Darwin Award candidate

Monday, September 6th, 2004

Tonight I almost killed a girl.

I was driving up The Mall, just after Admiralty Arch towards Buckingham Palace. It's a dark road at night – it's designed for ceremonial processions and lacks such unaesthetic civilities as street lights and cats eyes. It also lacks white lines to mark off the lanes and if I'm alone on it (as tonight) I often drift sideways across, without bothering to signal, in order to pick up a proper road position based on a set of traffic lights part the way up.

Tonight I decided not to drift – I just drove straight up it as best I could. No particular reason.

As I reached the traffic lights I realised at the last possible moment that there was someone crossing. It was the darkest part of the road and she was dressed entirely in black. She had dark hair, and her face was turned away so there wasn't even the pale shape of it to show up in the darkness. She was walking backwards, showing off to a group of friends on the traffic island by seeing how close she could get to my car.

It was very close, as it turned out. I had not the slightest hope of swerving, and I heard the 'whoosh' of displaced air from the car against her as I flashed past literally inches from her. At that moment she turned her head to look at me, an expression of bovine complacency on her face. She'd judged the distance perfectly, and she knew it.

But I don't think she realised how invisible she was, as she stepped out backwards, so confident of her estimate that she turned her face away from me and didn't watch my approach.

She wouldn't have known if I'd chosen tonight to drift right, as I so often do – and I wouldn't have seen her until she was flying, broken, over my bonnet.

One day she won't be lucky. Evolution in action.

Update on previous posts:

Harrods was not lit up tonight, but the flags of all the nations that usually hang fron the front of the store had been replaced with green, white and red banners promoting Italian products.

Visitor 3,000 to the JournalSpace version of this blog was Saltinecracka414. Even as I write, a package of delicacies such as Twiglets, mushy peas, pickled onion flavour Monster Munch and vindaloo curry sauce is on its way to him from British Delights.

And me and the foxes are getting used to each other: the one tonight saw me while still on the grass verge, and I saw it, and so we were both able to slow down in plenty of time.

Shame not everyone has the fox's sense…

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.