Tuesday 3 November 2009

Drunks, dickheads and drying out

Today being Melbourne Cup day, the streets were awash with drunken idiots by the time I pushed off for home. Almost ran one down - he was crossing the street, head down as he fiddled with his phone, and he only saw me at the last minute. I was so sure he was going to look up eventually and see me and take evasive action that I almost goofed very badly - one should expect that if given a choice between doing something sensible and something stupid, some pedestrians will always adopt the stupidest alternative possible.

The pedestrians on the Pyrmont Bridge this evening were insane - they were drunkenly wandering in all directions. I have never snaked back and forth as much as I did tonight in order to weave through the staggering loons.

I can't stand the hooplah that goes with Melbourne Cup. I used to get invited to corporate lunches, which turned out to be ineffably boring. I stopped going years ago. Having actually attended Flemington and been present for the race, I have no interest in watching it 2nd hand on TV. Some events should just not be televised or broadcast. If you make the effort to go, you get to enjoy it. If you don't - you can read about it in the paper tomorrow. If I ruled the world, the second thing I would do is ban broadcasts of events like the Melbourne Cup (the first thing would be to shoot most WRX drivers).

By the way, even though I have been to the races at Flemington a number of times, I have never seen a horse. And that's the way I like it.

Of dickheads, I only encountered one today. As I was going up Sussex St, a driver going the other way yelled at a cyclist in front of him to "get off the road". Now that might be a reasonable thing to say if he was riding on a freeway and stopping cars from doing 110km/h, but he was on Sussex St, where traffic is often reduced to non-traffic; ie, a long parking lot - and speeds rarely approach those where third gear is required.

I wondered if the driver had been emboldened by recent media attention thanks to the cyclist vs bus driver incident, and thought that he had the right to shout at will. My advice to him would be this - be careful. The cyclist punching the bus driver in the face might also have emboldened cyclists of a certain bent to react in a physical manner.

As for drying out, it was blooming hot today. Yesterday, humidity was 82%, which is about as humid as it is when one is standing under the shower. Today, the humidity barely rose to 19%, but the thermometer hit 38 (according to the bike computer). My way of dealing with that was to drop a few gears and slow right down, particularly on the hills. I resisted the urge to race and overtake - that was about as hard to overcome as a junkie refusing heroin. I simply avoided over-exerting myself in the heat. The throat is still rough from being utterly parched. This is a nice change, as yesterday I could barely talk because of all the snot in my breathing tracts.

1 comment:

1735099 said...

A few years ago, I attended a Principals'conference in Adelaide. The conference ended on Tuesday (cup day) at noon, and we had time to fill in before flying home in the evening, so we took the tram to Glenelg.
On the way back it stopped at a racetrack (can't remember the name) and a lot of very drunk race goers got on. A pneumatic looking woman in her early forties sat down, and proceeded without warning, to vomit all over me.
I had to access my luggage and have a shower and a complete change of clothes before getting on the plane - not easy as we'd checked out of our rooms and our gear was stacked up ready to go to the airport.
Two things annoyed me more than somewhat. Firstly, I'd forgotten the basic teacher skill of anticipating this and standing beside and one step behind the person looking queasy. Secondly, I hadn't time to put a bet on and the horse I would have backed won on fairly long odds.
Not a good Melbourne Cup day....