Last Sunday, the M1 was behaving itself for once. Traffic was light and it was a beautiful morning. Cold. Bright. Frosty. And I was driving the new Honda NSX which isn’t quite as good as James May would have you believe.
One of the problems is that it simply isn’t very fast but that was OK, because I was stuck behind a fat woman in a small Peugeot of some sort. Plainly she, and her equally enormous passenger were on their way back home from the previous day’s anti Trump woman march in London and she’d decided to exercise her new found power by driving in the outside lane at 69 mph. Which if you are abroad, is one mph below the speed limit in Britain.
For years, people gendered as women have known their bodies have been a battleground for backward thinking conservative ideas on nations, borders and racism and now, newly emboldened by the show of solidarity and activism in Trafalgar Square, she was going to demonstrate to all of the men on the M1 that enough was enough. They. Would. Not. Pass.
I wasn’t in a particular rush so I decided to sit in her wake, seeing how long she could keep it up. I clocked her occasionally, checking her rear view mirror and then scowling the scowl of the oppressed as she realised that she and her newly powerful vagina were actually blocking the path of someone in a mid engined mid-life crisis man machine.
It wasn’t just me either. There was a huge queue, stretching back as far as the eye could see. Builders. Doctors. Families. All being made to pay for what we did to Joan of Arc and Emily Davison.
Thirty miles later, a few impatient souls had given up and overtaken on the inside but not me. I didn’t weave about. I didn’t make hand gestures. I didn’t flash my lights. I just sat there, at a polite distance, waiting to see what would happen.
Eventually, we reached the roadworks south of Rugby where, for no reason at all, the authorities have decided the speed limit should be 50 mph and that average speed cameras should be installed to make sure everyone complies.
As there’s no way round this piece of Soviet law enforcement, I eased into the inside lane and slowed down. So did everyone in my wake. And you could almost sense the feeling of joy that filled the Peugeot as she checked her rear view mirror once more and realised that by being dogged and determined, she’d won. The man in the stupid blue sports car had slowed down. So had all the other men in their vans and their BMWs.
She was on her own now, triumphant, a winner, score one for woman-kind. And into the 50 mph zone she plunged…….still doing a steady 69 mph.
Now I want to be clear, I have a deal of sympathy for the feminist cause. It’s unfair that girls lose out on jobs because bosses think they might get pregnant and its wrong that old men such as myself and James May can appear on television. But old women are quietly shown the door.
However, as I watched that little Peugeot zooming off to an appointment with the local magistrates’ court, I burst out laughing. And I haven’t really stopped since.
Credits: Getty Images