Thursday, May 10, 2007

today : seconds before the climax, I am denied

Complaining about other drivers is easy. Lazy even. Like shooting large fish (like a pike) in a very small barrel (like those worn by St Bernard dogs on Swiss postcards). Anyway, I'm tired, have a cold (a proper old-fashioned cold with itchy eyes, headaches, runny nose and everyfink. As I said to several people today who looked at me and rolled their eyes, there is nothing more annoying than a cold when the weather outside is quite warm, perhaps it should be renamed a 'quite warm' (yes, this was the level of my comic imagination when, late on this afternoon, I began to suffer that particular kind of total brain death that you get when you'e gone to work with a cold and simply run out of useful functionality) and stoically (Marcus Aurelius didn't write his Meditations by not putting quill to papyrus every time he had a little sniffle) and defiantly determined to keep to the discipline of posting on my 'umble blog regularly. After all , I cannot let down my (as of writing) 1188 listeners, even though today they will be left feeling they have wasted a few seconds of their precious lives and learned almost nothing. So here goes.

The turn off to my house is close to a very busy traffic island, located at the confluence of two main roads and four minor roads. The upshot of this is that almost every time I am returning home from anywhere I have to queue, sitting in the car crawling at 2 MPH. Which I don't mind per se.

But I turn off about 100 yards before the main junction onto a side street that leads to my house. And the thing that I do mind is that moment when I am almost at my turn off. Invariably the driver in front sits over the junction, ignoring the fact that I am about to exit the main roadway and denying me the joy of the final moments of my journey towards the sanctuary of my 'umble but cosy abode. Tonight I crawled for minutes towards my turn off and, as I approached it, I sat behind someone who, rather than move forward about 6 feet, allowing me space to turn off behind their car, proceeded to make a call on their phone. The other evening I sat behind someone who pulled down their sun visor and proceeded to put make up on, using the vanity mirror.

I guess this happens because people only have a kind of blinkered forward-only vision, unable to envisage that anyone else using the roads might be going a different way to themselves, or living their lives by the political rhetoric that dominates the times (the constant declaration of forward movement, never looking back, like sharks moving ahead instead of dying).

It is often only a few extra seconds on a 20 minute bumper to bumper rush-hour journey, but it is defiantly disproportionately frustrating. It feels like being the guy who flies all the way to the moon only to stay in the orbiter as more famous and historic colleagues get into the landing craft and drop those few crucial miles onto the dusty, cheese coated surface.

I am daily tempted by this cruel moment of denial, into buying a very large Bull-Barred Vehicle (one of those with a name like VIking or Invader or Rhinoceros) and gently nudging them forward to give me the room I need.

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