Monday, 3 January 2011

Cliche? Me? With my reputation?

This is a direct copy of some posts of mine when asked what cliches annoy me. Funnily enough, I started to rant somewhat. Oops!

Assassins throwing knives, for two reasons. Firstly, because assassins aren't really often sent for an ostentacious display of cutlery skills. They're sent to kill someone quickly, quietly and effectively, not go lobbing knives around, partly given that being hit with a thrown knife is by no means a sure-fire way of killing someone. Do our soldiers carry throwing knives? No, and with good reason. It looks cool, without a doubt, but so would killing someone by sending a chicken with four pounds of semtex stuffed into its, um, pockets, into their bedroom while they slept.

The distance over which assassins can throw knives with any degree of accuracy. Some of these buggers could lob a knife over four hundred metres in a narrow, low-ceilinged corridor without it simply falling to the ground under gravity and lack of impetus, as if the damn thing had some sort of rocket motor in its hilt.

Next, leg strength. You know, how a man can leap a tall building one moment, yet the next they are totally incapable of kicking down a very simple, unreinforced wooden door? Or my personal favourite, the way someone can leap a ridiculously long distance/height one moment, yet when they kick someone that person is simply knocked back a bit rather than (much more likely) their spine exploding and their kidneys going flying out of their sphincter at a hundred miles per hour.

Part deux:

Assassins choosing to fight their way through the target's entire retinue of thugs rather than slipping through a window and shoving a dagger into his windpipe. "Hmm," they say, "I know I've been following him all day and have had at least 15,000 opportunities to shoot the mother f***er in the eyelashes from decent range before disappearing into the crowd, but mum didn't spend twenty years working four jobs as a disabled, elderly, aids-ridden prostitute/single mother with a wooden leg and one elbow made from an old rice crispies box to put me through years of Jeet-Kune-Judo-Fu-Ballet classes just for me to be epically ungrateful and kill people in a sensible manner!"

Followed by "sneaking" down a completely white corridor wearing all black under flourescent white lights while minions armed with machine guns they are utterly incapable of firing in my direction try to beat me up, all the while supported by many more who come pouring out of lifts/secret tunnels/pop-up tents and never try to change their tactics.

I may let one of them live. You know, just give him a meaningful glance and allow him to drop his weapon and run away. It's not like he'll raise the alarm or something, is it?

Next I'll check the tourist map and ignore the "lift straight to the bad guy's apartment" and take the "room-o-manylasers" so I can show off the moves I learned on "Strictly come Ninja dancin'" last thursday. Why not, it leads to the gift shop after all, and I've had my eye on that "I tried to kill Naughty Mr Nasty-yama-quasimodo and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" t-shirt for some time now.

And anyway, it's not like the aforementioned badguy won't be standing there waiting for me when I arrive.

After this there may be a monolgue. I may learn he's a relative of mine or that he killed a relative of mine, or both, or that he's a relative of mine and he's going to kill himself just to make me feel all melancholy and that.

Either way, it'll turn out that he's slightly harder than me. So hard, in fact, that he was probably just hiring all those minions either out of the good of his heart, as some kind of cunning tax break suggested by his accountant or because he gets his rocks off watching people get killed ninja-stylee and the entire building is rigged with thousands of POV cameras and one entire floor is for the storage and disposal of tissues.

Of course he could have just left when he found out that I was on the way up, as there's a fifty-fifty chance he's about to scarper now and blow up the building with me inside it anyway. He won't make certain I'm dead, of course. That would be silly and has been covered by the Austin Powers movies.

The other option is that he imprisons me for a larf. Meh.

Oh, or there could have been a second agent who I thought was dead, who will have turned out to have had just enough energy in his dying body to kill the rest of the minions, climb four hundred flights of stairs, do The Times crossword, fight the hardest badguy of all and then die, after having a quick chat with me while the badguy quite politely doesn't murder me to death in the face.

