Road Rage

by Derek Morrison

William Blake (1757-1827), A Squatted Devil with Young Horns, ca. 1810.
William Blake (1757-1827), A Squatted Devil with Young Horns, ca. 1810.

Driving at speed in your insulated box
Feeling the pressure of time, your obsession with clocks
Now who are these people who get in your way?
It’s those lyrca-clad pedalers out for the day.

Why do they wobble so, in and out?
What are they pointing at, and why do they shout?
They should stay in the gutter, where they belong
The road is for you, the fast, the strong.

Let’s get even closer, let’s watch them run
Much less than one metre is much more fun
Press hard on that horn and watch them start
Then laugh out loud, as their group falls apart.

In your insulated box you’re on your own stage
So there’s no place for fools that cause you such rage
They need to realise, they need to face facts
You don’t want them there, they don’t pay road-tax.

Just who are these people in their weird gear?
Let’s show them whose boss, engender some fear
In now fevered mind you’ve transformed to knave
A monstrous beast emerges spewing rant and rave.

Your left turn is just immediately ahead
So just pull out in front and then stop dead
What is all that noise and such grimaces?
Revel in all that anger showing in their faces.

And what of that wing mirror as it rushes their way?
No need to worry, you don’t plan to stay
What right have these people to be on your road
A few less of them will lessen the load.

Come on, come on, you must overtake
Swing out on the corner and then suddenly brake
A reflex yank on the wheel, and then it’s pull back in
Don’t mind the crunch, the screams … the din.

You forgot that trailer, that made you ever so long
But you tell the gathering multitude you intended no wrong
Your pleas echo hollow as you protest loudly no fault
For those lives you ruined and brought to a halt.

But wait, that could be you, your daughter, your son
Time to reflect on what could have been done
You pushed back the monster born behind the wheel
For you … today … maybe tomorrow … it didn’t become real.

[To listen to this verse select below]

 

Postscript

Most road users are mutually skillful and considerate but it is becoming increasingly rare to undertake a day’s cycling without witnessing or experiencing at least one negative car-cycle interaction that enters the ‘near miss’ category. Many of these potential or actual events appear to result from vehicle drivers who would benefit from some empathy development on what it’s like to be sharing the – increasingly poor quality – roads with them. A small minority of drivers, however, appear to have zero spatial awareness and an even smaller minority have a darker side they slip into behind the wheel. So it’s to them, particularly, I dedicate this piece of doggerel.

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