Mobility Mafia

The Local Mobility Laws were radical. They were the biggest shake up of municipal transport policy in fifty years. In fact the biggest change ever.

Lucerne Transport Committee represented all stakeholders. Carefully selected people acted as ambassadors for different ages, income brackets, races, genders, sexual orientations, and those with physical and mental disabilities. There were bad-tempered oldies and noisy children; the rich, poor, and those on welfare; black, brown, red, white, and yellow people; male, female, neither, and both; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and even straight people; folk without limbs, paraplegics, quadriplegics, deaf, dumb, blind, slow, dyslexic, and otherwise challenged persons.

Each person was given charge of a particular area. This policy was inspired by native totems. For example if you were of the Red Lizard folk, then you looked out for red lizards; you protected them as best you could and never hurt or ate one. If each person in the tribe looked out for one species of lizard, then all lizards would be protected. This philosophy was supported by the Chinese adage of every person sweeping outside their doorstep making the whole world clean.

The danger is that rather than a seamless plan, it becomes a hodge-podge. Less a Dracula, with a clear philosophy of life and a long term approach to survival, and more a Frankenstein’s monster, patched together from ill fitting scraps, with no motivation to live but hatred of his maker. As with any voting system, some people are louder and scarier than others and push their agendas hard. The Greens, Seniors, and Religious did well in Lucerne. They ruled the roost and what they said went for all.

Helene hated going out on the roads. The Local Mobility Laws had made it a nightmare. There were gangs of old men on street corners, drinking and singing. Mean cyclists ran wheelchair users off the road, claiming moral superiority for their self-powered two-wheeled vehicles. Only walkers could use raised paths, with lower forms of transport staying beneath, honouring this most green and ancient form of motion.

Those caught trespassing on high paths were punished severely. Forfeits were set at one toe removal per offence, though there was leniency for children, and harshness for repeat offenders bearing inadequate remorse. For them a second offence could lead to the loss of two toes, a third, three toes, and if no more toes were available, the count was completed on fingers.

Old women on motor scooters – who were somehow allowed to use the high paths – had the run of town. These mean spirited hags even rode walkers like Helene off the road. Helene had complained about them once, and their yobbish children and grandchildren had harassed her for weeks after. There was no recourse to these Mobility Mafiosi.

Helene walked around the corner late one night, straight into the KK – Krinkle-Kut – Gang. She was wearing headphones so hadn’t heard their singing. She’d also been rushing, and not paid attention to scattered bottle and butts.

The Greens and Religious were often vocal, but respect for Elders had been taken to extremes, with those over sixty expecting to be obeyed immediately. Talk back and you were likely to get bruised. Social media, video games, reality TV, game shows, and predictive texting had made youngsters vulnerable, which the consumer advertising, food processing, allergen drugs, pornography, and religious industries had exploited. Youngsters were useless at best. Power had truly returned to the Old.

Most of the old men stepped aside for Helene. One, however, whom she later referred to as “Mr Viagra”, called out “Hey darling! You’re looking fine-fine. How about some old man action?”

She ignored him and walked on. When he threw a peanut at her head, she turned around and let him have it. “Why don’t you take your teeth out and take care of yourself?”

The rest of the KK laughed so hard that Mr Viagra withered. Lights came on in surrounding condos to see what the fuss was about. The KK became embarrassed and went home, where their families told them off. “Shame on you grandpa,” they said. The old men no longer hung around that corner. The resurrection of the young had begun.

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2 Responses to “Mobility Mafia”

  1. I guess there has to be a poor one in the batch. Except for the surfeit of lists the writing is OK, but what an inconsistent story! And the touch of sadism doesn’t help.

    • javedbabar Says:

      I accept the vote for my worst story so far this year… Good news is that I have written 139 better ones!

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