Have I missed anything? Oh yes, the entire rest of my assassin cadre/company/whatever have turned against me and I'll have to take on the other assassins, who are all even more inept than I am and I'll kill them easily, at least as easily as I killed the other minions because the director needs to show just how hard I am.

And I'll have fallen in love at some point with someone I was possibly supposed to kill. She's probably related to my target but won't mind me ganking her father, then me and Susan Nasty-yama-quasimodo will live happily ever after and none of the families of the thousands of people I murdered through being too inept/lazy/awesome to actually assassinate my target will ever come after me. Though if they do, they'll have a birthmark shaped like a croissant and that will mark them as king of the Croissant people of Lichtenstein and it will be his duty to kill my son, who will have turned out like his grandad in spite of my best efforts, becuase evil is genetic. I should, of course, have known that he was evil when he was born with black hair.

More may follow. Sorry.

People forming a circle, then taking it in turns to attack from the front in a civilised and orderly fashion. What's the point? Why not just form a bloody queue instead? Why not ever, EVER think "Well diddle me backwards, this guy is going through us like a ginger kid in Ibiza goes through sunscreen. f*** it, soon as he turns his back I'm going to stab him. There, stabstabstab, done. Home for tea and crumpets methinks!"

Running out of ammo while your muzzle is pointed right at the bugger's head. What on earth are the chances of rattling off a clip on full auto and leaving one bullet behind? It's possible of course, but what are the chances of it happening ALL THE BLOODY TIME?

"Please don't upset that geranium, it's two days from retirement." *5 seconds later* The aphid people invade and give the geranium the vege-plague and it dies. No home in the country, no spending those weekends with the kids, just the s***ty death of the very-nearly-retired foliage.

Not disguising yourself in any meaningful way. Ever. Come on man, at least wear a f***ing hallowe'en mask, or a pair of tights over your head, or one of those sets of glasses with a mustache and massive eyebrows attached. No no, obviously the hair dye will do it. Of course. A haircut will totally obscure you, but only if YOUR MUSH WAS PREVIOUSLY TOTALLY COVERED IN HAIR.

The flashy car. For the love of crap, buy yourself a twelve year old Vauxhall Astra and do some trickery under the bonnet instead of driving around in a conspicuously coloured '67 Mustang or a Dodge bloody Charger. Unless your enemies are in the form of an invading legion consisting entirely of footsoldiers that look like stacks of cardboard boxes, these cars will not help you maintain a low profile.

The ticking clock. It's the most lazy way of building tension and we know that no matter how hard we pray to the baby jeebus, it never goes off in the smug f***er's face at the last moment, as the bomber never has the common sense to make a bomb that goes off when the timer is at "10 seconds left".

That and the "which colour wire???" thing. DO all bomb makers play by the rules found in "Bomb maker's wiring diagrams for dummies"? No. Have you ever heard the knowledgable bomb disposal geezer on the other end of the phone say "shut up about the colour and tell me where the wires go you bloody monkey!"

That and the fact that most of these muppet lickers find a bomb and immediately pull out their mobile phone or radio to tell people about it. Wana know what the first thing I was taught about what to do when you find an IED when I was working security? "Turn off your mobile or radio immediately and stand clear, because a lot of these devices use radio or mobile phones as a signal to detonate.

Also, people jumping directly away from a bomb that are totally unscathed in a blast that smashes every window in the entire hemisphere. No shrapnel? No nails? Pretty s***ty bomb. That and it'll blast out the windows but not your ear drums? Huh, go figure...


People running directly away from things that are rolling straight towards them. You know, boulders, runaway trains, cars with cut brake cables, shopping trollies full of AIDS, that sorta thing. "RUUUUUUUN! RUUUUUUN BILLY-BOB-JOE-TURTLE! RUUUUUN! DIRECTLY AWAY FROM IT IN THIS WIDE OPEN SPACE! RUN DOWNHILL IN THE EXACT SAME DIRECTION AS THESE MANY TONS OF ROLLY BOUNCY DEATH WAHT IS COMIN' FOR OUR SOOOOOOOOULS!"

