The M42 is a godawful place.
Let’s face it, most motorways are. But at least some actually take you somewhere interesting. You know – London. Or Leeds. Or the junction with the road that goes to Norfolk.
The M42 just seems to go from motorway to motorway. Granted, you can use it to take you away from the Birmingham region, but it doesn’t even do that very well what with all the congestion. It is utterly pointless in the big scheme of things. It has no interesting features and only exists because otherwise there would be a big white gap on the map. We edge along this Bedfordshire of motorways – Baby Servalan and I – stop, start, stop, start.
I spot a small gap to sneak into. Unfortunately, so does somebody else and there is almost a little bit of an accident. I pull back in time, the startled face of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, gawking at me from the driver’s seat of the other car.
“That is Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance,” I explain to Baby Servalan. “It is not often that you meet a major celebrity on the M42.”
The black mercedes of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, surges forward as the traffic eases slightly.
“We should follow him,” I decide. “To make sure that he is not up to something.”
I zip in to a space a few cars behind him, to the annoyance of a lorry driver who is presumably on the same mission.
The traffic slows slightly again, having reached that annoying stage where every single car is in the outside lane. Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, is now quite a way ahead. He is escaping!!!
I contemplate doing some overtaking on the inside in order to narrow the gap. Road safety concerns win out, and I hang back like in all the good cop shows, concentrating on maintaining my pursuit.
We all speed up. This stop/start method of driving probably suits the way his feet use the pedals. A couple of cars pull over into the middle lane, and now there is only one between us and Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. I can afford to ease off a bit now, his F14TLY number plate inadvertently signposting his identity from some distance.
We continue in this manner for some miles, Baby Servalan and I, and Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. I have to admit that he does not appear to be up to no good. But I maintain my vigilance.
He suddenly pulls off at the M40 junction. I continue on to the M5, cursing the fact that I do not have a CB radio and thus cannot appeal for lorry drivers to continue the chase. Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, disappears into the concrete distance, no doubt satisfied at having eluded me.