Monday, 31 December 2018

The Mysteries of Life and its Arseholes

It's all very well to lie around the house exploring the overwrought feelings and thoughts of people who are long dead but after a while a person needs to go outside. So today I went to hang out in Collingwood at the monthly crossword club belonging to my friend P, who is a bit of a genius at making a certain kind of groovy event happen, and I had a really nice day and did two complete cryptic crosswords with a reasonable amount of help from the people sitting across the table, who I've known and liked for more than fifteen years, and also the people sitting on either side who I just met today.

The problem is, to get from one sympathetic bubble to another, you have to travel and I recklessly chose to ride my bicycle on Nicholson St instead of weaving around the quiet back streets as I normally do. I thought that because we're in this strange in-between week that the drivers on the road would be chilled. And now I am going to describe an instance of how it actually is for women cyclists on the streets of Melbourne. It's really unpleasant, I'm sorry to say, and so please don't feel even mildly obliged to read on if you think you might find it upsetting.

Vicroads and Yarra Trams, in their infinite wisdom, when they were planning the building of the new terminus of the 96 tram a few years back, chose to ignore extensive community feedback telling them that this pinch point around the tram stop would be unacceptably dangerous for people on bikes.

So, riding into this segment of about 150m here, I made a tactical mistake and when I went to take the lane, I did not move right out into the centre. So that red car stopped at the lights there had just overtaken me, on that section of road. He passed me doing about 50km/hr with about a 10cm gap between me and the side of his car.

Naturally I caught up with him, not at these lights but the next. Very unwisely, I rolled up beside the passenger door - the window was down, there was another man beside the driver in the front passenger seat - and in the time it took for the tram in front to disembark its passengers we had this friendly little chat:

Me: You're a fucking idiot.

Driver: Don't take up the whole fucking road.

Me: I'm allowed to ride on the road, dickhead.

Passenger: You pay rego you stupid cunt?

Me: Yes I pay fucking rego.

Driver: On that bike?

Me: On my car (I knew there was not going to be time to educate these people about where car registration fees actually go, how roads are paid for, what making a financial contribution to the cost of roads via taxation does and does not imply about one's right to use them, and the benefits my choice to use active, green transport confer upon the community as a whole) knob.

Passenger: fuck you.

Driver: next time I see you look out for this car cause I'm going to drive it up your shit cunt.

Me: yeah....

And then the tram doors closed and the traffic moved off. By the time I got to Collingwood I was feeling a little less terrible, and by the time I left there a few hours later I'd more or less forgotten about it.

Later in the evening I went to see a movie where a lot of people called each other cunts and talked about each others' cunts. Then I rode home without incident, unless you count good incidents like seeing a lot of cats and bats (I do.)

As my favourite Achewood strip concludes: The End! No moral. *click*

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