“What’s your favourite junction on the M62?”
A random question asked with the intention to bewilder, astonish and maybe amuse its recipient due to its inherent idiocy. Certainly not an inquiry where a response is expected, or indeed, warranted.
Delivered mischievously to a friend, I was astonished to find that they actually had a junction of preference on the troublesome motorway that connects the east and west of northern England.
When they responded “Junction 28”, I assumed my buddy was doing so with tongue very firmly tucked in cheek. As such I played along with this adding that mine was junction 31.
I expected the inane conversation to die a death at this point. However, to my astonishment my friend (who I’ll call Captain X) continued it by informing me it was their favourite as, when they worked away, the sight of the aforementioned motorway exit gave them the lift of knowing they were nearly home.
Annoyed that they didn’t mirror my affection for junction 31 on the M62, I informed my friend that they can go shove junction 28 up their arses! I also advised I would be wary of their friendship from now on!
Captain X wasn’t happy at my confrontational blast, unoriginally retorting “Well you can shove junction 31 up your arse, as well!”, as our verbal interaction took an even more fatuous direction.
Very self-indulgently, I get a kick out of throwing the occasional random curve ball question into conversations. When my wife Karen worked part-time on checkouts at our local store, I would regularly subject her to inane enquiries on her return home.
“Did you serve anyone dressed as a clown, today?”, “Did anyone come through your checkout on a horse?” and “Where did you get this £1500 in used notes from?” were amongst the tongue in cheek questions my long-suffering spouse had to endure back in the day.
All were asked rhetorically, with the assumption that everything asked was so ridiculous I’d never receive any other response than an emphatic “No!”
There were times I misjudged the unusual subjects that checkout operators are subject to on occasion.
I asked “Did any of your customers talk about pigeons today?” with my usual fatuous mischievousness with an expectation my missus would give an immediate response of “No!”, or the colourfully advise me to “Stop being such a bloody idiot!”
To say I was absolutely amazed to hear Karen answer in the affirmative would be overdramatising it somewhat. However a response of “Actually, yes someone did.” came as a surprise.
My betrothed’s reply led me towards a mixture of emotions. I found it mildly humourous that a customer had indeed broached this fairly random topic while being served by Mrs S. What are the chances of me guessing that would come true I thought to myself.
However, on the other hand, I felt I’d let myself down. I prided myself that I’d asked completely inane questions which had no chance of receiving an affirmative reply from my affirmative wife. I’d staked my ability as a decent ‘piss taker’ on my record of always receiving “No!” (or something akin to it) as an answer.
My creative juices had let me and themselves down. They’d lazily thrown my wife an inquiry without any real thought as to whether the situation had a chance of occurring.
I became disheartened after this setback, my confidence shot and I’ve never asked Karen an inane question since (cough, cough!).
I became reliant on alcohol, overdosed on marmite and toast, before it all became too much and I ventured to junction 31 of the M62 with a view to undertake something drastic….. Counting how many red cars passed beneath the bridge I was stood on in a fifteen minute period.
Over time I became very attached to the junction and we spent many good times in each others company. Here we’d put the world to right, chew the fat and talk about the health risks of chewing fat.
In 2009, we’d become so close I pondered asking junction 31 to be a godparent to my two year old son. I decided against it, though, when I realised I didn’t have a two year old son.
To close this narrative I just wanted to send an olive branch to Captain X after todays disagreement, which has more chance of fitting up their arse than junction 28!