Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The C Word: Caravans

Know your enemy
Each summer, Satan sends caravanners to torment the good people of Cornwall. Even on the shortest journey I meet lines of terrible white boxes, choking every bypass and lane west of the Tamar.

You’d think caravanners would squirm with embarrassment and guilt at the enormous traffic tailbacks they cause, humbly move aside to let normal road-users pass. But no: every year they appear, torturing us with their snail-like progress.

To tow a caravan, training is not required. You just hitch up your little tin home and lurch off down the road, swaying like a cobra. Caravanners’ towing cars are often dreadful, unsuitably small or old, while the vans have bizarre brand-names: ‘Speedbird’, ‘Carefree’ and stretching things to breaking-point, ‘Popular’.

What sort of people are caravanners? Stony-faced old gits whose driving is best described as cautious; they can’t read maps and sat-navs are modern rubbish, so everywhere they dither. At all times they glare straight ahead, never use their mirrors and hog the middle lane. Or else it’s poor fat families of sweaties, crushed into grimy estates; if only the parents had tried harder at school, today they could afford a holiday ‘abroad’.

I'll just put the kettle on
Caravanners drive 500 miles from their conurbations to ‘the country’, and park in a turd-strewn field one foot from another caravan. They unload trashy garden furniture; little plastic fences are put out to mark their territories, like some incontinent mongrel dog. For two weeks caravanners eat from Tupperware containers, sleep on planks and play cards in the rain.  Full marks for resilience; no wonder they’re serene about causing road misery.

I don’t like Top Gear, a TV programme, but it has the right idea with caravans.  Every week, new ways are shown of ridiculing caravanners and destroying their ‘homes-on-wheels’. Normal people who all detest caravans can watch appreciatively as ‘emmet-bins’ are dropped from great heights onto concrete, or thrown in the sea.

Caravanning: it’s like a tow-along house, except it’s shit.  Come on caravanners, why not give it up and take a decent holiday? Give us all a break.

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