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The War upon the Motorcar gets a follower

October 25, 2013

CHAPTER FOUR

Yeah I couldn’t believe it when I saw this bloke. I mean I never believed he was trying to steal the car; he looked dodgy all right, being out so late at night, and there was something about the way he was approaching it that looked like he was up to no good, but he just didn’t seem the type to actually nick a motor, he didn’t look cool enough to get away with that sort of caper, if you know what I mean. Middle aged and sad looking, clothes straight off the peg, a rucksack hanging off his back like it was holding all the cares in the world.

And if he’d been a proper player, come to think of it, he would surely have realised that I was scoping him out. In fact it was the fact that he hadn’t noticed me that amused me enough to stick with him for a while in the first place. I nearly called him out just to give him a fright but I couldn’t quite work out what he was up to, so that got me properly intrigued.

No, a proper car thief would’ve been straight in there and away in a trice, but once he got next to it this bloke just stared and stared at this nice little Honda (which, to be honest, didn’t look impressive enough to be worth stealing anyway) for ages and ages, without moving or bothering to check if he was being observed.

I thought he might be trying to work out how to break in, or to see if there was anything worth nicking from it, but what really arrested me once my eyes got focussed properly in the dark was the expression on his face; it was pure hatred!

Well, I thought, this is proper scary, and who can resist that?

I got myself comfortably crouched down a bit, waited to see what would unfold, and if this bloke didn’t have the sense to keep a look out I was soon concerned enough to do it for him. Luckily it was a particularly quiet night and that end of the High Street is never that busy anyway. Whoever had left his car there must’ve lived nearby or been on a long visit to the pole dancing bar or something. Whatever, me and my new friend weren’t disturbed apart from the odd car passing by on its way to the bridge and we soon got used to that.

Still looking out to see what he was up to, I drifted off a bit, imagining why this bloke was having such dire thoughts of revenge, glad I hadn’t inspired them and, I must admit, speculating over what I might do to my five or six least favourite people, given the chance.

Finally, very slowly, he took the rucksack off his back, laid it at his feet, opened the top section and lifted out a little aerosol can. Then, with swift and practised gestures, he whipped the lid off and sprayed along the car’s bonnet, replaced the lid on the can and stashed it back in the rucksack very carefully, secured it, slung it back over his shoulders and marched away without a backward glance.

I was a bit disappointed after all that buildup, but hadn’t even got halfway to the car to see what was occurring when smoke started pouring out of the bonnet, followed by actual tongues of flame!

I spent a few precious seconds watching the car burn before I thought to go after the bloke responsible for what looked like a shocking act of wanton vandalism but which also appeared to my young eyes to be a totally brilliant bit of destructiveness.

I just saw him disappearing round a far corner and had to put on top speed to get within sight of him. Then he noticed me at last and started jogging off, so I had quite a job to catch up with the bloke, only managing it thanks to my superior youthful stamina and because he finally seemed to give up and slowed to a halt.

“What the hell was that about?” I asked, pretty mildly, considering the circumstances.

The sad look was on his face again, and he wasn’t saying anything, so I decided to exert some authority,

“Tell me, what is the matter with you?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me; it’s the cars; they”re evil.”

This man, whose name was Jason, went on to explain that he never did like cars and then really came to hate them after one ran over his son and gave him permanent brain damage, which made him come to see how really evil and destructive they are, which is a fair point when you come to think of it, so he decided to dedicate his life to destroying and getting as many of them off the road as possible.

Jason had spent years on his mission, lost his wife over it and everything, always trying to find new ways to mess cars up. The spray I’d seen him using was a new thing he’d found on the web, and he reckoned that it would be a great help, because it’s not that easy to destroy a car and this was simple and quick and a big improvement on the crude methods he’d used before.

“You need to be careful though, because the authorities could easily trace what you’re doing and sometimes just searching on line for something like that can get you done for terrorism or whatever.”

Jason laughed knowingly at this remark.

“Yes, I am aware of the dangers, but I’ve finally worked out the ways not to be traced and found discreet suppliers.”

“It still seems a bit small scale to me, mate. Wrecking individual cars is all very well, but there must be ways to stuff up whole packs of them. What about messing with traffic lights and such like?”

Jason’s face lit up at the thought of this idea, which he’d often dreamt about and seen as the logical way to expand his operation. We agreed, though, that you’d have to be extra vigilant about not being caught out by street cameras, which he had avoided up to now by picking quiet sections like the one where he’d just done the business on that Honda.

“And speaking of cameras,” I said, pulling out my 4G, “I got a bit of footage just now, but I don’t know how it’s turned out. Is there any chance of you doing another so I can film it properly?”

Unfortunately Jason didn’t go for that idea at all. He had that older person’s discomfort with having stuff on film, and would not listen to my reassurances that everything does get on camera these days, that there’s more footage than the authorities know what to do with, and that if your clip gets viewed a lot that’s always a good thing. No, he didn’t like being filmed at all and turned very cold and aggressive.

“Give me that camera,” he said, actually reaching for it, so I had to back off.

“Sorry mate, no can do. But a decent clip online could really help you and your campaign, can’t you see that?”

I couldn’t believe it when he reached into his rucksack for his spray; I really think he would’ve threatened me with it if I hadn’t scarpered.

So that was a bit frustrating. I went back to “the scene of the crime” and got more footage of the burning car which, unlike the films, did not explode but just smouldered on in a rather boring way so what I ended up with wasn’t that great. Still, nothing ventured, so I posted what I had with the title which I coined, “The War Upon the Motorcar”, using the old word because it seemed more elegant somehow.

It did look a bit foggy and vague (which was good for Jason anyway, as he couldn’t be recognised) and didn’t go mega, as people had to be persuaded that it was for real. That’s often the way though, isn’t it? People only believe stuff if it’s got really expensive fancy special effects, reality just isn’t good enough these days.

However, the phrase was out there, people began to see that cars are rubbish and should be dealt with, and I wasn’t the only one keeping a look out for Jason, hoping to catch him doing his stuff. He had turned a bit shirty but I couldn’t really hold that against him, of course he had to be careful. On balance I thought his campaign was a good idea and that what he was doing was pretty cool really. Who doesn’t love seeing cars getting wrecked and blown up?

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