ALL ROADS LEAD TO NOWHERE…

Rick takes a trip… or tries to.

Prog - - Intro -

There is a con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate that there are 1,300,000 traf­fic cones on UK roads. There is also a con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate that I’ve seen most of them. If only I could insert them into the rear ends of those re­spon­si­ble for them.

Trav­el­ling by road is the lifeblood of all mu­si­cians and much of that trav­el­ling is done at night or in the early hours of the morn­ing. I will now re­late a true story about my jour­ney home from a show in the West Coun­try last year that had a sim­ple four-hour route of go­ing up the A303, join­ing the M3, down to and around the M25 to the M11 then onto the A11, turn­ing off at Bury St Ed­munds to get home.

Reach­ing the A303 it was blocked off with ROAD CLOSED signs on the bar­rier and a di­ver­sion. Never mind, I thought, it’ll take me down to Southamp­ton and I can join the M3. Adds a few miles, but hey-ho…

True, it took me to the M3, but that was bar­ri­ered off with di­ver­sion signs head­ing north. Never mind, I thought, I’ll end up at the M4 some­where and head east.

That di­ver­sion took me to the M4 which was also closed. Never mind, I thought. I’ll get up to the M40 and head down to the M25.

I got di­verted through vil­lages, swamps, hous­ing es­tates and cart tracks and fi­nally ended up on the road from Chel­tenham which took me into Ox­ford, which had loads of tem­po­rary round­abouts made out of cones with ab­so­lutely no di­ver­sion signs any­where.

By now it was four am. I went around a cone round­about twice and took what I thought was a way out. Then I stopped. Partly be­cause I had no idea where I was and nor did the Sat Nav. Also the flash­ing blue lights were a bit of dis­trac­tion.

“Good morn­ing, sir,” said the po­lice­man as he stuck his head through my driver’s side win­dow. “And where are you go­ing?”

“I’m try­ing to go home to Nor­folk. I started down on the coast south of Southamp­ton.”

“Your best route would’ve been the A303, sir.” “Closed.”

“Well, the M3 then.”

“Closed.”

“Then the M4.”

“Closed. That’s why I’m look­ing for the M40.”

“That’s closed, I’m afraid.”

“Can you tell me how I can get home, please?”

By this time his part­ner had joined him from the po­lice car.

“Could you tell me when you had your last drink of al­co­hol, please?” “Au­gust 5, 1985.”

He looked at me, be­wil­dered.

“In that case, sir, it should have cleared your sys­tem by now.”

I blew into the in­toxime­ter, or what­ever it’s called.

“Zero,” he said. His part­ner laughed.

“Okay,” he said. “Fol­low us, we’ll get you onto the M40. It’s closed but there’s no road­works so you’ll have the road to your­self. It’s open at High Wy­combe, you exit there. You might catch the morn­ing rush at Heathrow, though.”

I got home at 9.30am, had a shit, shower and shave and left for the next show at 10.30…

“I got di­verted through vil­lages, swamps, cart tracks…”

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