28 OCTOBER 1955, Page 7

I WAS DRIVING through Soho the other day and making

even slower progress than usual in that congested labyrinth. This is not good for the temper. So, when the traffic lights turned green and I found myself unable to move because of a police- man sauntering across the road in front of me, I ventured a small hoot. The constable turned, held up his hand, and strolled up to my window.

`Who do you think you're hooting at?'

'At you, officer. I didn't want to knock you down.'

He repeated his question, and I my answer.

`In that case,' he said, wearily. summoning up the energy to deliver the coup de grace, 'perhaps you will also tell Me why you are proceeding the wrong way down a one-way street?'

'Am I, officer? I didn't know I was.'

`Did you not see the notices?'

`No, officer.'

`In that case I advise you to go and see your optician.'

'Thank you, officer.'

The moral seems to be : don't hoot at policemen.