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1 AN OLD LAND ROVER
STORY 33 SELLING AN AMBER BEACON ON EBAY
Where my wife gets a job, looses a job, and causes cone rage
Below is a transcript of the description on the original Ebay advert
The reason I am selling this item is told below
For a living I work nights driving a lorry, delivering snack foods. Occasionally my wife insists on accompanying me, why I am not sure. The reason I work nights is to get away from her to reduce the opportunities for sex and other nightmarish activities.
Lorry driving is a solitary occupation, we are solitary people. I consider I get well paid for sitting in a climate controlled cab listening to my favourite radio programmes. I drive at 54 mph watching the speed merchants in the outside lanes causing mayhem and carnage. I am in my own world, high up, chilled out and cool. If the customer says it will take 3 hours to tip my load I have 3 hours sleep, or reading. Best of all I am my own boss. I get to choose what to do and when to do it. As long as the load arrives on time my job is done.
When the wife the Queen of chaos, accompanies me,. Driving as I know and love it ceases to be and all I can look forward to is ten hours of ceaseless talk from the Glenfield gob, interspersed with bouts of earth shattering snoring. My favourite radio stations are dismissed as so much drivel and I spend the night listening to house or garage noise (I hesitate to call it music) hosted by a DJ who seems to speak a foreign language. All this of course is played at full volume. She has acquired this taste in music from trying to ‘bond’ with the lad. The only bonding I would wish to do involves a lump of concrete, a length of chain and the local canal. Then there is the street ‘talk’ or ‘rap’ with every other word either being ‘yu know’ or ‘innit’. Yesterday his mum asked him what he wanted for his lunch.
“Yu know innit yu know cos its eggs innit yuknow wiv bread un sumfink innit yu know”.
A nightshift to remember
This particular night I happened to be on a local run between the factory and warehouse. We do 10 loads a night. It is a three mile trip each way along the same road, which was partly coned off to allow road works. On the first journey we saw the workmen put out the cones. Then for the next 7 hours whilst the road workers toiled*** the cone placers just sat in the cab of their truck, sleeping and watching television. On the last trip we saw them loading the cones onto their truck to take away. All night long my wife was nattering on and on about how we, the rate payers, pay them wages to sleep all night, and how it must be the best job in the world. Then without thinking I said “Well why don’t you do it then”
This was a classic case of ‘The moving finger’. As soon as I said it I regretted it. In the silence I could hear her brain working, cogs were whirring, gears meshing, cobwebs splitting.
I do not know how my wife does it. The very next day she walked into the County Hall traffic department and within two hours had got a job as a trainee on the road maintenance team. Maybe she knows people who are “high” up, or just uses her scrying eye to scare them. Whatever method, it had the desired result. It could of course be put down to her huge banana hands and muscly forearms. Who knows?
On the job
A cone laying team has two distinct categories, the most important and dangerous are the workers who initiate the procedure and put out the signs warning road users of the impending works. They stand at the side of a motorway holding signs twice the size of their bodies waiting for a gap in the traffic so that they may scuttle over to the central reservation to put it up. They also carry sand bags as ballast to hold the sign down. This occupation coupled with high winds and rain is the most hazardous. These suicide jockeys also ride shotgun on the lorry putting out the cones. This lorry has a crumple barrier at the back to protect the workers should a vehicle hit them from behind at low speed. This is purely for psychological measures as low speed and motorways in no way compute. The other category are the people who drive the smaller trucks with large flashing arrows telling motorists to move into an appropriate lane, these trucks keep as far onto the hard shoulder as possible. You will also notice hat he amber flashing lights are very dim. This is because most of the battery power is being used by the television, micro wave, truck heater etc.
The humble cone
A word here about the humble cone. These inanimate objects are imbued with a god like status. Just two or three placed correctly can cause the largest of juggernauts to veer off course, or the most aggressive driver to tow the line. They can stop thousands of tons of vehicles dead in their tracks and bring whole networks of roads to a halt. This is most notable when you are on a motorway with two lanes coned off leaving a twenty mile queue of traffic approaching the cones and then a 1 mph crawl through them. These cones may go on for miles with no sign of road workers, you know in your heart that there are no workers, but you cannot cross over to the other side of the cones, there is an invisible barrier. Even the most hardened selfish motorist will keep within the boundaries dictated by the cone, such is its power. So deep is the force of the cone within our psyche that the MOD are using them as tank barriers. It has been found that when a tank driver approaches a line of cones, despite orders to the contrary he will not run over them, but obey the order that the cone subconsciously gives to go around it.