Yeah, or, you could take about three steps to the left. Or the right, let's mix it up a bit. Then you and your buddy could wave as it rolls harmlessly past you.

Ooh, big cliche annoyance.

He's a dad, just trying to work hard at his career at the condom factory, going to seminars about the latest breakthroughs in jimmy-hat technology, driving a car payed for by the promescuity of the developed nations of the world, living, dreaming, sleeping, and presumably eating condoms because he's worked hard all his life and just doesn't seem to be finding the time for family. But it's ok, because there is this camping trip at the weekend and he's been promising his kids for months that they'll go together and spend some quality father/son time free from all prophylactic paraphenalia and do some light fishing, hiking and burglary as a fambly.


But wait! Nasty Mr Nobblesworth (the company CEO) comes in (snigger) at the last moment because there's a big presentation for Mr Hashiherominnesota on monday morning and only Mr Dad can possibly do it! (Lots of notice there, chump!) Even better if he doesn't do it they'll lose a huge contract worth billions for supplying little rubber sleeping bags to the far east and Mr Dad will lose his job! Nice!

So instead of telling his boss that he should just try it so he can sue the buggery out of him for unfair dismissal and live wealthy and work-free on account of his massive doucheyness, Mr Dad does one of two things. He either cancels the camping trip (cue the "You always do this, you worthless old ballbag!" speech from disappointed kids 1-4) or he goes but smuggles his laptop and swatch-pad of various flavours with him, including the magical product with which he must woo Mr Hashiherominnesota on monday morning. (Figuratively. I'm on a rant here, shh!)

Either way they'll be having a good(ish) time while he sneaks off periodically to plan his presentation, until his son (or sons. And/Or daughters, I'm into equal opportunities for poor parenting) finds out and goes storming off into the forest and gets attacked by a bear. Anyway, Mr Dad goes charging after his precious boy armed only with the jizz-shield 5000 and an old fishing hat and finds his son cornered by the aforementioned bear. (If you missed it, read back a bit and I'll meet you back here. Done it? Good. Right...)

His only recourse is to either strangle the bear with the rubbery goodness and lose his job, or watch his son die. Naturally he does the first one and has a big hug with his son, who forgives him for years of being a crap father, in spite of the fact that he actually had to stop and think whether or not to watch his kid die.

Later there will be the meeting with the Chinese ambassador for contraception and there'll be a big, heartfelt speech about parenting and Mr Dad will storm off, with the screams of "You're fired!" still ringing in his ears.

Later Mr Hashiherominnesota will come around to his house and tell him how inpired his speech was and offer him a job or something. Mr and Mrs dad will look at each other before referring to their children, who will tell them to go for it because they've learned that a dad has responsibilities to his snivelling, wretched children after this sorry and slightly contrived affair.

All this or the dad will have decided to fix the family by driving across the Gobi desert in an ice-cream van and hilarity will have ensued, with an animal encounter and a joke about the chemical toilet. The daughter/son will also have fallen in love with a local in the process. Yawn. I hope they're eaten by wildebeasts.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Why can’t you ALL just go home?

Oi! Oi, you! Polish geezers and geezettes; bugger off home! And you Lithuanians; you’re not from here, so what are you doing here? Not on holiday, are you? No, well go on then, catch a boat, a plane, a unicycle or whatever, and go back to your own country!

What’s that you say? Your children were born here to an English mother? Who cares! Off with you, and take them with you!

That goes for all the black and asian people as well, regardless of how many generations of your family have lived here, how much you’ve contributed and how much tax you’ve paid.

All the Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean people too; Britain is full! Get on with you!

Muslims? Well, I think you can see where this is going, can’t you? What do you mean you’re not an extremist? I don’t care mate, you all look and sound the same to me, and better safe than sorry!

