The Give and Take of Taking Passengers


Editors Note: The post below is tongue and cheek fun by our friend Paul Wimsett. To get the full effect, read it in a Brittish accent.

Why Take Passengers?

 A free road on a mountain pass, the wind in your hair, the convertible top is down. Your vehicle is red and sleek. You glide along the road. There’s a very smooth soundtrack at the very corner of hearing. A well-paid voice-over artist will begin his spiel any time now…

Cue Reality…

Unlike the commercials, not only are the roads as busy as Hell, the car is in dire need of a wash and there is always someone in the car with you. Not so much the idol of your dreams as someone you are tired of seeing. How did we end up like this?

But you do need a navigator, someone to make sure you are in the right lane, to make certain that you are heading in the right direction. A sat nav can only do so much and anyway, is rather distracting and may even go out of date. A human navigator is a bit more, well human. If too human in some cases. Far too human. Give it rest sometimes, please!

In a tight space it is easy to get on another person’s nerves, especially if as a driver you want to controls the radio, CD or podcasts, the heating, the air conditioning, the windows or the sunroof. No wonder a passenger might wish to seize control over some of this. It’s not exactly a battle, but it’s a bit of a fight.

They might slide the seats back and forth. They may block views from the windows when you desperately want to see what’s happening with the traffic. They might create reflections by leaving items on the dash. If it’s your loving wife, maybe she hogs the mirror and then not put the mirror back. There are so many ways they might annoy.

Maybe they chew on candies, talk too much or distract you from the road. In which case, it’s important to take charge. They might throw their wrappers on the floor. Or the place might be full of crumbs. Such things never seem to be sorted, owning a car was never meant to be like this.

You might not be perfect yourself. Are you lost again? Did you go the wrong way at the last intersection? Distracted again, weren’t you?

Then if there are children in the back they might start banging the seat. There’s no sign of where you wanted to go, no noticeable landmarks. You may be on this road for a few more hours yet. And now your bladder’s kicked in. There seems to be no end in sight.

If only we all live in the perfect commercial. But that’s how they sell their goods, we guess. We’re not told all this but maybe knew it, all the time anyway.

At least we can dream


Maybe release some tension by having a go at them. You could annoy them by beeping the horn, by not following their instructions or arguing with other road users, even pedestrians. Try picking the most circuitous route, you’d be surprised how annoying corners get for people with no wheel to grasp–especially when they’re attempting the AM coffee. As do potholes, speed humps, and a personal favourite, cobblestones.

I had one mate who loaded up on beans on toast as a pre-trip ritual. Imagine driving with the window down and your head out like someone’s pet bulldog. It’s hell when it rains. There’s really only one way to combat this. If you can’t beat them join them. Together we were a force to be reckoned with. Just be careful when you roll down your window to ask directions.


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