By Ian D Smith
Location: A34 by Parrs Wood
At Parrs Wood on the A34 heading south, I saw a man in a suit at the side of the road holding up a cardboard sign with In-Car Valeting scrawled on it. At his feet, an open briefcase contained the tools of his trade.
The windows were greasy, the carpets were filthy and there was dust lying all over my ‘86 Metro, so I was interested in the idea. I’d provide the lift; Mr In-Car Valeting would do the hard graft. We’d both be happy. So I stopped and opened the door.
The man peered inside.
He sniffed, ‘Where to?’
‘London,’ I replied.
He nodded, ‘S’fine.’
And he hopped right in. He slammed the door and smoothed down his hair. He put both hands on top of his briefcase.
I set off and reached the M6 junction, but he just sat there staring straight ahead, and he didn’t say a dickie bird. He looked at his watch. His shoes shone like diamonds. I asked him when he was going to start doing some valeting.
‘London,’ he replied. ‘I’d be a mug to start before then wouldn’t I?’
‘That’s not part of the deal.’
‘There was no deal.’
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