“Please step back! You’re invading my space!”
Chances are you’ve heard that being said sometime, on TV, in a film or in the street. Like many expressions, slang words and over-enthusiastic responses in common use today, it originated from the United States.
It’s unfortunate there wasn’t a dock workers strike on the day the ship arrived here carrying amongst its cargo the expression that always sounds so peculiarly ‘wrong’ delivered in a British accent…
“Hey buddy! That was so AWESOME!”
Nevertheless it landed on British soil and invaded the space once occupied by the perfectly serviceable “I say, old chap! That was rather impressive!” which I used to hear all the time in ‘pubs around Llanelli…don’t you know!
I’ve never knowingly invaded anyone’s space – well not until last week, that is, when I parked my car in a town centre car-park, leaving, I thought, plenty of room either side for drivers to get in and out of their vehicles.
When I returned to my car, I found a piece of paper stuck to my windscreen that said…
“Summons, Notice of Inconsideration, Your Vehicle is Parked Very Selfishly” and in very poor handwriting, a word that I can’t print but rhymes with anchor.
Although I’d definitely left enough room, this driver thought I was guilty of inconsiderate parking – a ‘crime’ that obviously concerned him greatly, because the note he left was pre-printed!
He must keep loads of them in his vehicle to distribute around any car park where he thinks his space has been invaded. Which begs the question, maybe it’s HIS (or her) parking that is inconsiderate, now there’s a thought.
If he happens to be reading this, let me say “Pal, you’ve got a persecution complex and need to stay in more!”
This incident happened in the same week newspapers reported the majority of car park spaces in Britain are now too small for many modern wider-bodied vehicles.
A normal saloon car is 6’ 5 inches wide and while they should fit comfortably into the standard car park space of 7’ 8 inches, 4 x 4’s and pick-up trucks take up much more space.
As car park scrapes & scuffs cost motor insurers an incredible £1.4 billion each year, there‘s a call for car park spaces to be increased in size to accommodate these ‘Chelsea tractors’.
Possibly there’s a connection between the obesity epidemic and the rising popularity of larger cars – but I won’t be the one to suggest there might be too many overweight drivers around.
No Sirree Bob!
As they say in the ‘pubs around Llanelli.