Saturday, 3 September 2011

Tales from Elsewhere - The Adventures of Arabella

Arabella has been a friend to my partner John for many years.  She is tall, slim and willowy.  Rather than walk, she seems to glide gracefully from one point to another.  She favours shoulder-length hair, which is a mid brown with a shock of white starting from her forehead and streaking across her crown, which gives her a dramatic look.  Sometimes she wears it swept up which suits her very attractive face and the slightly theatrical clothes she wears - on smart occasions you never see her without a delicate looking shawl flung over one shoulder and her skirts are always worn long, just above the ankle.

Her temperament is also interesting.  She has a gentle and languid disposition but can be quite fey at times - she's had spontaneous and madcap plans for the day which take you to some far off place 'in search of treasure', and having joined in reluctantly you find at the end of the day that you've really enjoyed yourself.  She's a fun person, but these stories show a side to her I never knew.

Arabella the Good Samaritan

Arabella accompanied by her son Matthew aged eight were cruising slowly around a very busy multi-storey carpark searching in vain for somewhere to park. She finally saw a space and slowly drove slightly passed it, braked and got into reverse, ready to back into it. She waited for the flashy red car behind her to go past, but it didn't. 

Through her rear view mirror she watched in impotent fury as it quickly nipped forwards into her space in one manoeuvre, then as the driver briskly exited from his car and walked away, but not before she had seen the smug smirk on his face as he popped the keys into his pocket. She eventually found another spot on the same level, after having to wait for a few minutes while the person occupying it filled their boot with parcels and eventually backed out.

After his mother had locked the car, and alert to where the lifts were located from having been there before, Matthew said -

"Mummy, why are we walking that way? We have to go the other way for the lifts."

They had reached the bay where the flashy red car had parked, and Arabella said calmly "this won’t take a minute darling, I just need to look at that gentleman’s car a minute".

"But Mummy, what are you doing to the man’s car?"

She replied in her best soothing and reasonable voice "I noticed he had too much air in his tyres darling, so I’m just letting some out for him".


Arabella the Persecuted

As Arabella drove placidly down the narrow road she was thinking about something else entirely, and suddenly realised that the traffic lights ahead of her had tuned to amber. She put her foot down on the accelerator, at first thinking she might just squeak through, but realised at the last minute that she was mistaken and slammed on the brakes.

This caused the car behind to do likewise, which gave the driver a bit of a fright. In annoyance, he sat on his horn for a few seconds to make his point.  Arabella blithely ignored him.

They proceeded forward again as the lights turned green, and half a mile further on they approached a roundabout.  This gave the prickly driver behind her the opportunity he had been waiting for.  With a roar of his engine he attempted to overtake her, but in desultory fashion Arabella sailed on occupying the middle of the road, which stopped him from doing so.

Then came the next set of traffic lights - red - and she braked gradually, coming to a halt at the head of the queue, with the steaming driver still behind her.  

Unfortunately she hadn’t noticed that the road was now uphill. As she took her foot off the brake, and before the lights had turned to green, her car rolled back into the car behind with a gentle crunch. Arabella braked, and – belatedly – applied the handbrake. The driver of the car behind was clearly apoplectic.

He leaped out of his car as Arabella prudently (and apprehensively) closed the window and locked herself in; for some seconds he screamed abuse at her, shaking his fist, and in his frustration kicked her front tyre. Arabella was now truly alarmed, and cars started to pile up behind and toot.

At this precise moment, a policeman passing on the opposite side of the road in his patrol car saw a man screaming at a woman driver, who looked very scared and helpless. He switched on his siren and did a U-turn in the road, landing up in front of her car. He got out of his car and and went over to Arabella.

Taking out his notebook, he asked "Madam, is this man bothering you?"

Gasping, she replied "Oh sergeant I’m so glad you happened to come by. This man is mad...."

Trying to control his temper the driver pointed at his mangled front bumper and spluttered, "Why you..... Bloody woman, look at what she’s done to my car...!"

"Oh that’s so unfair!" trilled Arabella. "He’s been chasing me down the road from miles back, and I stopped for the red light and he just went into the back of me, and I didn’t know WHAT to do....."

Clearing his throat, the police sergeant growled "Just leave this to me madam"...

There was no damage to her car, and after taking her particulars, he sent her on her way. The last thing Arabella saw in her rear view mirror as she drove away was the driver this time furiously kicking the tyres on his own car.


Photo Finish -
from Lonicera's non-digital archive


 From the Andes in Salta, via the provinces of Córdoba & Entre Ríos,
to Buenos Aires and La Boca



Joyful said...

Arabella sounds like she has a ruthless streak to her. I'm not sure whether to applaud her for getting out of "jams" or to be very afraid, lol.

Lonicera said...

Absolutely! I know her as such a gentle sort of person, that these stories startled me completely. John loves to tell them.

OneStonedCrow said...

Haha - I just love the two stories about Arabella, especially the first one ... I wish I had the nerve to get my own back on inconsiderate drivers in this way ...

Great pics too.

Lonicera said...

Thanks Graham! I dream of sweet revenge at moments like this, but don't have the bottle to carry it through I'm afraid...

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