14 May 2014

Pursuit

A true story from ten years back...

It is early summertime. I am tootling home from work. Knowing all the back roads, I avoid the city's evening traffic and as usual turn into Carr Road which leads up the hill to Walkley. There's a car coming down the hill - a silver Audi. Suddenly I have to brake hard because the Audi - instead of waiting for me to pass -  is doing a U-turn right in front of me. He pulls into a parking space and I honk my horn as I proceed up the hill.

I look in the mirror and the Audi is coming back up the hill. Instinctively, I know straightaway that I am being pursued. A quick left onto South Road and then a quick right up steeply inclining Greenhow Street. My suspicion is right. He is following me and I know exactly why. It is because I dared to show disapproval by honking my horn.

Along Bole Hill Lane to Bole Hill which is on the very edge of the city. I see the stony-faced driver behind the wheel and I see a mirror image of his registration plate - WAD 7. Living in Sheffield's suburbs there is a famous former England international footballer called Chris Waddle and his cars have always been easily spotted because they also have the personalised registration "WAD" but the guy behind the wheel of the Audi is certainly not Chris Waddle. If it had been him I could have asked for his autograph.

It crosses my mind that I could pull into the side of the road and see what my pursuer wants. "I say old chap - I do believe you are following me. Might I ask what your problem is old fruit?" But weighing it up that is a scenario I am keen to avoid. I don't know this man. He might have a weapon in the car. He might be younger and fitter than me. Even more of a thug! Besides - anybody arrogant enough to make such a thoughtless U-turn in the street thence to commence an angry car chase simply because a car horn has been pressed briefly in displeasure is not somebody you really want to tangle with.

From Hagg Hill to Stephen Lane and on to Crosspool. He is still in pursuit. Sometimes I have to stop at road junctions but he doesn't ram me or jump out of his car to hammer on my window. Perhaps he is also apprehensive - for it occurs to me that he also doesn't know the character of the other driver.

What can I do? What can I do? My heart is beating like Ginger Baker's bass drum  and I am shaky too. As I turn into Fulwood Road, an idea hatches that I will lead my pursuer to the police station yard at Woodseats. Once in the yard, I will again press my car horn but this time continuously until a copper comes outside to see what all the fuss is about. Yes. That's the best that Mr Cowardy Custard can up with.

Down the back of Endcliffe Park, along Rustlings Road. He has been pursuing me for five miles or so. Up the hill along Ecclesall Road and through the traffic lights at the top. There'a a big truck in front of us in the left hand lane. I speed in front of it and turn hard into Brincliffe Edge Road. My pursuer has to slow down to let the truck pass by and as I zoom down Bannerdale Road at fifty miles an hour I see him far behind me. Quick right into Glenorchy Road then quick right again and then screech into a random house's driveway, parking behind the tall conifer hedge. 

I wait for perhaps ten minutes, my rapid heartbeat subsiding, the shaking ceasing. Then I travel back home up the hill - still on the lookout for WAD 7 but I have done it! I have lost him! And I didn't need to reach Woodseats Police Station either.

I phone up the cops but the porcine respondent is totally disinterested. He tells me - to my amazement - that no crime has been committed. I can almost hear him yawning at the other end. I give him the pursuer's registration number and I suppose the copper may think I am jesting - trying to nail Chris Waddle just for a laugh or something. Waddle played for Sheffield Wednesday. Maybe he thinks I am a mischievous Sheffield United fan. If that call were made today, I would insist on a complaint number and would take the matter to a higher level but back then, if I am honest, I was just glad to have escaped my pursuer. 

It hadn't been at all like one of those car chases you see on the television. It was somehow scarier than that. One evening, the following September, WAD 7 was parked on Carr Road. Mysteriously and no doubt surreptitiously, it  had a potato shoved firmly into its shiny chrome exhaust pipe.

23 comments:

  1. You are tempting fate aren't you YP, making open confessions on your blog. Twice in a matter of weeks. Is there a particular flavour cake you want the file hidden in when we smuggle it into gaol?

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    1. Carol - Nothing you read on this blog is true. It is all complete fiction. I am in reality a merchant banker sitting in my office in The City and as my investments automatically draw in the tide of filthy lucre, I have to do something to amuse myself.

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    2. Merchant banker huh? I ask again then, what flavour cake you would like brought to you?

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    3. And I reply rhubarb flavoured! Rhubarb! Rhubarb! Rhubarb!

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    4. Have a look at this blog ~ http://apiln.blogspot.com.au ~ it keeps me amused when I have nothing else (I want) to do. I never realised there were so many "angry people" out there.

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  2. Hello, hello, hello.....Am I addressing the notorious Mr Pudding the Sheffield Spud Stuffer?

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    1. I once had a similar experience whilst pootling along in a Renault van.
      I was very brave and stopped. I got out opened the rear door and out stepped the front row of the Old Mannerians Rugby team. It was hilarious the poor bloke stuffed his Capri in reverse and backed straight into a delivery truck.

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    2. I wish I had had a hungry, slavering Rottweiler called Satan in the back of my car. I doubt that any of Earl Gray's pack would have had the same effect on my pursuer.

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    3. Earl Gray's pack are butch compared to mine. Moll and Alf welcome intruders....I must be really boring.

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  3. Good for you YP. Revenge is so sweet. Bet you laughed like Mutley after that.

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    1. Madame Molly - I always laugh like Mutley with a wheeze - HEE! HEE! HEE!

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  4. I was subjected to a similar experience recently ( though not as threatening as yours was)... And it did scare me
    That's what the driver wanted.... To scare you...
    Ps...all those hills starts!
    I lived just off the end of South road before I moved to hillsborough)

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    1. At last somebody who can really relate to my car chase experience. It is definitely not a nice thing. And I know that most of the streets I mentioned will be known to you. I bet you liked to visit "The Florist" sometimes.

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    2. Maybe he took exception to the toot of the horn. If you had just waved with your middle finger and told him what a great driver he was in a foreign language, he might have just waved back?

      I wouldn't say driving to the nearest police station was a cowardly thing to do.

      Road rage is scary ~ no two ways about it.

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  5. Since I do not drive, I have no idea what it feels like being the front end of a car chase, but I suspect it is a bit like getting off the train on a dark winter evening after work and nobody else getting off except a small group of young louts who start cat-calling and look unpleasantly swift on their feet.

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    1. Sounds like you are speaking from experience Miss Arian. And yes - I guess it is a bit like that. Intimidatory.

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  6. Ah yes, the old running away ploy! Wish I'd learnt that!

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    1. We can't all be as brave as you are Hippo. I imagine you'd have screeched to halt immediately and yanked the pursuer from his vehicle - pulverising him to within an inch of his life before wiping your hands and carrying on with the journey. I could only do that in my imagination.

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    2. Tom would have shot the driver

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  7. It sounds to me as though you remained exceptionally clear thinking. I would have been petrified...

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    1. Fleeing seemed the best thing to do rather than confronting a total stranger with a bee in his bonnet. I may not have been turned to stone Elizabeth but I can assure you I was turned to wobbly jelly!

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  8. Nothing to do with your post. Just wanted to say have fun at Wembley tomorrow. Hope 'Ull City win. I don't know anything about footy but I know that Arsenal don't deserve it. Those big spoiled pampered boys couldn't win an egg and spoon race.

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    1. Good Golly Miss Molly! Thank you. Up The Tigers! Ra! Ra! Ra!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.