When you live in the mountains, there are certain things you know by instinct.
You know you should always have a good supply of candles, fuses, bottled gas and of course pipe tobacco. Because you never know when there is going to be a power cut, or the roads are going to be blocked by snow.
You know that there are certain things you should not do. Like put up anything that is likely to be blown over, or let yourself run low in pipe tobacco.
But there is one golden rule.
Never drive up to the top of the mountains in the snow.
I got a phone call yesterday.
It was from a very old friend of mine. Actually he’s younger than me but we’ve known each other for over fifty years.
The twat had driven up onto the mountains in the snow and had ended in a ditch. He wanted me to tow him out.
I had to think long and hard.
I decided that what he did was the height of stupidity, and that the laws of Darwin must prevail. For the sake of the human gene pool, he must suffer the consequences. Future generations will be stronger, and they will thank me. I made myself another cup of tea and relaxed.
But then I remembered playing games on summer days when we were kids, and what fun we had.
Fuck it! I went up and collected him and his wife. I left his car in the ditch though to teach him a lesson.
On the way back, through the snow, we met three cars heading up.
The first was an Irish car. I stopped him and told him that the road ahead of him was extremely dangerous. He thanked me, turned around and followed me back.
The second was a tourist, I gave them a wave as I drove past.
The third was a boy racer in a souped up sports car who shot along the mountain road, doing about sixty. He didn’t realise there was a load of ice and snow on the road around the next bends.
Maybe Darwin had his day after all?