A word of caution to motorists. When you see a warning that the road ahead is going into one lane, and that lane is invariably the inside one, please move over as soon as possible. Do not scream along at warp factor 7 in the outside lane and expect me in my lorry, who has been dutifully queuing for half an hour, to let you in with a friendly Yorkie wave. I will not. If you think you can intimidate me by trying to force me over forget it. My rig weighs empty 25 tons you weigh 1 ton. If I can step out of my cab onto your roof why should I be concerned? So please stop playing David to my Goliath. That was just a lucky shot, any other time Goliath would have ripped his arm of and beat him to death with the soggy end.
The first and last night at work
My dearest started work on a cold December night on a short stretch of the A46 Leicester bypass near to the Wanlip sewerage works. When asked the reason for the cones the other gang members said they did not really care. Their job was to set out the cones adhering to the strict guidelines on the spacing of signs, cones, and beacons. To do this as quickly as possible and then rest for the remainder of the shift until the road works were completed. After laying out the cones the gang decided to park a few miles down the road as the smell from the sewerage works coupled with the odours from my wifes open pore problems was too much for the weaker members. My dearest being the newcomer, was left to look after the cones and keep an eye on things. Although she cannot drive they left a van for her to sit in, yellow beacons flashing, and engine running to keep her warm. They told her she need not have a licence, because as the road was coned off it was not part of the highway. She passed the time by lining up the cones exactly, ensuring that the gaps were correct to the inch and then getting a few hours sleep.
All went well until a drunken motorist pursued by the police ploughed into a section of cones scattering them all over the road. My dearest was awoken by the sirens, just in time to see 500 yards down the road, her beautiful line of cones being flung into the air like a huge bow wave in front of the crashing car. Without hesitation she grabbed the steering wheel of the truck she sat in, put her foot full down on the accelerator and crunching into first gear sped off down the road. She was still in first gear 450 yards later doing 60 mph when there was a terrible bang and the gear box disintegrated, cogs and gear wheels rolled down the road. This was followed 10 seconds later by a horrible banging from the engine as it too started to fall apart. She rolled to a stop, the van wreathed in oily smoke and steam ten yards from the drunks car. My avenging angel jumped out of the cab and strode towards the drunk driver, who was trying to restart his car. The police at this time were being held back by fallen cones littering the roadway. She reached the car and with a mighty heave wrenched the door open and ripped it from its hinges. She then grabbed the now terror stricken driver and dragged him from the car, frog marching him towards the policemen his feet hardly touching the road. She then threw him across the bonnet of the police car face down and said those immortal words.
“Cuff him Danno”.
Then with a salute she ambled with a Johm Wayne swagger back to her truck, on the way pushing the drunk’s car out of the way so that she may re-position her cones. When she had got them fairly straight the police let the cars, held up by the incident, through the road works. The drivers held up for half an hour were eager to get home. In their eagerness they passed at high speed just missing my cone placing love. Miffed by this she started gradually pushing the cones into the path of the cars forcing them over until they either stopped or mounted the central reservation. It was then that my Hi Vis clad love started to appreciate the power of the cone. Even though the drivers knew the cones were in the wrong place they had to obey and avoid them. If the cones said go that way, then that way they would go, even though it meant they sank up to their axles in mud, slipping and sliding until free further down the road. She then decided to lay out a slalom course sending drivers on a winding course, looping back occasionally, and to add spice a few figure of eight circuits with crossover points. The carnage started at one am when revellers were leaving a big Christmas party at the local pork pie factory. Most of the cars got through the windy section, the trouble began on the figure of eight as managers tried to pull rank over workers as to who should have right of way. This was when it turned into “Death Race 2008” as Fiestas rammed into Jaguars, and Range Rovers into Fiats. Managers and their wives were wrestling in the mud with workers and secretaries. Old scores and union disagreements were being settled. It all came to a head when the big boss arrived in his Rolls. And like Custer at Little Big Horn his managers and supervisors stood in a circle around him as hordes of workers charged wielding cones and handfuls of mud. Eventually above the melee could be seen a hand waving a nearly white handkerchief. A few moments later bus loads of riot police arrived to quell the disturbance. The blue lights mixing with the yellow beacons added a certain Christmassy feeling to the proceedings. No one was sure who had held the white flag up so there was no winner, or looser.
