Jason was practically spitting feathers as we pulled up at the traffic lights.
We’d hadn’t planned this holiday but we’d had a difficult year and we both needed a break. The family rallied round to help us. Mum and Dad with the airfare and my sister Susie and her husband Richard let us use their holiday home in Lanzarote. So, while everyone else was gearing up to bonfire night, I was looking forward to two weeks lazing in the sun. We’d never been there before but the pictures looked great.
Then at the eleventh hour, horror of horrors, we discovered our passports had run out. After several frantic phone calls, we were told to go to the main passport office in the London with all the relevant papers. Rather than risk the train, my brother-in-law lent us his car.
‘At least we should have a straight run,’ Jason said. ‘Not much traffic at this time of day.’
Wrong! There must have been an accident because we were backed up for miles. Crawling along at two miles an hour watching the hands of the clock on the dashboard did nothing for the nerves.
‘We could do with Richard here,’ Jason said gloomily. ‘He’d say a prayer.’
I giggled. Richard is the religious one in the family. I put on one of his CD’s. Not my taste but I tried to concentrate on the music and calm my nerves.
A Fiat Punto pulled up behind us and beeped his horn.
Jason ignored him. ‘Shall I turn off at the next junction? It may add a few miles but at least we’d be moving.’
‘Go for it,’ I said but when we got nearer the junction, the traffic had slowed and the centre lane seemed a little quicker. Now we were doing eight miles an hour. The Fiat turned off the motorway.
‘Thank goodness for that,’ said Jason.
We carried on for a few more miles gradually picking up speed. I looked at my watch. What if we had a long wait at the passport office? There’d be no way we’d get back to the airport in time. My stomach was in knots. We heard police sirens and slowed to a crawl.
Jason groaned. ‘What now?’
The police car squeezed passed us and raced on. We finally reached the cause of all the problems half an hour later. A crate of chickens had fallen off a lorry and the police were chasing them up the motorway bank. On any other occasion, we’d have laughed, but not today. The tension in the car was palpable.
At the next intersection, a flood of cars poured onto the motorway and the same Fiat moved in behind us and beeped again.
‘Oh no!’ I wailed. ‘Not him again?’
Jason glanced at the rear view mirror. ‘What is he up to? Daft bat, he’s waving now.’
I turned to look and sure enough he was smiling and waving at us as if we were famous or something. Jason gave him one finger. The traffic moved on and we picked up speed.
‘We might still do it,’ Jason said.
But of course, it didn’t last. The Fiat stayed right behind us as we ran into yet another hold up.
‘You should have checked those passports,’ Jason grumbled.
‘Oh,’ I snapped, ‘so now it’s all my fault is it?’
‘And change that blessed CD,’ he bellowed. ‘Put something else on, you know I can’t stand all that religious stuff.’
‘Well there isn’t anything else!’ I yelled throwing the switch.
The guy in the Fiat beeped again.
‘What is it with that idiot?’ Jason snarled.
I turned around. He had the silliest grin on his face and he was pointing upwards.
‘I think he’s laughing because we’re arguing,’ I said.
The sign for the city came up. We turned off the motorway and pulled up at some traffic lights. The Fiat pulled up right behind us, and would you believe it, he honked his horn again.
Jason was out of the car in a flash.
‘Let it go, Jas, we’re late enough already,’ I shrieked as I snatched at the back of his shirt, but he wasn’t listening.
When I got out a couple of other car drivers locked their doors and the woman in the car next to us was on her mobile. The bloke in the Fiat wound his window down and leaned out which was pretty stupid because anyone could see Jason was so mad, he was on the verge of landing him one.
‘What in the blue blazes do you think you’re doing?’ Jason bellowed.
I grabbed Jason’s arm, but he jerked me away.
At once the driver’s smiled died and he went deathly pale. I thought Jason was going to grab him and throttle him there and then but the bloke began pointing at the back of Richard’s car. ‘I was only doing what you asked, mate.’
Jason looked puzzled. Come to that, I was puzzled.
Then we looked back and saw the sticker on the back window of Richard’s car.
‘Honk if you love Jesus.’