Tap. Tap. Tap – go the raindrops on the windscreen. My fingers chase the rhythm on the wheel – tap tap tap – as a sea of blurred red brake lights stretch from here to some far unseen clear shore. It’s before 7am on a dark, wet winters’ morning and I’m going nowhere slowly, stopped by the triple roadwork bypass which cones me off from my office.
This first set is allegedly close to completion according to the cheerful signs, if not the actual evidence dimly illuminated by a hundred headlights. But providing my commute starts at stupid o’clock, their constrained one lane twitchery costs me only a few minutes. This is more than compensated by the longest roadworks in history blocking the main arterial road into Birmingham. And what has backing up the traffic for miles, in either direction, achieved during the last eight months?
You want descriptive precision? No problem: nothing, nada, fuck all – the entire premise behind this pointless digging expedition is so a single bloke can perform daily digger burnouts in a vaguely up and down fashion. That’s not quite true, I did one see a second fella with a spade, but he was utilizing this traditional bastion of the manual worker for leaning on while puffing a cancer stick. Let’s hope it’s not the gas main then? Actually on reflection…
Tap…Tap….Tap now we’re moving but so are the windscreen wipers clearing the rain, but with an end of arc tap. But not all the time, no the mnemonic is broken by blissful silence luring the twitchy one inside into a state of near calm, but then TAP TAP TAP. I’ve tried all he speeds, I’ve tried shouting, I’ve turned on the radio but that brought forth Nicky Campbell – compared to which the entire fucking windscreeen could explode, and you’d still be up on the day.
How can that man be so far up his own arse* and still spout such uninformed pretentious bollocks, while simultaneously adding smug, patronising and condescending to his overflowing bucket of wrongness? Radio off, Tap…S I L E N C E… Swish…… TAP – God it’s the bastard love child of Chinese Water Torture and the ‘Get the Parent’ game babies play. Cry, Quiet, Quiet “YES YES YES SHE’S GONE” WAIL…OH FUCK YOUR TURN” – tell you what pass me the dentist drill for a bit of displacement therapy.
The final set of roadworks started today carelessly chopping out a couple of motorway lanes, inevitably on the busiest stretch. The next six months are laid out in front of me with cold, stationary cars and heated drivers. It’s some bloody cosmic hurry up to get me back to commuting, and it’d be a bloody privilege to listen to knees creaking, breath rasping and the imminent crumbling of some key, yet poorly maintained, bicycle component. But I’m holding out for light at one end, and a level of breeziness not troubling the Beaufort scale.
Tap..Tap..Tap, the sound of one mans’ desultory roadside drilling distorted by tightly sealed windows. There are those who’d question why anyone would live sixty miles from the office, but it’d be a dumb question because this is Birmingham we’re talking about. A 100 kilometers is about the minimum blast radius any sane person would choose to run away from England’s second city**
Now a creak has started from the dash, and is perfectly juxtaposed with the percussion brain damage of the wipers. I’m surmising it’s coming from the airbag, and seriously contemplate crashing into the lane weaving cock*** so firing the bloody trim into the boot. You never know, if my righteous quotient is significant, it might take the wiper with it.
Tap..Tap..Tap, calmer now heading home, on the forgotten Ross spur ‘where no cars will go‘. CD is jammed to rock 80s anthems and I’ve got a cruise control, 4 limb, all body drumming experience going on. Mercifully, the creaks and cracks have gone, except for the last of the daylight being inexorably crushed between dark land and a darker sky. But it’s 5pm and that’s getting pretty close to BMT.
Bike Mean Time is coming 🙂
* SO FAR, we’re talking a detailed examination of his small intestine here.
** 2nd to London. So not very good at all really.
*** He’s driving a BMW. So essentially a phallus in a suit.