Proof that sometimes life can resemble a cartoon unfolds in the road outside my office window. A VW Golf driven by a woman breaks down and she doesn't know what to do so asks a passer-by (also a female), the hired help suggests that they push the car into a side road. I am just about to go down and offer my help when a male passer-by asks if he can be of assistance. The three of them start pushing, two at the back and the driver standing by the drivers door, and the car begins to gain momentum, the male pusher is only using one hand because the other is taking what must be a very important call on his mobile.
Anyway off the main road they push the car and as it rolls faster they stand back to admire their handy work, it takes less than five seconds for all three to realise that the car has no means of steering or braking. Panic! The female helper runs to the front of the car in blind panic and tries to stop the car using her body by leaning back on the bonnet, the male helper tries to get round the female driver to jump in the car to apply the brakes but can't - all this is happening really quickly and a row of parked cars is seemingly making its way up the road for the inevitable contact and sound of metal on metal. As if by magic at the last possible moment the driver manages to jump into the car and apply the brakes.
Meanwhile on the other side of the road a vintage Morgan has broken down and the driver is having trouble getting the engine to tick over. I actually feel sorry for him because it is a beautiful car but it has given up in the heat. For five minutes or so I feel like I am watching an Eric Sykes silent movie. The driver resplendent in white flat cap, shirt, tie and well pressed trousers (he probably calls them slacks) gets out of the car and raises an acknowledging hand to the queue of traffic that has built up. He goes round to the nearside of the car and lifts up one side of the hinged bonnet. A few minutes tinkering and the car splutters into life. He jumps into the car depresses the clutch and the car stalls. Despite several attempts to start the car won't come out to play. Once again he gets out of the car, raises an apologetic hand and begins tinkering again. This happens another two times, so four in all, until the car begins to sound like it should and off he goes with a final wave to the traffic behind him. All it needed was a piano accompaniment and it would have been perfect afternoon viewing.