What about that Julie Burchell on the Box the other night? An opinion of herself so high that anyone kissing her arse would think it was a moonbeam. Who would ever have thought that such a squeaky voice could emerge from such a burly chassis? And what about the Gooners yesterday? Worst performance of the year. Come on lights,fucking change. Can’t see any ridges on those trousers. Bet she isn’t wearing any.
You’re probably thinking I’m a bit touched, rabbiting away like this about everything and nothing. But have you ever sat at the traffic lights waiting for the green light; drumming your fingers or picking your nose? It’s hard to think about nothing; thoughts come into your head whether you like it or not. Just because you are a stationary driver doesn’t mean that your brain is stationary too. The reverse in fact. I find that I get most of my better ideas when I’m waiting at the lights or stuck in long queues. Well, it’s either that or crack up. Huge jams are the best of all; you get more time to delve deeply into your subject matter. I almost feel a pang of regret when that log-jam finally breaks up.
I got the idea originally from reading a weird book called ‘Notes On The Overground’; all about the thoughts of a commuter who travelled daily between Oxford and London. Whilst others read their papers or did the crossword, he wrote in his diary. Tiresias, what a funny name to call himself. Must look it up. Anyway, if some civil-servant from Oxford could do it for rail users, why couldn’t I do it for motorists.
He said it, my God he said it!
Brazen-faced to the watching millions
‘They should not leak’, he ventured
‘After all, they are servants to the Crown’
Leaking in public? How revolting!
And where would it begin?
A seepage from the ears perhaps?
Or a welling-up from beneath
All those starched collars?
Perhaps it would occur in the nether regions
Visible only by a steady trickle
Down around the ankles
My telephoned enquiry brought no joy
‘I can assure you we have no
Leaking civil servants here
Why don’t you try MI5’
( Excuse the diversion, but this just popped into my head. My thanks to the gentleman from some branch of officialdom or other who appeared on TV and actually said, ‘civil servants should not leak’)
Tiresias described the train as a battleground. He is wrong. Maybe in its heyday, before the world was overpopulated by cars, there was some truth in his claim; but nowadays all the real battles take place in the streets, the roads and on the motorways.
I sometimes think London is one great big lunatic asylum and the lunatics are all us motorists driving around on the outside trying to get in. It is not for nothing that the M25 has been christened ‘The Road To Hell’. A Dante’s Inferno of screaming and wailing motorists; lost souls doomed to revolve forever on this damned circle.
There are fewer more uncomfortable modes of travel than the car. A camel perhaps. ( one hump or two?) Although a friend once tried riding on an ostrich and found it an awesome experience. ‘Give me a bucking bronco any day’, he said afterwards. But getting back to the car; Imagine spending one fifth of your life crouched over a steering wheel, knuckles white from being permanently tensed up, constantly having to be alert for kamikaze pedestrians, and you get the general idea…
Seven AM In The Smoke
The motorists battle-cry
Echoing through the smog and fumes.
Towing technology in their slipstreams.
Legions of static transporters
Slowly going nowhere.
Reeling them in one by one.
Phantom headlines flashing before my eyes
FOUR PEDESTRIANS MAIMED,
BUT HE GAINED TWO CAR-LENGTHS.
Onward to the asylum!
to be continued…………………