Tailgaters: The scum of the Earth

Tailgating’s such a self-evidently selfish and dangerous thing to do that I shouldn’t ever find myself in the position of having to craft a rant about it. But here I am. And here I go. Because not a day goes by when I don’t find myself connected to my fellow road-users by a six-inch length of invisible tow-rope.

If you’re a tailgater it’s my fond hope that one day you too will find yourself tailgated: by a hungry gator. You are a menace. An abomination. An attempted murderer of children. It’s fair to say that even Mary Whitehouse and Jesus think you’re a cunt.

Don’t microwave kittens. Don’t drown kids.

Don’t. Fucking. Tailgate.

Yes, attempted murdered of children. You read that right a few paragraphs ago. That’s how I perceive tailgating when I’ve got my kids in the car, especially since law decrees that those two wee guys have to be strapped into perhaps the most vulnerable part of the car. That’s why I go so absolutely bat-shit bananas crazy when I’m being tailgated. That’s why my 2-year-old son, half-sponge half-parrot, once shouted ‘FUCKING ASSHOLES’ following a particularly heated exchange with a tailgater, after which I decided to modify my in-car language and call people ‘dozy pillocks’ and ‘silly billies’ instead; and a little less vigourously, too. I’ve tried everything to dissuade tailgaters, from angrily Capaldi-ing the mirror, to thumping the horn, to gesticulating violently out of the window. The latter sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. I once repeatedly struck the side of my car with my fist, alternated with a shooing motion, a subtle bit of sign language that  convinced the hogger behind to fall back a few car lengths. Another time I shook my fist out of the window, and instead of falling back the wee dim-wit douche-bag behind me started happily and enthusiastically waving and flashing their lights, thinking I was their pal.

When I haven’t had my kids in the car with me I’ve often responded to tailgaters with the old emergency-stop/urgent-accelerate manoeuvre to scare them out of their stupidity, a move that I’m willing to concede is potentially just as dip-shitted as tailgating itself, but… you know. Anger. Ditto finding a roundabout, going 360 and doing some revenge tailgating.

While the biggest tailgating culprits are, perhaps unsurprisingly, adolescent males – those image-conscious, testosterone-packed pustules of preened bravado – the roster of roasters is incredibly demographically diverse: the old, the young, the rich, the poor, of every gender and ethnicity you’d care to imagine (with the exception of Australian Aborigines and transgender Inuits, who aren’t terribly well represented in Central Scotland). I especially despise jewellery-bedecked, big-haired women in gigantic jeeps and 4X4s who tailgate with the insouciance of a psychopathic tank driver who’s gone rogue in an urban combat zone. And old men in high-end cars, who seem to think they’re driving inside a car advert along an empty mountain road.

The collective arrogance and indifference of these bastards disgusts me. We live in a world of illusion. Our place in the ever-connected cosmos is predicated upon hope, fear and self-deception. We wear ties, we go to school, we work, we shop, we shit, we sleep, we fuck, we drink, we watch TV, wash rinse and repeat, and we do this under the eternally indifferent gaze of a gazillion galaxies. We salve ourselves against  insignificance by embracing ritual, and blot out the truth of our tenuous grasp on existence with a cavalcade of hugs, drugs and distractions. We’re never more than a missed meal, a terrorist bomb, an unexpected diagnosis or a measly momentary lapse in concentration away from a descent into agony and anarchy, a whip back of the Wizard of Oz’s curtain to find the grinning spectre of Death, scythe sharpened and ready to slice.

Chaos, then, is the force that truly governs our lives. Ipso facto, what you’re saying when you tailgate is that you are above the laws of chaos; that you’ve extrapolated from the atoms around you a full account of the future, its every twist and turn, and have granted yourself immunity from the billions of chaotic surprises that break and bond our species with every passing microsecond of existence. You’re a God, no less. You can hug my bumper and be absolutely sure that a sheep, a bird or a child isn’t going to appear across the road in front of me causing me to hammer my foot on the brakes, that my front tyres aren’t going to blow out, that I’m not going to suffer a heart-attack behind the wheel, that any number of unexpected catastrophes aren’t going to propel the speeding bulk of your car through the crumpled backs of my children.

