Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I feel sorry for kids today. They sit around eating KFC and abusing themselves to YouTube footage of Pussycat Dolls present - The Search for the Next Doll. Not like in our day - we used to keep active by going out on the M1 and looking for kicks. I've always loved motorways - who needs music when you can listen to the true techno throb of metal, death and petrol? The M1 was where it was at. Every night, scores of evangelical Christians, Hare Krishnas, National Fronters and members of rubbish pop groups called 'The Tea Set' would bump into each other as they sprayed their fanatical messages across the bridges. JESUS LOVES YOU. FREE JOE PEARCE. Oh, and THE TEA SET. Has anyone actually heard The Tea Set? The name alone just screams out "DON'T LISTEN TO US". Did they ever make a record? Hope not.

Then there were the hitchhikers. Now, some cynics might say that hitchhikers are just failed faredodgers, but I quite liked this resilient breed. Obviously never had much love for the 'professional' idiots who carry polished brass plates - if you're too lazy to find a discarded Bobby's Snacks box by the hard shoulder and then scribble your destination on one of the cardboard sides, you should stay at home. Leave hitchhiking to the real men and women. It's character building - learning to deal with rejection, conquering shyness, mastering the art of conversation. Oh, and risking waking up in a Little Chef toilet with your kidney cut out. But that could happen if you took ketamine and went to a squat rave. Not all van drivers pack scalpels and keep blood-soiled schoolgirls' pants in the glovebox.

Then, of course, there was the sinister and bizarre AUTOBAHNER MEINHOF (AM). This cult sect apparently began as a group of punk hitchhikers who were attempting to travel up north for a Flux of Pink Indians gig in 1983. Perhaps because of their scruffy attire, they found themselves unable to secure a lift. Days turned to weeks turned to months and, still without a ride, these anarcho punks kicked their vegan principles to the kerb, instead hunting and scoffing down any hedgehog, pigeon or rabbit unfortunate enough to stray onto the motorway. These nutters preyed on broken down cars, syphoning the petrol (to sniff later) and robbing the occupants. The group then developed a mystical angle. As the final section of the M1 had been opened to Junction 1 in 1977, the AM interpreted this as an instruction from Marcus Garvey to leave the cities and create a new civilisation on the M1 - with themselves as the leaders of the chosen people, natch. The AM declared that red cars were "karmically unsound" and devoted years to dropping breezeblocks from the bridges onto any vehicle sporting this colour. Innocent hitchhikers were dragged into the surrounding fields and forcibly initiated into the AM. Those who resisted initiation were buggered, killed and eaten (not always in that order). This reign of terror went on for nearly a decade, but it's believed that the RABIES VIRUS - contracted from a decomposing pit bull terrier found crushed near the A5 turn-off, which the AM whipped into a stew - wiped out this unique colony of motorway-dwellers in 1994.

But there was fun stuff too. I've always found the grassy verges by motorways to be ideal spots for a picnic or a bit of romancing. What could be more relaxing than a warm, sunny afternoon, feasting on cheese rolls and Nigerian Guinness, watching the world and its woes thundering past you in parallel lines? Mind you, you can't get too jiggy - having sex on a motorway embankment is viewed as "incitement to crash" and carries a stiff 10-year minimum sentence. It's not really your fault that motorists can't keep their goggles on the road, but laws is laws.

Ah...those kids who fell like Lucifer from the tops of bridges, whose mates accidentally let go of their ankles while they were spray-painting DEATH HAS NO MASTER upside-down...those girls with greasy dreads and Cult t-shirts trying to scab a lift at Junction 21...that lone biker in love with the modern world, watching the sodium motorway lights dip, twist and rollercoaster into the distance, as he cruises at 100mph....may your ghosts find peace at last...
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?