. I knew someone in the same situation and the truth was he just couldn’t afford to keep his school boy dream of a car and have the family vehicle too. The dream had to go bye bye. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s true that once you have kids, a lot of couples have to sacrifice the fun stuff to afford what the kids need. Although as someone with a school-GIRL dream of owning a sports car, it doesn’t always have to be the man giving up the child-unfriendly car! But this scenario made Sian seem premature in forcing the change she wanted to see in her man. She didn’t even wait until they were married and actually expecting a baby to give Gary the chance to admit they couldn’t afford the car. He could have *sold* it – much more financially prudent! No, I think this is a sign that poor Gary can look forward to a lifetime of being bossed around and tricked. Poor guy. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you’re absolutely right about Gary – I’ve given the suggestion I think that his mum and Sian are sort of ganging up on him, trying to push him into a step he perhaps isn’t ready for yet. This stems fromwomen I’ve met who insist on making everything ‘perfect’ for the arrival of a baby – fairytale wedding day, having the right income, the right home, nursery all set up. It’s an attitude doomed to failure to my mind – as we all learn, life (and life with kids) is messy and inconvenient and rarely perfect 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I couldn’t agree with you more — having that ideal of “perfect” is just going to doom you. As is thinking that your mate is lovely, or he would be, once you change these few things about him…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha! Fatal, thinking you can change anyone. Gave that idea up a long time ago, though whatever flaws my hubs has are overwhelmed by his good points. I think he still feels the same way about me … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Master of the A40 – I love that little touch 🙂 I married a lovely man who was obsessed with cars, so I learned to take an interest in them too (though I messed the marriage up anyway). Tell Gary to think long and hard before marrying this girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I think Gary is resigned to his fate, Roadster or no roadster 🙂 I have to show an interest in cars as my son adores them and has done since he was a toddler. I’m sure he’s done it to spite his non-driving parents 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It ould be that which makes them more fascinating. I love the fact that neither of you drive – apart from all the usual reasons, it makes me feel less like an oddball. I know lots of intelligent people who cycle around the area, but all of them are able to drive, and most of them use cars for long journeys. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a reason for our son to resent us when we’re older! People do think it’s really weird – if I ever mention it, they always say something like ‘what, not even your husband?’ We are oddballs, Jane, but we need to celebrate that as I think we’ll be utterly vindicated in the future – at least we didn’t pump all that crap into the atmosphere. Personally, looking at the state of pollution levels and traffic in this city, I think we’re vindicated now for not adding to it 🙂 Up the Non-Driver Oddballs!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, obviously your husband can’t be a REAL man if he hasn’t got an expension of his little boy-bits sitting outside the house 🙂 but other than that, how can anybody not admire you? You’re doing (or rather omitting) the right thing. When will people learn that what we need is not more assets, but less consumption?
        It puts me in mind of the whole cancer thing. I know cancer is fairly indiscriminate, hitting people who’ve done little or nothing to deserve it, but at the same time, we demand cures, rather than looking at prevention.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Very good point about cancer. As you say, we do expect a lot of our medical professionals these days and yet want to put very little in effort in return. Husband has been reading a science book that states all we have to do is move more to slash our chances of certain conditions. Problem is, we’ve been searching for clever ways around expending effort for centuries. Too clever for our own good.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yep, I suspect you’re right. We’re pretty good at conning ourselves horrible things won’t happen to us, but to others. How else do you explain people still smoking?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ah, smoking – I had a chat with Paul on the phone this morning, He said that he (and probably addicts in general) have a conscious craving for self-destruction – it’s their greatest enemy – and when he came out of prison the second time (clean, and with great hopes for the future) his relapse was down to that more than anything. He couldn’t explain the cause of that craving, but he said that it wasn’t a death wish.
        Maybe smoking is similar. Or maybe it’s risk-taking without the sudden danger of tight-rope walking across the Grand Canyon or rock climbing without ropes.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes, you could be right about the arms-length risk aspect of smoking. The danger feels distant, at least for a while. It’s a tragedy that people feel so worthless they want to destroy themselves. Sad but a fact of life for some

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Self-destruction is less challenging than self-improvement.
        I seem to be thinking very clearly at the moment – I feel as if my brain has been given a good polish – with carnauba and beeswax , not with Mr Sheen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Certainly very hard to change our behaviours once we’ve established them. I think you should become a guru now you’ve polished yourself right up. And I’m only half joking – you speak wise words, lady 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. People with too many definitive answers are called fundamentalists, so you wouldn’t want to have too many answers. A certain amount of doubt is no bad thing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      11. There’s no such thing as too many answers! (Slams fist on table, waves kilashikov in the air) I know I’m right, and anybody who has doubts will be tortured until they know it too!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I expect you’re in shock. I certainly was, after I clicked send.:)
        I don’t know how my online friends tolerate me – sometimes I almost beg to be misunderstood. I wish I could blame Tourettes, but it’s just disgraceful behaviour.
        Ooh – disgraceful – that’s a lovely word. I must do something whith tha today 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      13. I might’ve been shocked, except that you’re a very tolerant, funny person with a strong social conscience. And I understand irony 🙂
        And I wonder if there is a typing version of Tourettes. Perhaps that’s what all those internet trolls are suffering from. They don’t mean to threaten murder and rape on high profile women who have the audacity to have a career or air their views – their fingers type bile whether they mean them to or not. You see, the world is a lovely place after all 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      14. I find if you push your fingers in your ears really hard before you plunge your head in the sand – it works wonders. Nothing’s gonna stop this ship from sinking, so we may as well dance to the band as the water laps our ankles 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Green Wing and Black Books I love – never heard of Purple Circus. Recent love of mine – The Detectorists starring / written by Mackenzie Crook. Makes me laugh every time. Apart from that, can’t think of much on TV that’s been truly funny – or am I just getting old? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I made up the Purple Circus. I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately, and neither do I care. 🙂
        If you find the Detectorists funny I’m sure I would too. Pity I don’t have a TV – I could watch it on my new friend’s TV, but that may not be wise. If I go to his flat all hell could break loose 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Haha! I actually Googled Purple Circus, hoping to find some new comedy – and found some Aussie chaps banging on about sport! I suspected for a moment you’d gone completely tonto 🙂 Detectorists isn’t on at the mo, sadly and best to steer clear of your new friend, then. Hell is safely chained and bound and we’d like it to stay that way 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Haha! Heard a Shakespeare quote I’d forgotten the other day – ‘Hell is empty. and all the devils are here.’
        Probably more accurate?

        Like

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