Death is a little green man

I’ve had a near-death experience.

I learned a lot. And no, I am not a better person, my past didn’t flash before my eyes and I didn’t think of my mother.

I though: “My God, this is going to hurt!” and I thought how I was going to be a mere smear on the road

And instead of being a better person I was filled with rage the colour of a boil. If the driver had stopped and got out of his car I would have beaten him to death with the lash of my tongue. As it was he kept going and I satisfied myself with hammering on his bonnet. Probably just as well he didn’t stop. He looked about 40 and I’m in my 60s.

This is  crossing the road. It’s a jungle out there. Once upon a time the human race battled mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers and tyrannosaurus rex.

Now we have the winter sales, the health service and morons in 4WDs.

And yes, he was a moron. I was dutifully waiting at the traffic lights for the little green man to go… well, green. And he did, and I walked. But the Neanderthal in the car decided to run the red light Ñ and me.

The smart thing would have been to leap for safety. Holding up one’s hand in an authoritarian gesture of command only works with children, and sometimes dogs. It’s purposeless against a Mitsubishi Pajero (did you know Pajero means “wanker” in Spanish. In the case of this driver I’m not surprised).

Luckily he applied his brakes. He didn’t stop in time, but he lost control and missed me. Ha! That was when I hammered on his bonnet.

I was angry. Just as well, really, or I’d have wet myself with terror.

This is the price of pedestrianism. I’ve already had a go at cyclists in this column. Drivers were bound to be on the agenda sooner or later.

Pedestrians are at the bottom of the food chain. In a small way I now know how it feels to belong to a racial minority. The only people who are further down the evolutionary scale than I am are old people with sticks and small children in strollers Ñ and one day I’ll have slid down to join them. Yes, even the small children in strollers. The only differences between them and old people are the direction they’re heading and the baggy skin.
But talking of small children… I’m very good at traffic lights. I am aware that children need a good example. I wait for the little green man. When I’m waiting alongside a parent with a stroller, who doesn’t wait, I even call after them: “but the little green man hasn’t come on yet!”.
They hate me, but it’s all about example, isn’t it?

I can’t stand evangelists. I don’t care whether they’re peddling Christianity, environmentalism, democracy or insurance Ñ it’s not what you say that matters; it’s how you live. Parents who don’t wait for the little green man can’t expect to have children who do. Parents who attempt to run down elderly men can’t expect to have children who don’t.

Come to think of it Ñ maybe that’s the point.