Through all this Xmas jollity my wife sat in the now freezing cab of her truck, she was cold on the outside but inside was the deep warm glow of satisfaction at a job well done. That was until the other workmen turned up and saw the devastation. Questions were asked and conclusions drawn. My dearest was given her marching orders and walked the few miles home.
A few days later one of the workmen gave my wife the beacon as a thankyou for paying back all the times irate and speeding motorists had abused or driven to close to them. Retiring workers would normally get a 4 foot long one to fit on the mantle piece and a paragraph in the Cone Layers Quarterly.
I am selling it because the roof of my Land Rover is alumunium and therefore non magnetic
*** I use the word toiled very loosely, In the ten men gang there was always only one working whilst the rest stood by offering advice and talking about football.
Post script to this incident
My wife has developed what can only be described as Cone-itus, with the whole house now governed by mini cones placed at strategic points to guide us. When doing any housework the first thing she does is put out the “men at work” boards with appropriate countdown signs every foot to warn us of the obstructions. Amber Christmas lights being placed on top of the cones to light our way.
Unlike a motorist, I as a pedestrian have no problem in walking around, through, and over cones, and so by accident kick them out of the way, much to the annoyance of my beloved. It is nice to get your own back now and again, although I fear I may loose on this one as she has started to nail them to the floor, and insists on using real size signs, complete with sandbags to hold them down should a gale rip through the house. (I am hoping for a tornado and tidal wave which may, if very big carry my darling back to where she came from.) No I don’t mean it really. Heh heh heh.
15th Jan 6th day of sale
Its going a bit slow at the moment .................................. You may not realise it but there are many uses for this beacon. Dont just think cars,.................... I sold a Hi Vis coat on eBay a few months ago (See story No 17 ) and just substitute coat for beacon the effect on others will be the same
Extracts from story 17
I want you to think of it as a sort of fashion accessory, your very own “haute couture”, to make you stand out in the crowd.
Strap a 12 volt battery to
your waist, strap the beacon on your head or shoulders and turn on.
You could put it on Woolly Mammoths so that they cannot creep up and scare you in quiet places like libraries and grave yards. Many are the times I have been scared witless by the trumpeting of a Mammoth which silently crept up on me.
Are you one of those shy retiring nondescript persons who when walking down the street or in a crowded town are constantly getting bumped into by ignorant people who and so intent on their own purpose they do not see you. Well here is your chance to put that right with this flashing light they will not fail to see you. You will of course get those people who think they have dominion of the pavement and will just try to barge you out of the way. This is when a 1000 decibel loud hailer would come in handy. Just walk up behind them put the hailer to their ears and shout.
ARE YOU BLIND YOU IGNORANT SELFISH PERSON OF DEBATABLE PARENTAGE GET A LIFE!!!!
Wow it makes me feel so good just to write it, just think what it would really be like to actually do it.
I am giving you
the chance to change your life, to take control. Stop being a mouse and
become a roaring lion, a roaring amber flashing lion that WILL be noticed.
16 Jan 7th day of sale
Well I see we have a bidder, obviously a person of discerning taste who like the true eBayer can spot a bargain when they see one. This is good news, I wonder if it could be the start of a bidding frenzy.
Following on from the postscript to my story, the wife has insisted that we wear hard hats when she is dusting and in the kitchen. The kitchen I can understand as during the day most of yesterdays dinner which hit the ceiling after the pressure cooker exploded, unsticks and falls to the floor. As for the dusting I wear breathing apparatus anyway due to the toxic cloud of dead skin that settle daily from my dear wife (Its her open pore problem). I don't mind wearing the hat though as it is great protection when she hits me around the head with her wooden leg.
There was no bidding frenzy just the one bid. The item was won by a nice lady in Flintshire. I just hope it fits. I wonder if she will be using it as a fashion accessory?