But while you guys are off chartering your transport home, do me a favour. Take anyone else you know of that isn’t British with you, drop them off on the way or something. So that’s all of you with roots in southern Ireland; back on the boat.

Now they’re gone, lets keep the ball rolling and evict everyone of French heritage as well, not to mention your Spaniards and Italians, your Belgians, your Dutch and your Norwegians. Better not leave behind any of your Swiss or your Swedish, your Germans or those pesky Greeks, (they’re everywhere, you know).

Got a little bit of Danish in ya? Well I don’t want any of ya in my Britain! I love the bacon, but this island is for “true” Brits only, and that isn’t you. You too, Ghanians and Nigerians, Americans, Canadians and Turks. I’m not racist, but you’re not British, are you?

Get lost all you Finns, Latvians and Austrians. No, I don’t care if your family have been here over a thousand years; if you’re not “properly British” you’re not welcome. Which part of that don’t you understand?

Right, I’ve had enough of this now. Read the title! All of you with foreign blood in you; you ain’t British, so go back to your own country.


But sadly, now there is no-one here, including me. Due to my combination of Cornish, English, Welsh and Scottish blood, there is almost certainly the blood of an invading nation in there somewhere. Maybe it’s Roman, maybe it’s Viking. It doesn’t matter. I have no more claim to being “proper British” than any of the masses I’ve sent packing. But, as I’m the last one here, I guess I’ll turn the lights off on the way out.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Review: "Primary Instinct" by Sarah Cawkwell

Spoiler alert. I'm alerting you to spoilers. They're minimal, but just don't say I didn't warn you if you add 2 and 2 and get four. K?

What is this? A serious blog post? Without sarcasm and highly infrequent use of the work "bollocks?" Just put it down to personal growth and get on with it. Jeez, like I'm never serious.

Anyway, I have just finished reading the space marine short story "Primary Instinct" by Sarah "Pyroriffic" Cawkwell from the all new and extremely shiny "Hammer and Bolter", the digital publication from the folks at the Black Library.

Suffice to say, Primary Instinct is a Warhammer 40,000 short story featuring the Silver Skulls chapter of the adeptus astartes and centres on an assault squad lead by Sergeant Gileas, accompanied also by one of the mighty space marine librarians who, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with this particular IP, are much more badass than they sound. These guys are eight foot, armour clad, power-weapon carrying, post human psychics who could rip off Chuck Norris's testicles with one hand while pimp-slapping Bruce Lee with the other, stealing your pin number directly from your memory at the same time. Cool, huh?

Needless to say, the shit hits the fan in double-quick time and the limits of the marine's powers are sorely tested, particularly those of Bhehan, the aforementioned librarian. (Well, prognosticator, but let's not over-complicate things.)

Obviously it will be mostly existing warhammer fiction fans who read this and the story, being short, will appeal most of all to those who have at least SOME familiarity with the source material, as if the writer had spent all of her time explaining in minute detail what the astartes were, the specifics of why the marines seem to be so appallingly xenophobic and exactly why there isn't a red-shirted ensign getting bummed to death by carnivorous plants, the story would have been bloody awful to read.

Having said that, the tale is written with enough skill and detail that it can be enjoyed as a Warhammer newcomer without the reader needing to endlessly stop and think "Ok, that's great, but how long exactly IS a snargleclack, and what's he going to do with that florkinator? Hit someone, or eat it?" I believe it was Stan Lee that said "every comic book is someone's first comic book", and in this case I can safely say that you do not need to be a warhammer nerd-supreme to enjoy the writings of Cawkwell.

The action is certainly very well written and handled in an intelligent fashion. While at times visceral, the fighting never descends into the kind of brainless goriness that would have Charles Manson reaching for the tissues, nor does it feel detached and sterile. The correct balance of detail and pacing is struck throughout and at no time do you ever get the feeling that everybody is going to come out of this intact.

