So you're driving along, say, and you hear a strange hissing noise from underneath the seat. Do you (a) pull over and investigate the cause, or (b) slither to the conclusion that a sneaky snake has ensnared itself in your vehicle?
Embarrassed of Twickenham opted for (b). She quickly hailed down a passing AA patrol car, the driver of which was able to locate the culprit: a can of de-icer that had lost its cap and was spluttering away merrily to itself.
This is just one of many tales from the Automobile Association's list of festive-period frolics. While not busying themselves rescuing stranded motorists or changing tires for clueless 20-something lads while their girlfriends look on and snigger, AA drivers are kept active with a host of odd call-outs. Aside from the story above, they were involved in rescuing hamsters and cats from car-based pickles, retrieving frozen turkeys from locked boots, and assisting broken-down Santas and panto fairies reach their respective destinations.
All fun and games, but aside from these AAnimal AAntics (that's enough double-A shenanigans for now. Eds), the anecdotes seem a little domestic. We'd like it if the fourth emergency service were to have a few more close encounters of the third kind. Springing stuck kittens from carburetters is one thing, but surely it would be more interesting if the mechanics were fighting off hoardes of alien invaders, or tackling killer bees, or were tasked with changing Herbie's spark plugs. That kind of caper that would really excite us.
Pic of AA man from jovike's Flickrstream