A good friend was kind enough to donate some display cases for us to use in the shop, so tonight I hired a Transit van to go and collect them.
“Yes, Matthew, tonight I will be……White Van Man!!!”
This is a new experience for me. I think I remember hiring a van when we moved down to Staffordshire nearly 30 years ago, but certainly never since. So this evening I drove 100 miles, all of it over the speed limit, never more than two feet from the back of the car in front, and mostly with the driver’s window down so that I could leer at young women.
(Only one statement in the above sentence is true – can you guess which one?)
But setting aside the White Van Man stereotype, you do feel different. You’re higher for a start (for van fans, it was actually a Renault Sprinter rather than a Transit, with a higher body and cab), which gives you a different view both of the road and of the fields on either side, because you’re now above the hedges, looking down on the sheep. There’s no rear view mirror in the cab because there’s a solid panel behind the driver. so you’re having to use side mirrors, which means if someone’s very close behind you (like when you’re stopped at traffic lights) they’re pretty much invisible. I had to reverse out of a tight entry at one point – scary.
I didn’t have time to get the hang of getting in and out in a cool way – there must be a knack to that, and the nice lady at the rental company missed that bit out when she was showing me round.
I realise that for many thousands of people this is just day-to-day – that’s what they do for a living, or that’s what they drive to get to work. But for me it was just a bit exciting to have a slightly different experience.
The van’s sitting outside the house right now, waiting for me to return it in the morning, collect the Mondeo and get back to normal. Though I only had it for a short time, it was a bit of fun. Not such a big deal, just something different.
And it gave me something to write about on Day 3 of Blaugust, (and I’ve still got Ant-Man hand, so to speak, for when I run out of stuff to talk about).