Annette Ridgeway

Third Time Lucky

“Take your time,” said the examiner in a hearty, friendly voice, “get yourself comfortable and then start her up.”

And ANNETTE RIDGEWAY LE GREASLEY (pronounced “Graylee” by the way) gave a nervous smile, murmured “Oh dear, well here goes,” and started off on her third driving examination. Poor Annette had failed on the first two occasions and two failures don’t exactly help your confidence at the third attempt.

Praying she’d miss all the lamp-posts and not mount any pavements, she concentrated hard. She was so delighted when the examiner passed her as okay, that on the way back she parked the car and bought herself a new hat. She didn’t need one but it was that kind of occasion. A carnival queen and a great favourite in beauty contests, Annette looked lovely in her new hat. Emerging from the shop she found a traffic warden taking her number.

“Cor,” he said when he saw her.

“Are you giving me a ticket?” asked Annette.

“That was my unshakeable resolve, dear lady,” said the traffic warden, “but I’ve come all over irresolute. All right, nip off while the going’s good. How much did they rush you for the chapeau?”

“I didn’t ask,” said Annette, “they’re sending the bill to my husband.” And when her husband got the bill he sent the hat back and the bill as well. Otherwise we’d have shown you what a lovely hat it really was.