For those of us familiar with them, Primary Instinct sheds some more light on the Kroot, the cannibalistic foot-soldier allies of the Tau, adding a further layer of interest to them in what I would hope would be a sign of things to come, with the "other" alien races being explored further in Black Library fiction.

The underlying premise of the story is solid and well executed, eliciting more than one massive grin as a new revelation comes to light, particularly when the "truth" of the hostile alien race comes to light.

There is not much more I can say without giving the game away, so I'll end with this:

Well written, an interesting and original plot, great characters and plenty of scope for further stories, "Primary Instinct" scores a solid seven out of ten on the arbitrary scoring table, with ten being a story so well written I am compelled to spontaneously orgasm, and a one being "Beware!" by Richard "let's repeatedly rape the protagonist for no clear reason" Laymon.

If I wasn't already familiar with Sarah's work, I'd still be putting myself down for a pre-order when Gildar Rift comes out.

Congratulations on a fine debut, Pyro!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Crisis as parenting is outsourced to BBC! Children unable to sleep without soporific bullshit to ease them along! Oh the humanity!

So, In The Night Garden is due to finish in its present format, leaving Iggle Piggle (bastard son of Spongebob Square Pants and a crack-addict female jellybaby) Upsy Daisy (clearly the product of a hedonistic night of passion between a pillow and Frank Zappa) and Makka Pakka, who can only really be described as the larval stage of the Golgothan shit-demon from the movie “Dogma”.

All things must come to an end and sometimes we are sad to see them leave, but in this case I am breathing a huge sigh of relief as an institution that I firmly believe is bad for our children is finally taken out the back, given a last cigarette and shot in the face. Hopefully in comedic fashion using a harpoon, but I digress.

A great deal of people are fans of this show, and that is fair enough. I can fully understand why children enjoy the show as it is a sedate affair, with soft speech and nothing threatening, and parents find it keeps their children calm and happy. Fine, but throwing an armful of potent marijuana into an open fire and getting your kids to sit in front of it would have the same basic effect.

Pardon me for wanting my children to learn to speak English, but I don’t want them exposed to a world of Ninky Nonks and Pinky ponks, sponge demons and Aah-Boos at an age when they are supposed to be learning to converse.

What’s wrong with animals? Or people? Or calling a train a train and a zeppelin a zeppelin instead of making up bullshit names for things, then having to teach the child later on that that is not what they are called?

But the thing that really got me, was the reaction of one of the parents. “Now my child will not be able to get to sleep in the evening.”

I’m sorry, what? At bedtime you stick your children in front of the electric fish-tank until they fall to sleep? You have out-sourced an essential part of being a parent to the BBC? Are you completely, totally fucking insane?

A bit of TV is fine and can be an excellent educational tool if handled properly, but to think that you use it as an auditory equivalent of valium to make up for your own inadequacies as a parent is frankly galling, and I would love to meet up with you and punch you in the head, if I’m honest.

Every year it’s the same, record pass rates in GCSE’s, mingled with never before seen levels of illiteracy.

I once threw a teenage lad out of a shopping centre and told him that once his ban was lifted, he would have to apply in writing to the management for permission to return. His response? I can’t write. Was he severely dyslexic? Did he have a learning difficulty? No, and yes, I did ask. He had an attitude problem at that was about it.

Do I have a sneaky suspicion that the dumbing down of children’s TV might (in part) be responsible for things like this? You bet I bloody do.

Ok, so we had the Transformers, Thundercats and the X-Men which were lots of fun with bright colours, explosions and a lot of violence, but with it we had morality, not to mention the fact that even the bad guys had the decency to speak English in an intelligible fashion.

Should small children’s television be fun, with oodles of fun characters and silliness, an innocent place where people come to no harm and the good guys always win? Yes, absolutely.

But should childhood be spent growing up in front of a load of fuzzy, inoffensive nonsense that will have the same basic effect as ramming a knitting needle into my child’s brain so that I too can slack off from parenting and raise a dribbling, poorly educated moron? Should it bollocks.

