Something I hadn't been counting on with the whole 'returning to work thing' is having to go back to commuting on a regular basis. It's only about 45 minutes, but I'd forgotten what a pain in the backside it is. And how terrible everyone drives. Everyone except for me, of course, coz I'm gosh darn perfect, thanks for asking. After a whole five days back on the road to work I have come to the following, logical conclusion: the world is full of idiots and they all try to drive into work at the same time as me.
Now I'm sure not everyone starts out that stupid, so I can only presume that the DVLA hands out free lobotomies with every other driving test. "Congratulations, Mr Smith, you've passed! Now If you'll hold still for a bit, I'm going to stick a fork up your nose and scramble your frontal lobes…"
These people should not be allowed to buy cars. They shouldn't be allowed to rent cars. They're a menace to themselves and others. In fact the only way these people should be allowed into a car is if they've been blindfolded, hogtied, and stuffed in the boot where they can't cause any trouble. Or strapped to the roof rack -- that'd do too.
The only reason the morning traffic isn't liberally festooned with crashed cars and upturned minibuses is that everyone else on the road is as clueless as each other, and their complete lack of common sense achieves a critical mass of stupidness that keeps them from ploughing into each other via the mechanics of quantum idiocy**.
Worse yet, the kiddies are back at school this week so the roads are even more packed than usual as the collective IQ of the driving public takes a lurch downwards into single figures. Apparently 'research has shown' (which is another way of saying, some scientists got drunk at lunchtime and came up with a great way of scamming cash off some unsuspecting thickie to keep the team in booze and crisps for the next six months) that kids are fat these days because they don't get enough sleep. The suggestion is that the little darlings be allowed a lie-in and not start school till an hour later. If it'll get the little sods off the road I'm all for it. They've got these private hire minibuses up here that drift around the rush-hour roads doing 40 miles an hour with a big yellow sign in the back, stopping at random intervals on blind corners to take on more kids. You can't get past them, it's not considered socially acceptable to blare your horn and swear at them, and car to minibus missiles are difficult to get hold of without a licence.
Back in the good old days (i.e. last month when I was still a stay at home write-ist) my commute was simple -- from the living room to the study. Sometimes there would be a tailback in the hall involving an overturned kitten, but other than that -- no traffic. OK, so a sprawled fuzzy cat can cause serious delays, especially if you pick them up, turn them on their back and blow raspberries on their soft and furry tummies***, but mostly it's not a huge problem. Certainly not a cat-alyst for road rage anyway.
*Actually, I quite fancy that as the title of a book, or a short story.
** Quantum Idiocy being the principle upon which all governments operate.
*** Ask your cat's permission before trying this at home, or you could end up losing important parts of your face when they take violent offence.