Drag artist

All the warm, fuzzy feelings of the festive season have finally evaporated and Cape Town has reverted to a simmering pot of barely-contained road rage.

I’m in a rather unusual position in that I am contributing to the problem, while at the very same time, I am helping to alleviate it. How is this possible? Allow me to explain: When motorists see me darting through the queues of cars on my scooter, their sense of frustration at being stuck in the traffic is kicked up a notch. When I pull up next to a four-wheeled vehicle at a red traffic light, the driver’s body language changes noticeably as their blood pressure starts to increase dangerously. I suppose it’s understandable, since he (or she) has taken ten minutes to crawl the distance that I have covered in thirty seconds. There are few things that focus a driver’s sense of injustice as effectively as this.

Ironically, this is the point where I perform my service to motorised society, because the driver invariably develops the futile notion of out-dragging me when the light changes. While it is theoretically doable, it’s exceedingly difficult to achieve with your average family sedan and damn near impossible with a pick-up truck. Nevertheless, at least two out of every three feel compelled to make the attempt.

In this way, I reduce the overall commuter stress levels by keeping the rush-hour traffic moving through the intersections just a little bit faster than normal. I am a saint. Truly.

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20 thoughts on “Drag artist

  1. Although I’m one of the poor sods you drive past in traffic every morning, I can honestly say that it gives me great joy to watch scooters zipping ahead, while execs in growling BMWs and Mercs sit powerless at the wheel.

    Viva la Vespa!

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  2. I don’t really mind the scooter folk – as long as it’s not the local pharmaceutical delivery guys… when at a traffic light they ‘jump’ the queue to push in front, and then they struggle to ‘go’ blocking everyone else from passing them.

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  3. Good gawd. You weren’t the yellow scooter behind me in Sandown Road this morning, were you? I was in a white branded Nissan. I don’t want to say what the brand was, because it was a magazine. If that was you, I’m really sorry if I did anything weird. I’ve only driven the thing twice and it’s like a tank and the clutch needs adjusting (it was useful, though, in getting from Liesbeek Parkway onto the N2: I just cut in front of a bunch of taxis, because there was no other way I could get into the lane I needed to get into, and usually they cut in front of me when I’m in a normal car, so it was payback time. I enjoyed it.)

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  4. Some of the pipes and tubes that make the turbo work on my lift’s car have been out of action for the past few days since it was serviced. He’s usually shooting off from the lights or dashing up the motorway offramps getting ahead of everyone but the car has been totally out-gunned by the smallest Unos and Ford Fiestas.

    It’s been driving him mad!

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  5. I’m the one who, when sitting on the back of a scooter, goes “go on, crush him, crush him!”, about the car driver next to us.
    Sainthood is soooo overrated…
    (and I’m not even sure this makes any sense)

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  6. banquo: In truth, it’s the diesel fumes.

    forgottenmachine: Or Viva la Kymco, as the case may be.

    Chitty: It’s real task to get the sodding halo into the helmet, let me tell you!

    tripeak: Morons. The idea is to stay out of the way of the regular traffic.

    MJW: Couldn’t have been me. My little gazoompah is blue and silver, with some really funky designer scratches down the one side.

    Reluctant Nomad: How sad. It’s sort of like Spiderman losing his powers.

    anne: Don’t I know it. These stupid robes are completely impractical and don’t get me started on the hessian underwear!

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  7. St Kyknoord of Cape Town? That St Kyknoord? Wow!

    As a side note – as a pedestrian I once manged to get a very fast car (don’t ask me what type.. but it was red 😉 into road rage.

    I was trying to cross a zebra crossing. Theoretically if you are on the crossing the cars are meant to stop. This one didn’t and I leapt back out of the way. I then shook my hand at it.

    It stopped and starting reversing back up towards me as fast as it had previously gone past. All haste now lost in rage!

    Luckily another car came along and as it clearly didn’t want to be overtaken it went on its way once more.

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  8. Ah, I remember road rage… viva le train!
    Seriously Kyknoord, you are a saint indeed. We’re not worthy… apparently not worthy of seeing in colour either..?

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  9. You are a saint who graces everyone on the road with your presence every day to inspire good will towards men everywhere. Imagine what the roads would be like if you missed a day? Utter chaos I’m sure.

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  10. Reluctant Nomad: More to reflect the nature of life. Things can seldom be be viewed as simple black and white. There are often many shades of grey.

    The Phoenix: That’s why I love the phrase ‘rush hour’ so much.

    Bryan I bloody well hope not. Don’t you have to die first to be a martyr? And no, it isn’t you.

    Caroline: What type was it? Sorry, couldn’t resist. I can just picture this one being played out in a courtroom: “Yes your honour I did attack her, but she shook her head at me! Surely my actions were justified?”

    Terri: Ah yes, the tranquility of the train. Followed by the panic of waking up seven stations beyond your destination. As to worthiness, I prefer to use colourful language.

    Anduin: To be honest, it would be hard to tell, but one has to do what one can 😉

    tripeak: This is what my canine readers see. Rover tells me it doesn’t look any different.

    wenchy: Thanks. I’ll update my link.

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  11. Hmmm noticed a bit of tarnish on the halo, may need to polish it up a bit. The saddest part of living in Cape Town was my sister told me I would save gas if I drove down every mountain in neutral, its a wonder I never reduced the population by half by the time I left U.C.T.

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