624. Driving in translation

© Bruce Goodman 26 June 2015

624windscreen

The sun blazed through Hank’s windscreen (windshield) as he drove his car (auto, automobile, vehicle, motor car, limo, bomb, sedan, etc.) down the motorway (freeway, highway, expressway, main road) to get some petrol (petroleum, gas, gasoline, benzine) from the bowser (petrol pump, gas pump) at the local filling station (fuelling station, garage, gasbar, gas station, petrol pump, petrol bunk, petrol station, service station, servo). The sunbeams were splattered in all directions by the dust particles and blinded his vision. He couldn’t see a thing. He’d meant to clean the car windows that morning, but missed doing so.

He couldn’t squirt water automatically on the window and use the window wipers (blades). He’d meant to refill the water fluid container under the bonnet (hood) that morning, but missed doing so.

There was a cleaning rag in the boot (trunk). There wasn’t a rag in the glovebox (glove compartment, jockey box, cubby-hole). He’d meant to get a cloth that morning but missed doing so.

But there was one thing he didn’t miss: the car coming straight at him.

25 thoughts on “624. Driving in translation

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Ha ha! I thought of that and decided it was not something that could be translated! Having British, North American, Australian and New Zealand and etc. TV program(mes) forces us to a great variety of dialects. It was one of the things that Janet Frame argued about with her NY publisher. He wanted her to replace the New Zealandisms, and she said, “Why limit the language?” She won!

      Reply
      1. Cynthia Jobin

        That’s good to hear. By the way, I am getting to know Janet Frame’s writing, and I like it!

        On the other matter, I’ve been in England, but never drove a car there; I think I would be a menace on the road, trying to remember to stay to the left while seated on the right….orientation totally screwed up!

        Reply
        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          The shoulder next to the door is always next to the centre (center!) line. That was my mantra and it worked, especially when having to make a turn at crossroads..

          Reply
          1. Cynthia Jobin

            Seems like that would work well…as long as there’s a centre line! ( I never know when I’m going to write centre or center, color or colour, etc…nowadays, since blogging with friends all over the globe. I’m pretty sure I’ll draw the line at pyjamas, though.)

            Reply
            1. Bruce Goodman Post author

              I “pretend” I have a rule, but I ignore it: I write with the spelling of where I live. The “accepting” of fellow bloggers for cultural differences was one of the first and nicest things I noticed when I started blogging. And, incidentally, I don’t own a pair of PJs!

              Reply
            2. Yvonne

              Does this mean you don’t wear pyjamas, Cynthia?! How do you spell the word that describes the night wear that many of us do not eschew?

              Reply
              1. Cynthia Jobin

                I will refrain from answering your first question, Yvonne, on the grounds that it might incriminate me.
                On the second question, we here in the USA spell it “pajamas”…in fact, I have a tussle with my spell-checker every time I want to write it with a “y”! Bruce has lived among several different spellings so he astutely says it the way we do most of the time: PJs! (I lost track of you for a while there…are you no longer in Italy?)

                Reply
                  1. alexraphael

                    Never old. I love them. It would be cheeky to reference my stuff here, but trust me I’m a fan. Changing bands, I think we’re on The Road to Nowhere with these puns

                    Reply
  1. Kate Loveton

    Oh my! This is exactly the way my conversations with Heather B Costa go when we skype. We argue which is the correct word to use. No wonder our skype sessions are so long!

    This was very funny, Bruce! You certainly have a gift for quirky, short fiction – just the kind I love.

    Reply

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