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A day in the life of a driving instructor (3)

by Alan Townend

The Major and Lucy drove in silence to the centre where she was to be tested and sat in the waiting room. The chief examiner arrived and asked to see Lucy's driving licence; then he made her sign a declaration that she was, in fact, Miss Lucy Chalmers. The Major shook hands with Lucy and wished her luck; then she and the examiner left the room to go to the car. The Major watched the first part of the test from the window of the waiting room. As the car drove smoothly away he took out his pipe and sat down to wait for their return.

Lucy passed. The Major was delighted at her success. Lucy promised to tell all her friends and relations what a good instructor he was.

The Major's last lesson of the day was a difficult one. Mr. Green was a terrible driver, but unfortunately he didn't realize it. Whenever the Major tried to point out a mistake, Mr. Green told him that he knew very well what to do.

Mr. Green   You worry too much, Major. Look, I'm driving in a
            straight line.
Major       Yes, you're driving in a straight line, but you are
            supposed to drive on the left-hand side of the road, not
            in the middle. It's just as well there's not much
            traffic about.
Mr. Green   There we are. It's easy really. I expect you have to
            teach a lot of bad drivers, don't you?
Major       Yes, Mr. Green, I do. Now I think we'll increase speed
            a bit and go into second gear, please.

With Mr. Green safely out of the car, the Major felt that he had had enough for one day. He put the car away and went into the office. He decided to ring Mary and tell her of Lucy's success. Mary was very pleased. "I'm corning home now," said the Major. "I'm tired. It's been a very busy day. Good-bye, dear." But just as he put the telephone down three middle-aged ladies walked into the office. They must be Lucy's friends, thought the Major. She said she would tell her friends what a good instructor I am.

Major       Good afternoon, ladies.
1st woman   Good afternoon, Major. We want to enrol.
Major       Are you friends of Lucy's?
2nd woman   Yes, that's right.
3rd woman   Do you call her Lucy already? That's quick.
Major       Well, you know what Lucy's like. She's very friendly.
1st woman   We ought to know. We've known her for thirty years.
Major       Thirty years? But ...
2nd woman   Now then, Major, we all want to enrol for the six-month
            course. We're all as bad as Lucy — none of us can pass
            that  wretched test.
Major       Just a minute, ladies, let's get one thing straight.
            You are all friends of Lucy Chalmers, aren't you?
3rd woman   Oh, no, Major. We're all friends of Lucy Carruthers!

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