New Romantic Driving Test WoeA B3TA question of the week: Tell us how you have failed.
My friend Cliff actually wrote off his car and a passing Audi during his driving test, and passed after a successful appeal. Encouraged by this turn of events, I arrived at the test centre expecting an easy ride.
Fat chance. The examiner - a W H Smith - was on his first day back at work after a long lay-off caused by another killer driving test, and was determined to make someone suffer. Me. Faced with a New Romantic in a black, frilly coat and just a smidge of eye make-up, he knew he had a victim.
I thought I did pretty well, then, all things considered. I reversed round a corner, did a hill start and made a three-point turn, all very smoothly indeed. It was coming down Grays Road in Henley on the way back to the Test Centre that things went horribly wrong.
"Bear left after the bus stop", said Smith.
So I did. BUT! My frilly cuffs got caught on the light stalk and things went tits from there.
Big thanks to the half-a-dozen or so in the bus queue for jumping out of the way so quickly, or they would have been jam. Unfortunately, the fence and row of bins weren't quite so lucky, and wood and shit flew all over the street.
I did, then, what any teenage driver might do in the circumstances. I floored it, just as Smith pulled on the hand brake, causing an excellent 180 degree skid in the middle of Henley.
I thought it was excellent. He didn't.
I passed second time. New Rom was so over by then.