I know the way to the Crem from my house like back of my hand but have never travelled there from Dee’s house so I entered the postcode into my GPS when I picked her up at 12 50.
12.58 my cell phone rang
are you going to answer that? Asked Dee
not while I’m driving, I replied
At first, all went well but then I . . .
began to question the route the GPS was taking me – the journey seemed to be taking much longer than I expected and I didn’t recognise any of my surroundings
To add to my worries, it was becoming increasingly unlikely that we were going to get there for 1.30 – I put my foot down!
I knew we were in trouble when a man I didn’t know demanded I hand over £5.50 for the privilege of driving along the M6 toll road – since when did I need to go on M6 to get to the bloody crem?.
I handed over the cash while muttering a few choice phrases about fucken useless gps
A few miles later, as I hurtled down the motorway a smart-arsed female voice announced – arriving at your destination on your left
Not feeling inclined to do an emergency stop then lift my car over the fencing at the side of the M6 before driving across some farmer’s fields, I drove on until I spotted an exit lane a few miles further on
perhaps in a fit of pique because I had ignored her last comment, the GPS lady was omminously silent as I raced up the exit road
she said not a word – not even a ‘recalculating’ – when I took a left at a roundabout then another left, foot to the floor, doing my best lewis hamilton impression as I belted along a dual carriageway
Is that it? Said Dee as I flashed past the entrance to the crem before screeching to a halt, slamming the car into gear and quickly reversing back along the dual carriageway and turning into the crem
As we rolled down the long drive, I glanced at the clock – 13:28. We’d made it with two minutes to spare
Seems my clock was a bit slow, though, the doors were shut – the mourners had already gone in
screeched rolled to a stop
We’ll tiptoe in quietly at the back, I said, picking up my phone to see who had tried to call me
Why are you laughing?, asked Dee
Wordlessly, I passed her the phone. Then she, too, began to laugh as she listened to the voicemail . . .
Betty – Hello, Duncan. It’s Betty. I think I told you Iris’s funeral was today, but it’s not. It’s tomorrow. Sorry!
Voice heard in background [Betty’s husband, John] – ye’ve left it a wee bit late, wummin, tae tell the puir bugger!