Why does he lose his temper with them? He never does with anyone else. He loves them, gets frustrated by them. They can't hit back.
It's the one flaw in his perfect life, he can feel it like a crack across his face.
There is a bit of argy-bargy. Alf chuckles to himself, some poor kid has bitten off a bit more than he can chew. He looks at the boy's brown jacket, green tie. No dress sense.
Then the chuckle dies. That's me, Alf recognizes, that's me at the same age. He remembers his wedding photograph: transparent mauve shirt, long hair like a truck driver in drag. The embarrassed, grateful eyes.
It's Vauxhall, he thinks. All my life I've been trying to get away from Vauxhall, but it follows me. Hard, sad Vauxhall. Alf looks at the kid and knows: he'll hit his children too.
Car 1 map