October 19th, 2011

At war with the motorist

As well as being a great name for a blog, "at war with the motorist" is a common state of play for we who have opted for the healthy, green, cheap mode of transport. We want to be all "peace and love bro", truly we do, but if you risk our lives, or our children's lives, with one of these contraptions you wield around town, it's only fair we fight back: kick your car, yell abuse, pin you down and pluck hairs from your nostrils, etc., etc., etc.. Remember this scene from "The World According to Garp"?

In December, my dear Primrose and I will be ridding our lives of our rust-bucket (our car) once and for all—we're just waiting for our kids' prepaid swimming lessons, out in the burbs, to wrap up. And I have realized, we will no longer have our metaphorical glass house. And this means, we can start throwing stones!

I am appealing to my gentlemanly readers, for moderate words of advice at this time. I fear a manic phase may be brewing, of excessive exuberance, for I have had visions of: letting down all my neighbours' car tires at night; of telling Jihadists I am bin Laden, back from the dead, and that from now on we'll be blowing up roads; of moving wheelie-bins out into the middle of the road; of leaving anything on the road that I can find; of generally becoming a pest.

Does this energy I have for such mischief need bridling? Or am I onto something profound? Have you not sensed also, that we have been raised from the womb to view smooth traffic flows as somehow sacred, to the point where we turn a blind eye to obstacles blocking footpaths or bike paths (builders' hoardings, rubbish skips, police cars, etc.), but react as though heaven is falling when confronted by something blocking a car lane? A campaign of civil disobedience, hindering the smooth flow of vehicular traffic, and generally inconveniencing our poor car-dependent relations, might at least get people questioning this dogma we seem to have received from our parents, that roads and cars are, in any sense, good. Or as I have been to be prone, am I being extremist?