One of the most unromantic lines in a love song must be from Prince’s “Somewhere Here on Earth”:
‘In this digital age, you could just page me’
But Prince is a sign of the times, and there is probably a gritty truth in there somewhere (notwithstanding that paging is pretty passé by now: ‘in this digital race, you could just face [book] me’?)
Still, the ominous digital life has not yet penetrated everything, because there continue to be cars on the road (cf. the ones I drive) that are not controlled by a mother computer, and rattle and rumble along without modcons such as air conditioning that works. This can be a sorry situation if you happen to get stuck in traffic on a sweltering Friday before Christmas. But with a little patience and forethought, even sorry situations can have their share of romance.
Tips for romancing the traffic jam on a hot day:
1. Buy something very cold and fizzy before getting into your car.
2. Make sure that the glove compartment is stashed with cigarettes, a lighter (cannot be stressed enough, especially if car lighter no longer works), and stimorol.
3. Say the magic word and turn your phone into a camera, and then cast your eyes on familiar surroundings with the sweet naivety of a tourist. If you get lucky, unpredicted motion opens a secret door into a long gone (pre-Atkins) past: