I’ve started shouting at inanimate objects more often. And I’m wondering if I’m alone on this. Is it a sign that I’m getting older and more intolerant? Probably. Is it because there is more reason now than ever before to behave in this way? Definitely.
The strange thing is that the things I shout at are supposed to be a help to my life. They are meant to ease burdens, to entertain, to help and to protect.
Many of us shout at the television. But do you shout at your sat nav? More than that do you play games and attempt devious tricks with your sat nav? Do you attempt to beat the suggested arrival time proposed by the sat nav by taking routes it won’t have thought of?
‘Got you now, you bastard,’ I muttered recently when I took a detour across a field and beat the estimated arrival time by some three minutes.
I don’t just shout at my sat nav when it makes a foolish route suggestion, I like to mock it too.
There’s a camp Australian currently guiding me to ‘go left at the roundabout’, ‘join the motorway’ and so on.
If the sat nav voice is supposed to be representative of a nation’s general character, his is the not the bold and vulgar heterosexual type that I have come to know Down Under.
I pour scorn and derision on his camp directional advice.
But when I’m not sneering at and jousting with him there is a new horror on the nation’s motorways that I’m surprised is not commented on more in the national media.
The average speed monitoring cameras that now adorn virtually every major route in this country amount to the most heinous oppression of a nation’s people since the Spanish inquisition.
Of course they are supposed to be there for our own good. To stop us speeding among roadworks. To save ourselves from harm.
I challenge anyone not to emerge from endless stretches of average speed restrictions on the M1 without feeling suicidal.
Those tall yellow posts with their pairs of cameras leer at me as I approach. I in turn flick V-signs and curse them.
I wonder if there’s some person sitting in control somewhere watching me as I drive the length of the country looking deranged with fury.
I suspect there is not. I am simply venting fury at a piece of metal.
Then I think about the demons who must have sat around a table conceiving of these tortures. I’m sure it’s all supposed to be about being good and staying safe. If they call these traffic ‘calming’ measures, I’d love to see what they could come up with to get people cross.
When US forces attempted to force the surrender of General Noriega in 1989 from the Holy See’s embassy in Panama they played loud rock music to exert psychological pressure on him.
If Government forces ever find themselves attempting to force me out of a barricaded hideout, they need only construct a tall, yellow pole with a camera on top and the pressure will quickly force me into the open.