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Turn Tedium Into Tremendous: The Morning Drive

Dave Smallcalder continues with his tips on how to brighten up the most mundane of days…


You may have the privilege of kicking back and relaxing on your commute to work.  A spacious airy carriage slumped in a comfy seat with your feet up, Kindle in one hand, skinny latte in the other with time to reflect, ponder and gradually muster the required enthusiasm and energy for your working day ahead.  This is a fantasy though, right? In truth you’re most likely sandwiched between other stressed commuters, packed tight like sardines, with the overbearing urge to faint and collapse into a sickly heap upon the unsavoury carriage floor prevented only by a startlingly pungent body odour secreting from an armpit just inches away from your face.

I, however, am not a victim to such confinements, for i have the pleasure of driving to work.  I have the freedom of the open road, the wind in my hair (I don’t own a convertible) and the opportunity to see where my whims may take me.  Most mornings those whims have taken me to my intended destination, the office.  The drive itself is a snooze inducing bore fest, a mildly dangerous revelation, I admit.  The same twists and turns, the same home straight.  The classic Journeyman’s game of ‘I Spy’ null and void, being a solo traveller. So, without further delay, here are my top tips for livening up that drive to work:

  • Snail Trails – This is a straight forward game and simplistic in nature, simply drop your speed 25–30% below the speed limit.  In a 30mph zone I recommend a speed of 23mph.  Before long a trail of slow moving cars will be backed up behind you.  This may be detrimental to a punctual arrival at your place of work but once the car horns and enraged gestures begin, you’ll soon forgo that unblemished pristine attendance record.  Before long a testosterone filled fellow driver will screech pass screaming random expletives.  At this, contort the features of your face to present to them an apologetic sincerity laced smile and if the mood takes you, blow them a sweet, heart warming kiss.
  • The Motivational Speaker – Many a motorist will endlessly moan about the sheer torture of being stuck behind cyclists.  I however find my two-wheeled friends to be one of the greatest sources of entertainment.  For this journey enhancing indulge, you will need to prepare.  A loudspeaker is most certainly required and I’ve always found that a high-visibility jacket is a little theatrical sweetener.  So, cautiously drive up alongside your targeted cyclist, lift the loudspeaker to your purposeful lips and away you go! Praise and encourage said cyclists with plenty of ‘Go on, Son, you can do it!’ or ‘nearly there, mate, feel the burn!’ or just an over zealous ‘Allez! Allez!’ will do. It’s even more fulfilling if you can find several cyclists on the same stretch of road.  Tailor your commandments to the individual wisely and before long you’ll have your very own personal street race unfolding right before your sleepy eyes.
  • “Follow that car” – Like any other car owner, there comes that time when your mobile tin box is due it’s MOT and service.  Or maybe you fancy being driven around for a change and have a few extra quid lying about the place.  Either way, don’t book a taxi, but instead walk to your nearest high street and flag one down.  As your taxi rolls to a stop at the kerbside, manically jump into the back, point at any old motor up ahead and shout “Follow That Car”!  Fingers crossed you’ll strike gold and the taxi driver will comply with your wishes and give chase.  A major drawback to this is that you may never arrive at work. Unless of course, by some implausible coincidence, the car you choose to follow happens to be that of a work colleague.  If not, you’ll potentially be embarking on a great adventure; an adventure that may cost you your job and a hefty fare, but who knows, it could set you upon a new career path.  Private Detective perhaps??? Here’s hoping!

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