Again the Man with a Gun is a Nice Man with a Gun. What is happening to border officials? Have they had their heads stuffed full of insane management-speak nonsense about leveraging their core competencies in a customer-facing role or something? Or what? Imagine what might have happened if Hitler's Dad had been obliged to go on a customer awareness course...
Not enough "gas" to make it back to Sea-Tac. Here is a handy "gas" station, which happily dispenses "gas" at a swipe of my card, without any of that tedious mucking about with "ZIP Codes". This is important, so remember it.
Onto I-5 southbound. The traffic is horrible, serving as a reminder never to go to Los Angeles. I do not think I have time to divert to Redmond, there to destroy Microsith's global HQ, so instead continue south to Renton, for this.
You may, if you wish, curse his name every time you hear another mediocre heavy metal guitar solo, but to do so would be this: wrong. This is a great improvement over the original Hendrix monument, in the African Savannah section of Seattle Zoo. But it later made me feel very old, as the chap sitting next to me on the plane had with him a tasteful paper bag from Sub Pop Records. Sub Pop's heyday was about twenty-five years ago.
Edit: This happened not long after arriving back in Blighty:
Well the night I was bornWith still a couple of hours to kill until the motor-car is due to be returned to its owners of record I head further south past Tacoma, in search of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The shiny new(er) ones which replaced the one which famously fell down in 1940, killing Tubby the cocker spaniel. There is nowhere on either side from where the bridges may be photographed, in spite of driving round in circles for an age. Also compasses do not work on the west side. Of it.
Lord I swear the moon turned a fire red
Curses! It wants a "ZIP Code". I try what I have been informed is a Sneaky Canadian Trick, viz. enter the numerical part of my postcode followed by two zeroes. This does not work. Thank you, Mrs Krause and/or Dr Reichert. The cashier's machine declines my credit card. And my debit card. Could this be because it is already tomorrow back in Blighty? No, because it isn't. I give him twenty dollars which, fortuitously, brims the tank very nicely.
Ms Budget does not bat an eyelid at 5400.5 miles on the clock. And so to the airport. Mr B Airways' Boeing has a little more space inside it than this:
|Rutan Voyager with its phone-box-sized cabin|
On a whim I try my card at the duty-free shop. It works. This after changing my surplus Canadian notes at a ruinous rate, lest I can't buy fags. Bah!
There is free wifi, but no smoking area. Nothing to do but chew the carpet then... There is a passenger on my flight going by the name of Larry Smith. Does he play the drums, I wonder? Driver has his foot down so we actually make That London on time. I note, after unfolding my limbs, that the bus from LHR to Woking has more comfortable seats, and more legroom, than Mr Airways' 777 chiz.
You do not, unless you are perverse like Mr Middleton, want to hear about the M25 or Mr Sainsbury's House of Toothy Comestibles, so I shall draw the 2015 Automatic Diary to a close. Thank you for reading.