You have to pity Lord Nelson. 200 Years after teaching Johnny Foreigner the fallacy of messing with the British Empire, his statuesque legacy has been reduced to a repository for pidgin shit.
Thatâ€™s a timely metaphor for those of us fighting slightly less important battles on the streets of London. Itâ€™s a traffic heirachy; pedestrians assume the role of randomly mobile statues being dumped on by us cycling pidgins who â€“ in turn â€“ are hated by everybody else.
Itâ€™s important, regardless of social position, to be able to look down on someone else. Battered and broken as we are, we’re enriched by the fact that the multicultural jay walkers have it even worse than us. Yet they know the risks â€“ step off on amber, and if youâ€™re spared crushing by the testosteroned car driving muppet, weâ€™ll sweep up the remains with the malicious insertion of a sharpened bar end.
Maybe we should side with the peds so our combined anger musters an army to march. We can reclaim the streets from those motoring usurpers because our cause is just.
Motors rule and whatâ€™s worse is that they know it. If not in possession of four wheels* and a sneeringly arrogant mindset, then youâ€™re merely aluminium swarf waiting to happen.
If road usage was a game of stone, scissors and paper, the car wins every time. Cyclists anywhere on the road are just slow moving slaloms and pedestrians on a crossing merely the meek to be intimidated. Like I say motors rule â€“ let me show you what I can do with a heavy right foot and an 5 star safety cage.
We canâ€™t hurt then. And they know that too.
And yet while weâ€™ve losing the war, there is still satisfaction to be gained in the odd battle won. The archpriest of destruction is a little less close to canonisation once youâ€™re wrenched his door open, grabbed him by his fat, greasy collar and pointed out â€“ probably not in a polite way â€“ that if he ever tries that move again, youâ€™ll relocate his teeth onto the plush leather interior.
Itâ€™s not a solution but itâ€™s our only option. We resort to guerilla tactics because the rule of the road, and those who are paid to enforce them, just doesnâ€™t apply to anyone who once executed a three point turn without crashing.
Today I stuttered out a staccato rant to the pretend policeman who were busy criminalising those they could catch because the real criminals are beyond the metric of their targets. They didnâ€™t care and after a bit, I didnâ€™t either.
Weâ€™re on our own out there; Nelson and his pidgins. Itâ€™s up to us slavishly obeying the law to meter out justice in the only way we know how. And thatâ€™s to behave like a car, own the centre line, give way to no-one and ride on the hair trigger of instance violence.
Itâ€™s not a solution and it probably doesnâ€™t help. But feck me, it feels good.
* I like to think of Motorcyclists as our close brethren albeit with an engine. Except couriers and their car wide top boxes â€“ theyâ€™re trained killers. And Scooters, theyâ€™re just stupid.