I’ve been Alec, and if you’ve been allowing a household appliance to take your place as a parent, you’ve been a fucking idiot.


Monday, 6 September 2010

“What? They put leftover meat in sausages? The bastards!”

Those that know me in real life will know how much this subject annoys me, and it is one I want to briefly share with the approximately three people who read this that only know me from the interwebz.

People complaining about the contents of sausages.

I’ve just read another article about foods that are bad for you, and YET AGAIN they lament the fact that sausages and chicken nuggets contain the bits of meat left on a carcass after all the large sections of meat have been cut off. Well bugger me backwards, paint me purple and dip my nads in butterscotch, can this BE?

Of course it can, you dizzy bunch of brain-dead, feather-headed nipple-jockeys. Why do you think people made sausages in the first place? Did you think that they were a throwback from a day long past when tribes of wild sausages roamed the plains, eking out an existence by cultivating tiny carrots while keeping the large predators at bay by doing their tax returns for them?

Get real!

You take the left-over wobbly bits of meat, the bits that remain stuck to the skeleton, and make them into things like sausages to use up all the available meat. Presumably you would rather we ditch the animal carcasses with all this edible material stuck to them, meaning that even more animals are killed so we can use the “choice cuts” to make a product designed to be an economic use of leftover meat?

Personally I find the idea of taking all the “good bits” and grinding them down to make products like chicken nuggets and sausages mildly offensive. Sure, they might taste better, but I don’t think that flavour is the issue here.

It is simply that people are woolly minded and turn their noses up at perfectly edible and good-tasting food purely because of its origins.

Need I remind you that when the menu says “Rump steak”, it really means “Thick-sliced cow’s ass?”

But never mind. As they say, “you can’t educate pork”.

But the crux of this “health issue” is simple. People want to be able to eat shit-loads of such foods and not suffer any ill effects. Well boo-ruddy-hoo. If people weren’t so hell-bent on eating quantities of food that are nearly sufficient to make them explode, there wouldn’t be an issue. So people would rather harp on about the contents of innocent things like sausages than decrease the amount they shovel into their gigantic mouths.

It’s one or the other. Eat less processed food, or don’t. It’s really very simple. But there is really no point in claiming that a product designed with reclaimed meat in mind should be made healthier. That’s like saying those environmentally friendly bags at Tesco (you know, the ones with the texture of a bull mastiff’s scrotum) should be made from the finest of Egyptian cottons so they don’t rub your hands raw when you lug the sodding things up and down the aisles.

Personally from an ethical point of view I’d rather such things remained as they were, as they seem to be the one salute we still have to the principles of our ancestors, where when we kill an animal we use every single part of it out of a basic respect for life.

So I’ll take my sausages the old fashioned way thank you, nipples, nostrils and weird, wobbly-bits included.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The kids are alright! Probably anyway, they were armed when I let them out to play.....

Haven't had a good shout in a while and now my time has come! Mwuhahaha!

(Rant inspired by Sarah "Pyroriffic" Cawkwell and a stupid bitch from Redruth)

I was driving around the other day, smiling softly, death-metal blaring out of the radio, when I saw a woman approach the kerb with her little girl clutched firmly by the hand and look both ways. Now, I wasn't speeding because in towns and near houses I just don't do that, but what the woman did made me use the phrase "cupid stunt", or similar at about 400 decibels.

She had the girl stand at the edge of the pavement, look both ways for any sings of danger, saw me coming along in my little green death-mobile, grabbed the girl tighter by the hand and RAN THE FUCK STRAIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD.

Now what the hell does that teach the little girl? "If you see danger, stop, look, listen, then run like shit and hope nothing bad happens?"

Yeah, good parenting...

Friday, 28 May 2010

Indicators? Noooooo, they're not indicators! I prefer to play GUESS WHERE I'M GOING!

