Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Fun with the roundabout

In 1997, my late lady friend and I took a bus tour of England, Scotland and Wales. We saw a bit of the famous roundabouts, but became much better acquainted with them when we rented an overpowered, three-cylinder “auto” in London. We left the garage, made three left turns, ended up back at the garage and regrouped. Then we got better directions and were off.

Then up comes our first roundabout. First, let me explain this “auto.” The steering wheel is on the “wrong” side (right side). The clutch, brakes and gas were as ours are, but the turn signals and light controls are reversed, backward and switched.

So, here comes our first roundabout. I’d never driven in one before and it was a total rat race, confusion and fubar (snafu, only worse). Everyone was going in circles, hence “roundabout.” We eased into the frenzy - Linda shifting, me clutching, braking and gassing as necessary. Three times - around and around and around. I signaled for my turn to get off, and lo and behold, on come the wipers.

“Controls are switched, you idjet,” interjects Linda.

So here we go, round and round — wipers flip-flopping, her yelling at me and me just trying to get off this confused mess.

Finally, we were on our way to Bodmin and Cornwall, where we visited my great-grand uncle’s ex-home and toured the town of my ancestors.

Through more roundabouts (most successfully) we were on to Lands End on the Southwest end of England. We stayed at a nice bed and breakfast while we enjoyed country cooking and helped out on the dairy farm a couple of days; then more “interesting” times on their so called “modern road system,” back to London and home again.

The purpose of this dissertation is to let everyone concerned know that roundabouts are not really a problem. Follow the flow. You already know where you’re going, hopefully, and you’ll be OK. Especially if your “auto” is not built backward. Cheerio!

Bob Henderson

Oak Harbor

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