I was wrapped around Amy, it was good, it was three in the morning, there was loud noise outside like an old diesel taxi dropping off late party-goers, it was bad.
The noise got louder and louder; I slept badly until seven. A knock on the door. I opened the front door and saw that the lane was full of very loud and very aggressive looking lorries. “I'm from DAT, Driverless-Automated-Trucks. You've got five minutes to leave your house before the trucks drive through your house.”
“You can't do that.” I cried.
“No, I can't, but the trucks can. They're driverless and automated. They've got solid steel fronts and a very low gear to knock down houses...”
“but, but, but...”
“but nothing. There's a new law since the start of the year – any DAT can knock down any building in its way with a five-minute warning. It's called the five-minute rule.”
“Useless!” I cried. “Behind the house are meadows, the lorries will sink to their axles and be stuck. The land is so soft.”
“Right! The five minutes are up.” The man pulled out his iDross and fumbled with it. “OK, go for it!”
Amy came outside wearing only a nightie; I explained the situation. “A fine piece of stupidity.”
The first truck moved very slowly forward to my cottage at the end of the lane. After a minute it reached my front hedge. I could not believe it, it was going to knock down my house and home.
Amy stared heavily at the lorry and its motor stopped. Amy has a way with mechanical objects. She stared at the other lorries and they stopped one after another. All was quiet – wonderful.
“Get these trucks out of here!” She roared at the man from DAT. “They don't belong in this tiny little lane. Get a breakdown truck to tow them out backwards.”
“We at DAT are proud of our trucks and I can tell you our trucks don't do backwards. Just a slight problem. We'll have it fixed in a few minutes.”
After several minutes or rather hours fiddling with his iDross the DAT man called his boss. His boss came, several mechanics came, the police came, the Technical Director from DAT came, the DAT boss came, politicians came, the Minister of transport came.
This all took days, but the message was always “Just a slight problem. We'll have it fixed in a few minutes.”
The media came, it was loud, tourists came. And the stories. Three DATs had tried to cross the mainline railway over a bridge, a foot bridge – no trains for days. Seven DATs had forced their way through railings and freed the lions and tigers at the zoo. Nine DATS chased people around a public park until they ran out of fuel.
After two weeks the five trucks in my lane were towed away backwards at three in the morning. Very secretly. No, no way, the retreat was filmed. Perhaps the five-minute rule was not the best idea.
Parliament repealed the five-minute rule.
“A great stupidity, but it ended well.” said I. “This time.” said Amy.