Thinking out of the cage

The most hard-core cycle enthusiasts call almost everyone in a car “cagers”, not just fucking morons. If your world is black and white then you might as well use the same ink for them all, I suppose. Chick, Tracked came up with a much better definition, which is that “a cager would rather drive somewhere, and not drink, than take public transport and drink.” Before the abstainers among you snort their fruit smoothies and venom all over your keyboards, note that: they don’t not drink because they don’t want to drink; they don’t drink because they don’t want to not drive.

I can illuminate the Witney cager mentality best by an example. As I was walking across the junction of a minor road with a major, a man in some sort of low-slung red slab hurtled along the major road and pulled straight in front of me, missing my foot by around, well, a foot. In doing so he broke Rule 146 of the Highway Code, although he probably could never have entertained the thought that I might have priority, if indeed he could entertain anything apart from my dear readers (and I appreciate you’re only humouring me, even if I’m not humouring you).

Anyway, I’ve become an old hand at dealing with recalcitrant motorists. At a rough guess the average motorist breaks a rule of the Highway Code every fifteen miles or so (based on my route to work) so I’ve had plenty of practice. The trick is to time to precision when you project the word “dick-head” (emphasise the hyphen) towards and hopefully through a window, preferably the driver’s own although I appreciate roads aren’t generally laid out that way. Luckily for me—this was a few weeks ago, before the weather all turned white—his window was down. What I said arrived at his fat ear with crystal clarity and, astonished, he screeched to a halt, and started shouting and blaring his horn. That’s Rule 92, if you’re keeping some sort of running total.

I’d already walked round the back of his car and down the pavement of the major road, so I just carried on. I knew he wouldn’t open his door; in my heart I knew it, if my head kept suggesting I turn it round to check. He wouldn’t get out because he was a cager. A cager is someone whose sense of power and pretence to authority on the road rests solely with his vehicle, and who therefore can only enforce and intimidate from within his car. When his esteem on the road is threatened while outside of the car, his first instinct is to return to it.

(In other news, brightybot and hatmandu have just very kindly given us their white Golf. So get out of my fucking way, you soft-bodied pedesterasts.)

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