The Soloist, Contributor
If Police Commissioner Owen Ellington manages to rid the streets of the young men who wipe windscreens at the stoplights, he will forever be a national hero in my books. Like many other motorists, over the years I have had some disturbing incidents with them, although I am a peaceful person at heart, if I could put an end to their miserable existence without any consequences, I would.
Over the years I have been spat at, verbally abused, had dirty water thrown in my face and on my windscreen, had my windows pounded on in anger and threatened when I screamed at them to get away from my car. On one occasion the man stuck his tongue on my windscreen and licked it over and over till the light changed. I have resorted to all sorts of tactics including trying to avoid the streets they frequent. I have also stayed several metres from them in the line of traffic, only to speed up when the light changes. I have also waited a distance, and as they catch up to my car, I move off leaving them behind.
Many of my friends have fared worse. A few years ago, one of them actually stuck his hand through the front passenger window and under the skirt of a colleague's wife. Well, he had to be restrained by passers-by because he was so mad, he got out of the car with his machete and was all set to do harm to the offending scumbag.
A few months ago, I began to use the strip of roadway along Waterloo Road heading towards Oxford Road. There is a newspaper vendor and about six others who ply their trade by the fence at Devon House. The first time they all converged on my car, I wound up the windows, and repeated "no" interspersed with some choice thirty-shilling words several times. They eventually left.
The next morning, the same thing happened. The third time, I stopped several metres away; they started towards me, recognised the car and turned back. The fourth morning the same thing happened. By the fifth morning, I drove down, stopped beside them, looked straight ahead and they ignored me. The following week, I again drove to where they were and they asked politely to wipe my windscreen, I said no and was left alone. I have since allowed them to wipe my windscreen twice and they were respectful, thanked me for the change and surprised me by wishing me a good day.
I am still not happy that I have to drive and premeditate my actions at a traffic light. I am a tax-paying citizen of this country. I obey the law. I have chosen to remain in Jamaica and endure successive bad judgement and ill-conceived ideas and actions by those elected to serve me. I do not commit crimes or treason. I do not steal. I don't covet my neighbour's ox, or ass or husband, so the least I expect in return, is safe passage on the roads. As for the beggars, that is another story!
Too many initiatives to rehabilitate the windscreen wipers have failed. They seem to mutate and return worse than ever. Can't the authorities find their relatives and force them to take charge/care of these street pests? I am not going to ask for social intervention or state care because the state is not doing a good job of others already in its care. Bleeding hearts and human rights activists should find a solution to the problem.
So, if the Commissioner fails and someone gets an idea to cart this sorry lot off to yonder mud lake or Afghanistan. Or better yet, buy them a one-way ticket to hell, you all have my blessing.
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