You absolute fucking asshole.

One last appeal to you, young men: I know you like to drive your car in an almost horizontal position, but please don’t cause me, or my partner and children, to end up in a permanently horizontal position in a hole six feet below the ground just because you’re desperate to get your hole. “Man, the birds are gonnae be fightin’ for a sook of ma boaby once they see me recklessly endangering the lives of the children in this car.”

I’ll always be more inclined to express leniency towards people found guilty of fist-to-face murder or serious assault than towards a single one of those blase, bumper-riding sons of bitches. The only time it’s ever permissible to tailgate is when you’re a cop trying to force a fleeing lunatic off the road. At all other times: don’t.

You tailgaters can bite me.

PS: Tailgating is a crime of which I’m sure I was occasionally guilty in my impetuous, arse-headed youth, and so, in the interests of spreading my disapprobation evenly, rest assured that I’m retrospectively cunting myself.

Want to read more motoring-based anger? Click here for a mild rant on Parent and Child parking spaces.

Cunt of the Week (09 Jul 2012) by Jordan RA Mills

Jump on board Jordan’s Fun Bus. Final, and only, destination: Hell.

I’ve wanted to write a Cunt Of The Week piece since Jamie introduced this section of his blog, but didn’t quite get round to it. Partly this was because it would require deciding on the precise cunt I wished to afford the title, and that meant narrowing down a myriad of options. There are many cunts I have encountered, some anatomical, some abusive terms of hate, and some abstract applications of the word.

I have a couple of past bosses who are cunts, but I don’t like to write about them because it would take too long to illustrate their inherent cuntishness with innumerable examples; Edinburgh is a cunt, but I risk alienating much of the readership (and my potential comedy audience) if I pursue that. I think smokers, and the smoking ban, and cyclists, are all cunts. These are predictable, run-of-the-mill targets for the label, though. As is That Cunt Cameron, the man busily fucking up life for everybody in the UK, and I feel I would have to do some proper research to condemn him eloquently. Instead, I wrote FUCK THE TORIES across the back of a shirt, and wear it everywhere. It’s heartfelt, and something we can all agree on. Fuck them.

One American solution to the Megabus problem.

Having told you some of my considerations for the title, all of them dismissed, it is left to announce my present Cunt Of The Week. And what an utter fucking cunt I have lined up for the (dis)honour. Despite not having a TV, or even the internet (beyond the capabilities of my phone), it didn’t escape my attention that there was an incident on a Megabus the other day.

I’ve made many trips around the country in the past twelve years – up and down to London, Dundee, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Buxton, Birmingham, for work, holidays, or for gigs. Some of these were spent in the company of friends, many more were conducted solo. Bus and coach travel on this island is a fucking nightmare at the best of times, regardless of the operator. My first ever trip down to London took eleven hours instead of (an equally unpalatable) nine; another trip down was marred by the driver blasting music all through the night, preventing us from sleeping; this was the same trip where they started to leave the service station before the scheduled time, leaving people behind.

An overnight bus trip from London to Glasgow took an hour to board, and then the double-decker broke down as we passed the Thames. And so we sat there, the engine turning over and over, before the driver eventually announced that a second bus would be joining us and we would have to transfer over to it. Twenty minutes’ later, he finally managed to get the engine going again.

On the way up the road, with no further problems, the secondary driver came up the stairs to admonish somebody for some minor misdemeanour – drinking, I think. Despite the wayward passenger apologising, the primary driver pulled onto the hard shoulder shortly afterwards, marched up the stairs to reiterate his mate’s threats (adding one about abandoning the guy at the next services), and then returned downstairs, whereupon he singularly failed to restart the bus. So it was, therefore, that a cramped and packed double-decker sat on the side of the motorway for two hours at 3a.m., again adding hours to an already unpleasant experience.

