It's a strange-but-true statistical anomaly that if you switch on Heart 106.2 at any time in the early hours of the morning, there is a 63% chance there will be a Lionel Richie song playing. Tonight, driving home, it was All Night Long and I was cruising on auto-pilot at 1mph below the speed-camera limit, bathed in the warmy soupiness of sixth form disco nostalgia, when without warning a fox ran out and disappeared under my wheels.
Unlike a few days ago when it happened, this time there was no opportunity to react properly. That time, I had yards to judge whether there was danger, and to brake sharply but safely. This time, all I could do was a tyre screaming emergency stop in the split-second available after the orange shape and the shining eyes appeared briefly in the headlights, then disappeared beneath them.
It was enough. I looked in my wing mirror and saw the fox dart away. I have no idea how it got away with it, but I hardly need say I'm mighty glad it did.
Dangerous things, Lionel Richie songs.