Simple Pleasures: Overtaking for the heck of it

On my route to work there’s a hill just after the lights where you have to put your foot down. Giving you a glimpse into the strange recesses of my mind, I’ve always enjoyed the sound of the engine as I accelerate from second to third. It is, as they say, sweet. I’m no petrolhead (that’s a motoring enthusiast for those of you who don’t watch Top Gear) but that particular sound is just very…satisfying.

On this particular morning the sun was shining as I savoured that familiar, regular 3-second pleasure. And, odd as it may seem, I decided it was time I thanked God for it. Weird? Possibly. But I did anyway.

Further along that stretch of road the car in front was doing about 40 and showing no sign of accelerating. Seeing an opportunity I put my foot down and took the rev counter into unfamiliar 4 or 5,000 rpm territory as I pulled past him. Again, strangely satisfying. And this despite having to brake within a minute to prepare for the turnoff to work.

As I turned in I saw the car I’d passed in the mirror. It arrived about 10 seconds after me. So to gain 10 seconds I’d used more petrol and increased the risk level of my journey. But it was fun. A simple pleasure.

It’s easy to take those pleasures for granted, and even not to realise that there’s something to be thankful for. But sometimes you’ve just got to overtake for the heck of it – and enjoy it.

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