There are further personal examples too, but my complaints have always fallen on deaf ears and I long ago decided that it was always – ALWAYS – worth the extra cash to take the train or to fly instead. I cannot remember ever taking a coach trip to any part of the UK and disembarking thinking, ‘What a wonderful journey, I enjoyed that.’ Naw. It just doesn’t happen. 

The new Hamlet ad, perhaps?

This week’s cunt, then, is whoever took it upon themselves to prolong the misery of an entire coachload of passengers by seeing something ‘suspicious’ (in the form of an electronic cigarette: witchcraft, I suspect, to some of the cretins who populate this sorry excuse for a nation). Instead of challenging the person, or quietly alerting the driver, they managed to get the bus pulled over, caused the motorway to be closed in both directions, and get responded to by – at the BBC’s estimate – 24 armed response officers, 18 fire appliances, 25 police vehicles, 4 ambulances, 2 bomb disposal units, and 2 sniffer dogs. That’s cuntery that you can quantify right there. 

Is THIS how it happened? Full, second-by-second reconstruction to follow.

Whoever you are, well done for being such a spineless cunt that you couldn’t simply ask, ‘Excuse me, what are you doing?’ and instead grassed an innocent person up to a fucking bomb squad. Everyone on the coach was made to leave it with guns trained on them, and as someone who grudges the slightest delay caused by a fuck-witted backward passenger, I can only begin to imagine the sheer hatred I would have for you had I been on that bus.

I hope you are suitably embarrassed, you time-wasting cunt.


Jordan RA Mills

THIS WEEK’S GUEST WRITER Jordan R.A. Mills writes lots, some would say too much, but he is mostly a good cunt and so people tolerate his wordy indulgence. He keeps a blog about his stand-up comedy adventures – http://jramills.wordpress.com/author/jramills/ – and recently wrote an acclaimed short satire of the medium, which was filmed and can be watched herehttp://vimeo.com/41548848

Jordan is perhaps best known for devising and producing the Children’s ITV series ‘Gangsta Troll’, which featured the aforementioned troll and his two best mates: an owl who wore gold medallions, and chain-smoked with the help of a terrified sparrow; and a labrador called ‘Big Dave’, who could scratch hip hop records. Everyone’s favourite episode was the one where Gangsta Troll had a rap battle in the street against a wise-cracking pigeon. The series was cancelled when Jordan produced the episode ‘ABC, Open Wide For Me’, in which Gangsta Troll took lots of magical meth that caused him to shit letters of the alphabet into a policeman’s mouth.

Jordan died in 1987.


Memories of Marmaris – Pt 1

The cannibalisation of old material continues. Here’s a few thoughts I jotted down after a trip to Turkey a few years ago. I’m going to Turkey with my girlfriend later this year, a different part, but I enjoyed looking over old notes and reminiscing about all the beauty and sleaze the Turks have to offer holidaymakers in Marmaris – Jamie


Memories of Marmaris

Marmaris is a holiday resort in the south west of Turkey. It’s geared towards tourism, but the public transport is accessible enough to allow you to venture forth and enjoy towns, trails and villages off the beaten track. Also, the many excursions on offer by boat, jeep and camel are extremely good value for money, and well worth your time. That being said, it’s time for a bit of horrid honesty, and we’ll leave the wanky travelogue stuff to the late Jill Dando.

Driving Miss Daisy – Off a Cliff

The Turks have some simple, nifty ways to revolutionise the ordinary things we Scots take for granted. For example, Turkish traffic lights don’t bother with all that abstract ‘red, amber, green’ shit. The lights display a timed countdown from red to green. This innovation would be an extremely helpful stress reducer for British drivers; for the Turks, however, this countdown merely tells them how many seconds of law they’ve broken, so they can high-five their mates. To say that Turkish drivers are a bunch of maniacs who care nothing for the rules of the road, health and safety, or human life, would be a pretty accurate.

