The Jammie Shuttle: A predator/prey mismatch?

06 December 2010

Anyone who has read Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - a twisted narrative about a drug-crazed road trip across America in a supercar - will recall his vivid descriptions of terrifying, hallucinogen-induced apparitions surfacing before him. But to get the equivalent effect, you need neither drugs, nor a supercar, nor the US of A - a drive around UCT's Ring Road will do the trick. There they are, our own mechanised mastodons - growling, smoke-spitting and very real blue monsters hunched and snarling in the middle of the road, seemingly intent on forcing you to make a very nasty goulash of the parked cars next to you. And quite versatile creatures they are. Usually it is the middle-of-road, head-on attack daring you, as potential prey, to challenge their ownership of the tarmac. Sometimes they use ambush tactics, waiting until you are almost alongside before jumping out in front of you. And then there is the group approach, parked side-by-side in the road, discussing tactics: impasse (for you, that is), with victory assured for the Blues by virtue of size.

It is only a matter of time before someone is goulashed - most likely, a visitor who is evolutionarily naïve to the danger, being experientially trained (elsewhere) to assume that vehicles on a university campus will be driven at appropriate speeds, on the correct side of the road and obeying some basic rules of vehicular etiquette. Ironically, 'Jammie Shuttle' anagrams to 'just e-mail them'. But after years of intimidation I doubt if that would do much good.

Frustrated UCT driver

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