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On being haunted

After work, I went shopping. It was nice because they had some foreign stuff in, so I bought five packs of Mississippi Belle Macaroni and Cheese mix, and nine cans of Heinz Baked Beans. I would have bought more of those, but there weren't any.

On my journey home, there seemed more traffic than normal on the road. Maybe it's just because I was coming home a little later than usual?

A car overtook me, going fairly fast. Nothing unusual, except I saw this car parked up in the village. I wondered if the driver (who I shall henceforth refer to as "he") was lost. Well, good luck with Google. Out rural sometimes it can be spot on, and sometimes less so. Especially when otherwise unnamed roads are given the name of a property, so when looking for the property, navigation tends to take you to the middle point of the road rather than the property itself. Google does this for my place, and I have tried numerous times to get the address location moved to the house, not halfway up the lane at the side of a corn field. To no avail.

He pulled out hesitantly behind me. I figured it was probably his navi telling him conflicting instructions until it figured out which way he was moving.

I came to the junction that heads my way and turned. A litttle way down the road, as I was passing the graveyard, I looked in the mirror and saw him pull into the driveway of a house. Well, yeah, if the address is something like "7 le bourg" and it's a cross-roads, well, which '7' on which road?

Over the next speed hump and taking a left towards home. It goes down a dip and up a hill. So up I went. And guess what black car with distinctive front LEDs I saw coming around the dip? Yup. You guessed it.
I went over the hill and slammed the brakes on, to go down the hill at 20. Black car came up over just as I was reaching the bottom and pulled sharply into the cow farm.
Okay. This is getting suspicious.

Since my natural inclination is a healthy dose of paranoia, the turn to my driveway was up ahead. I sailed right on by. A winding road around corn fields and such. Then another cow farm. A branch in the road. I took a right, and noticed in my mirror the black car pulling into the cow farm.
Right. That confirms it. This dude is following me. The only reason to pull in that much is because he's aware that a car like his going the same speed as a car like mine would be rather peculiar. So rather than go haunt somebody else, he decides to be, well, about as conspicuous as a really conspicuous thing.

More winding roads, up a hill (noting the black car is still back there), and a crossroads. I take a right.

It goes back to the village. I'm guessing at this point the driver realised they'd been rumbled. Actually, rumbled a lot earlier but needed confirmation. Let's just say that if this was a random follow for cop or spy training, I suggest you seek alternative employment. It was an abysmally poor job of following somebody.

Next right, didn't see the car. Then since this road transected one I'd already been on, a left, then a right, and then onto the lane towards home. Which I did at 30 so I'd be around the dog-leg and hidden behind trees before creep comes around any bend.

First job, when I got home, was to look at the dashcam video to get a good look at the back of the car in the village, and then just back up to the point where it went around me before the forest, and do a check to make sure it really was the same car (it was).

I took a screenshot and MMS'd it to a friend. And since I really don't like being haunted, I'll share it with the whole damn world. Say hello to creep:

FK 784 TR

And just in case that's hard to read, allow me to go all CSI and "zoom it in"...

FK 784 TR

Or, maybe, I should just say...

FK 784 TR
(that's how I do subtle)


Don't haunt a person who is observant... and has a dashcam... and drives a car much slower than yours.

Whoever you are, I hope you enjoyed your scenic tour of the outskirts of town. It's pretty much like every other rural nowhere around here - bumpy roads, cows, and corn.



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Gavin Wraith, 26th June 2020, 11:19
Bizarre. There may be a quite banal explanation. The driver of the black Peugeot is a member of a secret band of adherents to the Carthaginian Monolithic Church, who for centuries have been seeking the Sigil of Scoteia to make amends for a terrible blasphemy. The Sigil emits radiation in a distinctive pattern, which unfortunately resembles that of the bread-maker you recently repaired. When they contact you about the film rights, don't forget I told you this first.
Gavin Wraith, 26th June 2020, 13:04
I have made enquiries. Bad news. The driver of the black Peugeot is Sigismondo Polpetta. Half the world's porn-film suppliers of silk adhesive mustaches (recall the "style Djugashvili" scandal?) are after him. If he knocks on the door, and Polidori is with him, ring for the police immediately. The Tbilisi-Rennes axis is notorious. On the bright side, he is said to be the greatest chrestomath the Carthaginian Monolithics have produced; well, west of Dagestan, anyway.
VinceH, 26th June 2020, 13:16
Whatever you've taken, Gavin, could you put some in the post for me? ;)
Rick, 26th June 2020, 14:10
The sad thing is, given events so far this year, your "explanation" is about as plausible as everything else that's been going on.
Gavin Wraith, 26th June 2020, 15:19
It is true that I am half way through a tube of Swizzel's Giant Fizzers. I am told that they are hard to come by, these days. My half-brother came from the other side of London and gave them to me yesterday. I agree, Rick, that the times are discomfiting. But the world is still full of wonders, especially those things that stand obliquely to our understanding. As the Carthaginian Monolithics solemnly intone "Miramini O Dubitores". I cannot remember whether it was Paul Jennings or Michael Frayn who first wrote of them.
VinceH, 27th June 2020, 12:43
Ah, Fizzers - a sugar rush, then. ;) 
A few years back I had lots of tubes of the smaller/normal sized ones. *And* Parma Violets. 
As to that car, here's another possible explanation - slightly less outlandish. The driver was lost, spotted your car, and thought he'd seen it (or one like it) earlier when he was last more aware of where he was. He therefore decided to follow you in the hope that you might somehow lead him back there. 
I'd have probably just pulled over to see if he did the same and, if he did, approached him to ask WTF? 
And if I was a character in a film, that's probably where I'd get killed! ;)
VinceH, 27th June 2020, 12:51
A little niggling voice just told me to check the back of a cupboard - and it seems I still have a lot of packets of Parma Violets. 
Probably long out of date, TBH, and in a sealed plastic tub, not in their original box, so no sign of a date. They smell lovely, though, and (yes) taste as they should. ;)
Rick, 28th June 2020, 09:54
If he'd been following me normally, I'd have pulled over. It might even have been somebody from work who recognised the car... 
But since he was keeping far enough back to avoid being seen (fail!) and followed me all the way until it was obvious I was trying to lose him, sorry, alarm bells ringing. I didn't fancy being a few column inches in the regional paper... 
Friday evening I translated this article into French, printed both copies with a covering letter and the two photos I have. Then yesterday morning I dropped the lot off at the mayor. If somebody is behaving like that [*], chances are I'm not the first or the last, so he ought to be aware of it. 
* - while French drivers can be weird, it doesn't make any sense that "I'm so annoyed that I spent ten seconds behind your slow-ass car that I'm going to spend ten minutes following it". 
The "trying to be just out of sight" aspect is what gets me. He was trying not to be seen. Definitely a creep.

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