When people discover I write this column, their first reaction is usually, “You’re a dark horse” and their second is “Don’t write about me next week, haha”.
I’m always very careful about who I feature, except of course when it’s yer man who is very relaxed about fame.
However, without naming names, I’d like to dedicate my column this week to a very special someone… the person who created the exit to Cork on the M50.
You may know the one, it’s beneath numerous giant signposts which clearly indicate its existence. However, like that infamous online dress of different colours last year, some clearly see these signs while others don’t.
I was inspired to pay homage to the clever road designers because of a lovely day out to Dublin I had with yer man last week, which was almost an hour more lovely than necessary. We’d headed down the M50 driving merrily along, when I became engrossed in the news on my phone, or maybe it was Facebook, I’m not sure. As I looked up, I spotted an exit whizzing by on my left. At that very same moment yer man said, “Oh no, is that our exit?”
There followed a long but deadly silence as we both sat there with our own thoughts. Mine were murderous. They reached a new level of violence when a signpost confirmed our fears and yer man said, “Well I’m not turning back. It’s quicker to keep going.”
As the darkness of the evening matched the mood in the car, we travelled much of the next few hours in silence, every unfamiliar signpost reminding us we were on the wrong road, until finally we spotted the lights of Limerick and the first signpost to Cork.
Thankfully time, and we had lots of it, is a great healer and my murderous thoughts moved to the so and so who sanctioned the exit.
Initially, I imagined the designer must be a woman, as a woman would never for a moment imagine that someone wouldn’t read the large signs leading up to the exit clearly directing motorists to Cork. However, I’ve since heard from many of my female friends that they too have made the same mistake. So, the jury is out on that one.
However, one thing I am sure of, is that it is someone who hails from Limerick. Perhaps there is a part of them which chuckles daily as they imagine the brakes being applied, just a little too late by so many from the People’s Republic of Cork as they miss the exit?
I wondered if perhaps this person was exacting revenge on a previous lover from Cork. Did they know that they would regularly travel this route and were useless at spotting signposts? Is that why as a final act of fun they decided that if you did fail to take the correct exit you would have to drive for a lifetime before being able to turn back and when you did turn back travel another lifetime before you would find your way onto the Cork road?
As for the state of myself and yer man after our scenic drive? Well, we did consider counselling, but that would involve us talking to each other and after 30 years that would be risky, who knows what we’d say.
Instead we’ve agreed, from now on to turn off our phones before leaving Dublin.
I did toy with suggesting I drive in future, but thought better of it.