I love driving, yes even in my 1.4 litre Czech motor which is actually pretty damn good in the corners and accelerates much faster than you might think. But there are certain issues in driving that are slowly eating away at my sanity.

Firstly, indicators. These, my dear children, are for indicating. That's right, they are a signal of intent. The number of times the person in front of me has done an emergency stop, yanked hard on the wheel to turn left WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY TURNING ON THEIR INDICATOR, honestly it drives you insane! (Drives? eh? see what I did there? wink wink?

Secondly, roundabouts. Now I know these stupid paint blob mini-roundabouts are a pain in the ass, I know, no-one likes them, but on big roundabouts there be rules. The simplest of which is this. If you find you are on the inside lane and are about to miss your turn off, keep fucking going. Do not, and I really mean DO NOT abruptly pull across in front of me while waving apologetically into your rear-view mirror. You will find that if you had continued forward, the road would have miraculously brought you back to the same place. Cool huh?

Thirdly, people who speed. Then don't. Then do. You know the ones that do 40mph in a 40mph zone, until they reach a 30mph zone, where they continue to do 40, then they reach a 60mph zone, and I'll be buggered if they don't just keep on doing 40mph. Now, I have some sympathy if you drive a Toyota, as this may not be a situation that you have chosen so much as something the car had decided to do all on its own, but seriously, one of the hallmarks of a good driver is consistency. Having someone tailgate me through a 30mph area only to disappear into my rear view when I hit a 60 or 70mph zone is bloody irritating, save for the vaguely pleasurable "Knight Rider" feeling you get when you roar away from someone without actually roaring at all.

And for the finale, with reference to what happened to me on the way to pick up my wife last night, if you find yourself on the inside lane when the lanes merge, let the poor buggers stuck on the outside in will you? I know it's irritating when you are stuck there and you have to let someone in who has rocketed past the last half mile of stationery traffic, but consider this. If no-one was letting them in, what choice did they have other than to go looking for a gap? Sure, they could risk an accident by muscling their way in, but even this is not an option when you drive the aformentioned 1.4litre Czech bubble car. I, for one, was out there because the person in front of me had executed an emergency stop at 85mph while towing an overloaded trailer tent. Given the way it started jumping and bucking like a hippo being electricuted, I pulled out. I then found that the next mile of traffic was moving but with stopping distances of about .25 of a second between their bumpers. In fact, so determined were several drivers to strand those poor unfortunates in the outside lane that I saw three, and I mean THREE almost rear end crashes. I did not pull out because I was driving like a dick. I pulled out because the guy in front of me was, and looked like he was going to lose control. As I was being tailgated, an emergency stop of my own was not the safest option.

So to the guy in the Maroon Fiat Stilo, who stuck his fingers up at me when I got to the point I was totally stuck while screaming "FUCK YOU!" out of his window, fuck you right back dear heart. It is people like you who cause the traffic jams, by tailgating and stop-starting and refusing to allow the traffic to flow because you think you are in some sort of race. Pulling out is sometimes the safest thing to do. For example, if your father had pulled out you wouldn't be here at all, and that would have made the road a safer place for us all. I am a sensible and highly competent driver after my only two years experience and acted to avoid what could have been a very nasty accident. You are in your sixties and, quite frankly, if you haven't learnt to reign in your anger by now you shouldn't be driving at all. One day you will do that to someone who will either follow you, or just happen to be going to the same place as you and you will then realise the stupidity of a sixty year old man enfuriating a much larger man in his twenties. Thankfully, that would not be me because, as I said, sensible, competent and not that sort of bloke. But quite a few are.

P.S. the look on your face when, several miles later, you looked in your rear-view mirror and saw me smiling back at you in my most wolfish manner, was worth a million pounds at least. I was not following you, although the colour rapidly draining out of your face made it clear that you thought I was. Think on this, because the next person might not be decent, competent and sensible.