Sunday, November 08, 2009


I want a Humvee. Or an armoured personnel carrier. A small one would do. Say, about 6 tons of hard angry vehicle. With the Mother of all Snow Ploughs welded on in front. And then I would drive it around. In Calcutta. WHOOSSHH around the roundabouts. And KERR-RUNCCCHHH into all the bloody taxis and buses and call-centre cars that dawdle around corners picking up passengers or waiting for them. Oh, the mangled metal. The GORE. The bruised bleeding bits of morons who can’t walk 20 steps to a bus-stop. The crash bang tinkle of Moron Mobiles slowly falling to bits. The surrrr-THWUM-budda-budda-budda as the occasional tyre flies off, bounces twice, rolls a few yards, wobbles and then settles onto its side.

And then I would raise the hatch and peer out, blink in a surprised manner, and say “Oh dear, are you HURT? I’m SO sorry, but I never expected anyone to Be Parked on a CORNER.”

And then I would reverse my 6 tons of armour for a bit and then RUN IT INTO THEM AGAIN. AhahahahahHAHA. The joy. The JOY! Take THAT you STUPID SUCKERS!

The morons will still win, of course. Because now all these bleeding-heart empty-skullcase do-gooders are building bus shelters. ON THE CORNERS. The Motor Vehicles Act states clearly that no vehicle should stop within 30 feet of an intersection. Of course, neither the municipal authorities nor the police are bothered about such minutiae. Some Votary Club or Loins International or Mewa Bal will start to raise money for cancer research, find they’re stuck at Rs. 23,109 (and 37 paise, that will clear up the little accounting error that the Chapter President’s nephew left in the books the year we let him loose on the audit). And they’ll say, you know what, this much money will do zip for cancer research, let’s build a bus shelter instead. Right slap bang on a corner, of course.

Which is why a Humvee wouldn’t do, no sir. It has to be the armoured vehicle. Which I can drive STRAIGHT OVER the Bus Shelter on the Corner, oh, I love the crunch of concrete in the mo-o-orning, and bowl away merrily playing “Kashmir”. Over the loudhailer. Of course there has to be a loudhailer. And a horn that sounds like the crack of doom. Oooohhh yerrsss. The horn is very important. VERY. You know why?

Because at 8 a.m. every morning, outside my daughter’s school, there will be 5248 cars all trying to get Right to the Gate before dropping off their little darlings. And ALL of them will be honking away because of course each one of them thinks HE is the only one in a hurry, why on EARTH would anybody stop in front of MY car, can’t they see How Important I Am?! What? Schools and hospitals are supposed to be SILENCE zones? Who the hell reads all that fine print?
Which is why, from my Armoured Vehicle with a Humongous Horn, I shall pull the Honker Version of Crocodile Dundee. (Remember that scene with the mugger where he looks in pity at the mugger’s knife, then pulls out a young scimitar about 37 feet long and says “You call that a knife? THIS is a knife!”)

So I shall wait till EVERYbody’s honking and then Lean on the Special Horn. At about 240 decibels. And after the glass has fallen out of all the car windows and the tyres have imploded and the morons’ eyeballs have stopped bouncing on their stalks, when there is a Sudden Silence broken only by the soft susurration of mortar running off the buildings, I shall switch on my loudhailer. And murmur into it, in a Voice of Quiet Menace – imagine Alan Rickman trying to be nice in “Die Hard” – “Next time you feel like making stupid noises, gentlemen, I shall be right behind you”.

Which brings me to another very good use for the Baby Tank with the Loudhailer. Calcutta is full of Good Souls who are Very Sociable. And Large Aunties who Need their Own Space. And People in an Awful Hurry who Couldn’t Be Bothered About Traffic. And ALL these Types will jaywalk. Across the road, half-way in from the sidewalk (sidewalks? Just because you build them, I have to WALK on them? What is this, a fascist state?!), down the MIDDLE of the bloody road. And I would steal up behind them Very Quietly and then, oh THEN I would Let Rip on the 240 decibel horn. Or maybe play a recording of screeching brakes over the loudhailer. And watch the Waking of the Jaywalker.

You know how, in Asterix panels, people fly right out of their pants when Obelix swats them? And come back to earth in an accordionated heap, followed by the tinkle of descending teeth? That’s how I imagine it would be. Jaywalker, deboned and filleted by Sudden Crack of Doom, flying through the air like Superjellyfish. Pants, abandoned, standing on their own for a frozen moment before gently falling in a heap. Oh wait … would that apply to the Large Aunties too? Eeewwww. The imagination boggles like billy-o.

Oh well. I shall just have to look the other way to preserve my sanity. A small price to pay for implementing the Grand Design.
Right then. I’m off to eBay to look for an armoured personnel carrier at a bargain price.