Like Cocoon, only different

Thursday, 16 December 2010

So I’ve been living Nelson urban for 8 months now. It’s all good ...except for that one thing that really gives me the shits.
Not the drunken larrikins stumbling home, whooping it up in the early hours. Or the neighbour insisting on chopping winter kindling outside my bedroom window at 7am on Sunday mornings. Nor even 2 days solid of marching troupe music blaring out from the new suped-up sound system across the road at Trafalgar Park.
Nope. What scares me shitless is inner city old fossil drivers. It’s bad enough that, once their hearing has gone, they ring the bejesus out of first gear taking red lining to a whole new level. And when their sight clouds over, one minute they’re driving down the road at 45kms and the next they’ve pulled over in a manner of not altogether convincing parking state a metre or so out from the curb without any indication or warning. I can live with the fact that bifocals maybe don’t provide that good a peripheral vision.
But then, fuck me if some bright spark relative doesn’t go and get them a mobility scooter. Sweet old Grandma, with her new found freedeom, morphs into Evil Knievel reincarnate overnight. The sunnies are on, lips pursed, hairpins in and they're off with a high-pitched whine. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh! It’s enough to brutally awaken me from my nana nap in a cold sweat as they squeal past the house of an afternoon.
Presumably embittered by the loss of both the beauty and memory of their youth, they stealthily stalk the pedestrian you in silent glide mode [**insert scary tension building music here**] until about 2 metres behind you they suddenly thrust back that throttle to full squeal tit, beeping their very tinny but nonetheless gratingly annoying horn, while their dentures rattle with menacing and gut-busting sarcastic cunning as you jump out of your britches and into the gutter with fright.
Now I’m the type who, no matter how much I might want to run away and hide, tends to go with the looking fear cold and hard in the face approach. So when I clocked onto the fact that old Gramps down the road parks at his letterbox every morning reading the paper - on his mobility scooter - naturally I concluded the best strategy was to befriend, and thereby, disarm him. It started by smiling at him all friendly like whenever I walked past. Slowly this advanced to greeting him with a cheerful “hello”, “good morning” or “good day for it”. This morning I really pushed the boat out with “What’s in the paper today then, anything worth reporting?”
The sly old bugger’s obviously been around the block a few times. He just pretends he’s deaf or senile or something and can’t understand what I’m saying.