Tag Archives: driving

Award 4: How versatile is that!

© Bruce Goodman 29 June 2015

(First of all, I would like to apologise in advance. I post a story each day, a piece of music on Wednesdays, and a poem on the first of the month. This coming Wednesday all three happen on the same day. I’m sorry for blogging “too much of a good thing” on the one day. Please be tolerant. Hopefully, next Wednesday will pass quickly and without too much angst).


I love, love, love awards. I hate, hate, hate having to nominate other people. I despise nominating, not because I think others don’t deserve it, but because I’m terrified of rejection and offending and … blah blah blah. Anyway, I accept The Versatile Blogger Award with jubilation and thanks. Thank you Kritika Vashist of From the soul to the nib of a pen. I read Kritika’s blog daily with delight.

There appeared to be no icon/picture sent with the award, so I searched one online (there are dozens of variations – how versatile is that?) and found something old that I dollied up to make look like the Shroud of Turin or something.

I am meant to say 7 things about myself:

1. Back in the bad old days, I got the strap on the hand at primary school for not covering my mouth when I yawned.

My first day at primary school – 1955

2. Back in the bad old days, I was the first in my year at high school to get caned (age: 13).

3. Back in the bad old days, I got caned 99 times in my first year at high school. We were having a race to get to 100.

My first year at secondary school – 1963

4. Back in the bad old days, I got “disestablished” as a teacher by a high school board of a school I didn’t even teach at! The Education Ministry had told the school to cut the number of teachers so they “disestablished” me to make it look good. It was very surreal (and it made me pretty angry if you must know and became rather complicated).

5. Back in the bad old days, I taught music for 40 hours a week with no break. I did this for nine years. There were about 90 students in each class, with forms to sit on but no desks, no books, no blackboard/whiteboard, no musical instruments (not even a keyboard), and not even something to play records/tapes/CDs on. The “classroom” was a bare hall. All this was simply to fulfil the government requirement of a compulsory hour’s music a week. It was where I learned to tell “a story a day”! The students would race to my class to find out how the previous week’s story ended!

The school where I taught – 1976-1984

6. Back in the bad old days, when I went for my driver’s licence (age: 15), just as I was driving out the gate, I ran over a wild rabbit that appeared from nowhere. I stopped the car. The examiner said, “You’re fine” and awarded me my licence without having to do any of the test!

I got my driver’s licence in one of these – 1965

7. Back in the bad old days, I was fit as a fiddle and would go for long, long runs that could last for hours. Nowadays I can barely walk to the gate to see if the postman has been to the letterbox.

I couldn’t find a photo of me going for a run, so I downloaded something that I thought might look vaguely similar… Yeah, right.

A lot of people don’t do awards, but check these sites/sights out nonetheless. I know also that some have already received such an award. My nominations (to which there is no obligation attached) are simply the five latest bloggers to follow my blog. Thank you to them:

624. Driving in translation

© Bruce Goodman 26 June 2015


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.

614. Herbie backs out

© Bruce Goodman 16 June 2015


Herbie wasn’t greatly liked because he thought he could do anything. He sweated confidence. When he was 20 he applied for a job driving a huge articulated truck and trailer.

Herbie had one disadvantage when it came to driving; he couldn’t drive backwards. He couldn’t drive backwards especially if it was an articulated truck. He couldn’t drive backwards especially if it was an articulated truck AND trailer. He didn’t tell them that when he was interviewed.

“No sweat,” he said. “I could do it blind-folded.”

He got the job. What he planned to do was to look at satellite pictures of where he had to go and avoid having to drive backwards.

The first day they loaded the vehicle and trailer. First it was a garden centre; then a factory; then another factory; then a…

The driveway had changed since the satellite picture. There was no way out except backwards.

Herbie took the bull by the horns and backed, ever so slowly, ever so carefully. He escaped! He did it! It was a success!

It was a success for Herbie. The owners of the three cars he’d squashed were none too happy.

509. On your bike


Bill, aged eleven, was keen to help his father on the farm. In the weekends of winter he would feed the cattle hay from the back of the trailer towed by the farm tractor. Sometimes, his father would let him drive the tractor instead of being on the trailer and tossing the hay to the cattle. When he drove the tractor, his father would throw the hay to the cattle.

By the time he was thirteen, there wasn’t a piece of farm machinery that Bill couldn’t drive. He could back an articulated truck and trailer down a narrow alley, as easy as eating an ice cream.

By the time he was married he had a license in every vehicle invented: motorbike, bus, truck, car, taxi…

His wife got Bill a mountain bike for his birthday. That way, they could go riding off together in their spare time. Bill never mastered bike-riding. The most he could ever do was wobble down the driveway before falling off at the gate.

73. Drive carefully, dear


Drive a bit more carefully, dear. Last year more people were killed on this section of road, than on any other bit of road in the country.

There are so many intersections and blind corners. You’d think they would have done something about it by now. Eleven people died apparently. Most in separate accidents.

WATCH THE CORNER, DEAR! Goodness! That was a bit sharp, wasn’t it?

Peggy was telling me that young Lance has the measles. German measles. It’s something everyone has to go through. That and the mumps. And chicken pox. Not so fast, dear. Look at that mad driver.

So she’s had to take time off work to look after Lance. Peggy, that is.

Do you think we… Look at that mad… IDIOT! STUPID IDIOT! Then there’s whooping cough. That seems to be making a comeback.

Do you think we should stop at the next town and pick up a few beef sausages for dinner? I hate arriving home to an empty