The girl wound down her window, stuck her mobile phone out into midair, and started to take pictures of the sun.
I was behind her Mini on the southbound slip road off the A3 to the Cobham roundabout. On the left was the backed-up turn for Hersham down the Seven Hills Road which is always busy in the morning. I was queueing in the less busy right hand lane to go around the roundabout to Cobham to do the horses.
It should not have taken me long, even at 8 a.m. But the woman in the cream Mini in front of me was busy with her phone pointed up into the sky at a sun so blazing it was impossible to look anywhere near it.
What she captured I have no idea. It’s hard to think of anything more pointless than trying to photograph a blinding heat haze. But this girl was determined to accomplish it, while crawling up the slip road as the traffic edged forwards, veering from side to side as she steered with her left hand and took photos with her right.
As we neared the top, we missed the light change because she had started to use both hands to type something using both thumbs while steering with the sides of her arms.
On the next green light she veered across the road, thankfully heading for Hersham, so I came around her on the right and as I did so, beeped my horn. ‘Get off your phone!’ I shouted.
The girl looked at me with an expression that said she had no idea what she had done wrong.
She was still busy Instagramming or Facebooking – ‘sunny day! woo-hoo!’ – while steering with her elbows, and this being a very natural thing for her to do, she could not see why anyone should be cross with her.
As I drove away, it occurred to me that I notice so many young women texting as they drive I am starting to wonder: what the hell is wrong with women?
I’m not saying men don’t do it, but I’ve never seen it. I always see young girls and sometimes middle-aged ladies busy on their phones in the driving seat.
And so it came into my head, with apologies to women who might be offended by this, as I’m sure plenty will be, that the female sex has begun doing some very strange things due to their dependency on mobile technology.
I’ve noticed that a process of evolution seems to be under way whereby a generation of women are going completely gaga because of their phones.
The other day, the builder boyfriend came home from a job and said he couldn’t work out how this particular family were alive because the mother of the household did nothing but sit by her swimming pool on the phone all day long.
In order to feed them, she pressed an app on her phone several times a day and ordered a delivery service to bring their meals. Not just the odd meal; all their meals, every day.
She did not budge from the poolside, nor did she ever put down her phone. She was glued to it all day long, and she didn’t even stop when the doorbell rang and the Just Eat man tried to deliver the packages of sustenance for her husband and children.
The BB said he had been answering the door and finding the food on the doorstep. He would bring it in cold and she would fling it in the microwave, unless it was sushi, which it was, often.
He said he had never seen young children served so much sushi. They came down from their rooms, or wherever they were playing, and ate out of the delivery packets for every lunch and dinner. The kitchen was pristine, with every form of cooking implement and appliance, never used.
I have heard of several of my girlfriends starting to live like this. I don’t think it is because they are lazy per se. I think it is because they are simply unable to put down their iPhones for long enough to cook a meal, even if they once could.
It is becoming a skill long forgotten as they press the app for burgers and sushi while WhatsApping each other pictures of the sun.
My theory as to why the mobile phone has affected the female sex more than the male, for what it’s worth, is that women think laterally. The opportunity, therefore, to do more than one thing at once – to drive and take pictures, to shop online for new cushion covers while ordering dinner, for example –has done them in.
Men can only do one thing at a time, famously. And it is turning out to be their saving grace.