Trivial Pursuit

Written by Simon Renfrew

With a looming economic crisis on your doorstep, you need someone to take decisive action – a visionary, a politician willing and able to grasp the initiative. Being part of the huddled masses, you (somewhat foolishly) might anticipate some sweeping, financial reform - in a stroke jump starting business and harnessing the power of an underutilised workforce. But that just goes to show how wholly unsuited you’d be to conduct the affairs of a nation. What you really need are mandatory, self administered breathalyser kits. Oh yes.

 

And the thought process behind them goes something like this. For most of us, having spent a pleasant afternoon au bar (which, as these things tend to do, blends effortlessly into an equally convivial evening) you arrive at a slightly foggy moment of indecision. This involves remembering where you live in relation to said establishment and then seeking out someone in a less confused state of mind to take you there. Alternatively and with a deal of trepidation, you call home in an attempt to persuade your better half to collect you. Or you walk.

But for some who have temporarily borrowed the family brain cell (and still failed to acquire a triple figure IQ), taking the car seems the logical option. And it’s at this point where the genius of the idea is supposed to kick in. Having used one of the two kits he’s obliged to keep in the car, our subject is supposed to realise that he’s way over the limit, heave himself from the driver’s seat and weave his way chez lui on foot, returning to pick up the car in the morning. So much for the theory - what happens instead is this; rolling down the window for some much needed fresh air, our idiot fishes around in the glovebox to find the bag, spends 10 minutes extricating it from its packaging and then gazes uncomprehendingly at the instructions. These are then jettisoned onto the back seat and he blows into it anyway. Having watched the pretty colours emerge, he starts the engine and sets off for home, having first removed the bag from the attached tube and plugged a glowing fag into what is now a rather natty cigarette holder.

Happily there’s only a tiny minority of drivers who don’t give a damn about the rest of us – and younger conducteurs in these parts are particularly careful to avoid drinking and driving. Some kind of Darwinian process should ensure that the remaining sodden dinosaurs expire from sclerosis over the next few years, leaving the roads that bit safer. And given that in the interim you can’t legislate against stupidity, the sooner the better.

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