September 2017 will be marked not only by spacecraft Cassini’s final descent into Saturn’s atmosphere, but also by one of the funniest episodes of my life. I think I’ll probably not forget it.
To reach my local writers’ group, I have to turn from a main road into a side road. On this particular day, the side road was blocked by “road closed” signs just before it turned a corner. A council worker was on hand to direct me back to the main road. I was in a benign, argument-avoiding mood, and agreed cheerfully. But I did suggest that signs on the main road would be helpful.
“Lady,” said the council worker earnestly, “if this was a whole-road closure, we would have all the signs you could wish for on the main road. We’d divert the traffic.”
“Not a whole-road closure?” said I. “Can’t I use the open half?”
“No. It’s closed. We’ve got the road up further on.”
“Then the whole road is closed?”
“No. It’s only a half-close.”
“But you say I can’t drive any further.”
“Too right! You’d be under a grader before you could spit.”
Thoughtfully I went back to the main road and worked out my own diversion to where I was going. Then I began to laugh. I’m still chuckling.