Sunday, 28 April 2013

Getting lost, pyjamas and predictive text

I’m loving my new car.  And so are my kids – taxi duties have risen by 20%.
          Earlier on this week my kids went to see Pink at the O2.  I was pushed for time on the upward journey, so nervously put my daughter on a train to London. My son, who is in digs in Stepney Green, was under strict instructions to meet his sister promptly at Victoria Station.  But after the concert and gone 11 p.m. there was no way my daughter was travelling home alone.  So I drove to Greenwich to meet my children and told my son I’d give him a lift back to The Black Hole (his dreadful digs which look even more dreadful since being burgled and having all the doors smashed in.  But that’s another story).
          Now I don’t know if you’ve ever tried parking at the O2, but it’s a nightmare.  Well, it’s not so much a problem prior to a concert, it’s when 20,000 people come pouring out and half of them go off to the car park.  So I opted to park not so far away in nearby Sainsbury’s.  My son has a Sat-Nav on his phone, so I gave him the postcode of Sainsbury’s and sat tight.  The minutes trickled by.  After half an hour I was a bit anxious and rang my son.
          ‘Where are you?’
          ‘Going round and round in circles.  We’ve just crossed the same roundabout three times and nearly been flattened by traffic – it’s manic.’
          ‘What the heck are you doing on a roundabout?  And why aren’t you using your Sat Nav?’ I squawked.
          ‘Because my battery is dangerously low and I don’t want it to die on me.  I’d rather be able to stay in contact.  Let me get off the phone, it’s draining the battery.  Text me some landmarks.’
          The line went dead.  A part of me wanted to abandon the car and look for them on foot – they couldn’t be that far away.  However, like a million other late-night taxiing parents, I’d set off from home wearing my pyjamas and didn’t want to get arrested for being an oddball.  Instead I looked around me for some handy landmarks.  Thankfully, there were quite a few.  I was opposite Prezzo all lit up with neon lights.  Next door was Nandos and a main bus stop.  I picked up my mobile and tapped out a message.
          Thank God for mobile phones!  Where would we be without them?  Unfortunately still lost in the case of my children.  For whilst mobile phones are a fantastic invention, I cannot say the same for predictive text.
          My phone rang.
          ‘Mum!  Where the heck are you?’
          ‘I’ve just texted you my location!’
          ‘It was utter nonsense.  Try again.’
          I hung up and retrieved my text message.
          Important opposite Prezzo, directly opposite hands and a bus stop.
          Y-e-s, I can see that wasn’t very helpful.  Almost as bad as another time I texted my son who was waiting at a different venue and had also asked me to give some friends a lift home:
          Give me a time for Santa to pick u up. And if your arrows are drunk, they won’t be allowed in the car.
          I still haven’t worked out why Father Christmas came into the text or why friends was substituted for sharp spears.  All very odd.
          Anyway, there was a happy ending to this tale.  My children, frozen and wet through from a cloud burst, found their pyjama clad mother and we finally set off.
          Which reminds me.  A blonde was driving down a one-way street when she was pulled over by a traffic policeman.  ‘Lady, do you have any idea where you’re going?’ asked the cop.  ‘No,’ replied the blonde, ‘but it must be pretty unpopular.  Everyone else is leaving.’


  1. Argh, I know exactly what you were going through! I only ever risked driving to a concert once in my entire life. Never again! I got stuck in traffic and lost parking space, and I had to park my beautiful car really far from the arena's parking lot, away from security officers. I haven't done that since. I've always either gotten a cab or commuted some other way. As selfish as it may sound, I try to get out of picking anyone up from a concert in my car too. It's just so hard to find them, plus the traffic gets really congested when everybody starts coming out!

    -- Prince Moss

  2. You're not're sensible!