The era of the 1st gear

It’s not often I write an opinion piece but a recent drive in the Jozi traffic got me thinking. It’s something we all do or are subject to if you have a motor vehicle. It is also illegal, frustrating and selfish but hey the only thing that matters on this planet is you right? Screw everybody else. Yeah well that’s the mentality out there anyway, but the poor thing that suffers most of all, is little old 1st gear. Hear me out:

1st gear has been relied upon by millions of people all over the world to get moving. We engage it on hills, at stops, around slow bends, in stop start traffic and sometimes when we park. Little old 1st is the gear that gets all the others going, it’s the gear that prevents you from stalling, it’s the gear that is the shortest, toughest and yet little old 1st is being abused in today’s driving culture.

This poor little guy has to constantly be loaded then unloaded and then loaded again before we can even think of 2nd. But why has this come of age? Why are we all jerking away at traffic lights as if there’s a hyperactive squirrel on the accelerator with a nut in one hand and a Red Bull in the other?

Well we have the cell phone to thank for this. This latest piece of technology combined with a self-centrered approach to driving means that at every stop, everyone is suddenly drawn into a trance with the social happenings on his or her mobile. Screw the world, screw the traffic, screw the queue of cars lined up behind me, it’s time to see what Marcy is saying about her weekend on Facebook. It’s time to see what an incredibly amazing time everyone had. It’s time to Snapchat your balls and send them to your latest Tinder contact. It’s time to message your mates in the WhatsApp group and complain how bad the traffic is. If you want you can also EFT your staff, listen to music, record a video, edit that video, place it online, monetize it, place it on your Instagram and then #thefuckoutofit.

All these tedious smart phone obligations mean that the mind of the human can’t focus on the job of driving like a human. Instead we get these sloths driving ML63 AMG’s, Porsche 911 Turbo’s, BMW M5’s and Jeep SRT’s . In fact that’s not being fair to a sloth, a sloth at least reacts, these 1st gear abusers don’t. I often watch the light turn green, followed by a good 3-10 second wait while the bemused and somewhat dumbfounded sloth/human crossbreed tries to get the car going again. We get a panic launch followed by a violent drop in acceleration as they try to retrieve the cellphone from their vajajay then followed by another violent blast of acceleration. Meanwhile the traffic behind this car follows suit and we all look like we belong in a circus of sorts. Electromagnetic twin turbo charging, power valve, sequential 500hp can’t do shit to stabilise this. If anything these fancy sports cars make it worse. The result? Poor old 1st gear gets a 12 round box with Wladimir Klitschko.

So what can we do to remedy this? There are two options as I see it. 1, buy a shit ton of patient pills and wait for Google to bring driver-less cars to the everyday man (Please oh lord hurry up) or 2, and this is the most viable option, buy a motorcycle and give the finger to this breed of selfish dimwits.



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