the car would have hit me. As it was I felt it roll out of the driveway instead.
The "duplex" houses opposite both have driveways that slope slightly towards the street. We were puzzled by that when they were built. The old house there had a very flat driveway. I know. The boys who lived there used to play with marbles in the driveway.
They left. The house was demolished and two houses went up instead. And, the driveways slope towards the street.
Yesterday, as I pedalled past, a driverless car came rolling silently out of one side. Fortunately it also came quite slowly. It stopped at the opposite curb, just in front of a tree.
Yes, it missed me. Even if it had not missed me I would probably have lived to tell the tale - although I and my little vehicle would have been seriously damaged. As it was the incident did not seem quite real. Indeed, it was so unreal that I pedalled on a metre before fully realising what had happened.
Then, reality hit. I did the fastest U-turn I have ever done, pedalled full speed up the neighbour's driveway and yelled the name of the owner of the car. No doubt everyone in the street heard me do it.
"That's the second time that's happened," she told me after she had returned the car to the driveway. She looked rather pale. Her mother looked very pale. Her father looked worried. He was saying things about "getting the brakes checked".
I doubt her parents really believe that there is anything wrong with the brakes. It's a modern car, two years old and very well maintained. It's the driver. She's under stress at present, something she does not handle well. Her present contract runs out in a few weeks and, although she has had interviews, she still does not have another job.
I suspect that, although she does not handle stress well, there are jobs she would be very good at doing. She has the same compassionate qualities as her parents, her mother's organisational skills and her father's analytical skills. Run a small office? (The sort of work she is searching for.) She would be very, very good.
I hope she gets another job. I would much rather someone put fuel in her tank than slammed the brakes on her - that way she might not forget to put the brakes on when she parks.