The police reaction to a wisp of smoke on a bus on the M6 confirms we are living in a madhouse
9:04PM BST 06 Jul 2012
Every now and then, when reading a wildly preposterous news report, a consoling voice pipes up from the subconscious. “Don’t fret, it isn’t happening,” it whispers. “Remember how you dreamed the other day that England won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and that Bob Diamond sought penance, Profumo-style, by devoting the rest of his days to doing good works in the East End? And what about the one where George Osborne was Chancel… all right, that one’s the exception that proves the rule.” “But look,” soothes the subconscious, “you have a fever. This is one of those flu-y nightmares, so hush now and get some rest.” Then you wake up, take a couple of paracetamol, and forget all about it.
Being in the latter stages of bronchitis, I am waiting to come round from just such a dream. Yet every line that appears on the computer screen makes it harder to ignore the fact that dreams seldom involve the dreamer typing them up. So unless I have awoken by the start of the next paragraph, there will be no choice but to accept as plain fact that on Thursday, at a barely quantifiable cost in money and man-hours, a stretch of motorway was closed by anti-terrorist police because someone smoked an electronic cigarette on a coach.