One of the more comical dances to take place in caravan parks is the tango between husband and wife as they grapple with reverse motion. Similar to the port-a-potti emptying, driving in reverse is generally handled by the male while instructions are issued by the female. No I’m still not suggesting anything. This can be an harmonious affair which unites the couple with the warm feeling of success as their excellent team work allows them to slot the van around a corner no caravan should have to navigate in reverse; or it can lead to fractures and heated conversations from which it will likely take a good nights rest to recover if it doesn’t end in immediate divorce.
Just this evening we overheard our new neighbour muttering under his breath ‘…well I can’t read bloody sign language…’ as his beloved issued instructions on which way he ought to have turned the van to manoeuvre it into position. They had been circling their allocated site for 10 minutes trying to work out the angle of attack and despair was beginning to set in.
Some couples have taken to technology to ease the reversing challenge. Walkie talkies are not uncommon devices for the issuance of ‘just a little more’, ‘that’ll do’ and ‘I said stop you moron!’. I haven’t looked into it but I’d be willing to bet there are laser guided systems and or automated GPS guidance for some vehicles.
In light of our observations Emma and I have worked out our own system of non verbal communication designed to draw as little attention to ourselves as possible. Mostly I can just see her thumbs pointed in one direction or the other at the centre top of the rear windscreen, with an open palm indicating when I ought to stop. I am pleased to report that we are a model of domestic reversing bliss.