A Mercedes Benz Life Exists But You Will Never Live It

Your call will be preceded by a 90 second recorded message directing you to a website you already know about costing you minutes that you do not have. It will be punctuated by assurances that it is important and will be answered by the first available agent. Cue the Muzak.

There will be no signal. In the information society you will wander blind and bump into people waving your dumbphone in the air like a torch trying to find your way out of a darkness that was not forecast by Carol Kirkwood. But she did look lovely in that floral print dress this morning superimposed over a picture of Scunthorpe sent in by Flixborough74. Och she was bonny.

The only terminal for miles will be out of order. Finding your balance in the global economy of the imagination will be impossible at this time. You will agonise about whether a coffee and pastry is necessary and worth the potential for embarrassment death when playing the game of tap roulette.

Your journey will be delayed or cancelled without warning or explanation. Your ticket will be valid on the next available train that either does not exist or is useless for your purposes. Using it with another operator will certainly result in a penalty fare and if you happen to be black may involve being pinned to the ground on the platform you have been marooned on by 5 British Transport Police officers.

Your ambulance is going to be too late to save you. The paramedics on board will have nightmares about you and everyone like you for the rest of their lives but that will be of no solace to your relatives. The Daily Mail will run headlines asking what has happened to our 999 service? to be read by people who have been voting to cut it for the last 50 years.

That cough you have might be Covid or any one of a dozen potentially fatal things that haunt your fitful sleep half an hour before the alarm. It might also most likely be just a cough. After you have been on hold for 45 minutes a clinician may be available to speak to you on the phone while you are at work later that afternoon. No, if you miss it they will not call again. It is not specified whether that person will be a doctor.

Despite yourself you will look longingly at the plush dun leather interior of the incongruous for your street Mercedes Benz S Class that stopped for you as you crossed the road to get to the chemist. You muse that its driver probably doesn’t wander around with a necessary sheaf of life history every day in the pocket of a nice jacket that was found in a hedge one night.

He smiled at you and it was like a glimpse of the sun through bare winter trees. If only he would just open the door and offer you a lift to somewhere else.



Barry Fentiman Hall





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