They like a good bit of anger on the roads. Turkish cars must have four pedals as standard: gas, brake, accelerator and horn. And I’m sure it won’t be long before they fit Bond-style mini-missiles to their front bumpers. It’s little surprise that in 2006, according to data on the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, there were over 585 000 car accidents in Turkey. This must be a conservative estimate. Perhaps 3million of the people sent to survey dangerous driving were killed by dangerous drivers before they had a chance to submit their findings.

Turk in, my son

The sexiest cunt in all of Turkdom

Turkish men walk a fine line between charm and sleaze. The bar folk are undeniably friendly, but in a tourist resort like Marmaris, this could have something to do with their commission-based pay.

Do be prepared to have your girlfriend fawned over in a way that would have you reaching for your knuckle-duster back home. And, yes, it’s true that you’ll see an enormous amount of young Turkish guys ‘courting’ gorgeous young blonde girls (for ‘courting’ read ‘trying every trick in the book in order to make them part of a living, breathing Turkish kebab before the holiday-clock ticks away, so the girl can jet off home thinking they’ve found their prince when in reality he’s already got his todger stuck in another willing waif even before the pilot guns the engine for the flight home’).

This is undeniably impressive when you consider that over the summer season most of these Supermen work seven days a week, often twenty hours a day, and still find time to shag a higher quota of girls than most of us will see in a lifetime. I’m impressed, in a kind of amoral way: their wives probably wouldn’t be.

Over summer, a lot of the waiters and bar guys come to Marmaris from the far corners of Turkey to make a bit of money for their families, before totting off home with their genitalia tucked between their legs. Winters are spent as mild-mannered Clark Kents; the kind of guys who love their wives and kids and definitely do NOT shag an army of drunk slags from Essex.

Take THAT, AIDS!!!

A word of caution for the ladies out there: there is a widespread belief among a large section of the male Turkish population that the best way to counteract nasty old AIDS, chlamydia and general knob rot is not to rubber up, but to thoroughly wash your bits afterwards. Yes. We all remember that from Dove’s last advertising campaign: Tom Hanks scrubbing his balls with a bar of soap, and smiling to himself about his new promotion at work. You’re not singing any more, Bruce Springsteen.

But what kind of guys can the ladies expect to meet? I’ve calculated that Turkish workers, especially in the bars, fall in to one of three physical categories: Gay Boyband Turk; Evil Hollywood Movie Turk; and Looks Like a Turkish Version of a Well-Known Celebrity Turk. For example, my very attentive hotel clerk looked like a Turkish David Arquette, and one of the wee waiters at a local restaurant looked like he was plotting to kill Arnold Swarzenegger.

Here, pussy, pussy, pussy

Pussy on a bike

It’s strange to come from a country where cats are pampered and beloved (some rich old British ladies have even been known to leave their vast million pound fortunes to spoiled Persian cats called Tiddles) to one where cats run wild and are even considered by some to be vermin. How cute they are, though. Well, the ones that aren’t horribly diseased and bedraggled, that is. Most of the street cats are considerably smaller than your average domesticated kitty, with tiny little faces and humongous, pointy ears. I always wanted to pat them. I wandered the Turkish streets dispensing a stroke here and a clap there, willing to touch the sick and the hungry, like some kind of Christ of the Cat People. Like a Steve Irwin who deals only with animals tame enough not to skewer him through the heart with a barbed part of their anatomy.

'Any spare change, pal?'

It is a shame, though. Turkish people don’t appear to be as enlightened as we are when it comes to animals. No real equivalent of our RSPCA seems to exist in Turkey, although animal welfare matters are slowly gaining relevance and importance thanks to the actions of various volunteer and charity organisations. Earlier this year in Marmaris there was outrage over a mass poisoning of street cats by assailants unknown (although the farming community is suspected). Unfortunately, the attempted cull was indiscriminate, and many domestic dogs, cats and other trusty pets bought the farm along with them.

Remember the Turkish men who thought that washing their bits was the best and only defence against AIDS? Well, another widespread belief held by some morons is that ingestion of pet hair can be fatal. This means, ladies, that stroking a cat is the best form of contraception.