Taking on Mr. Big’s bodyguard

I was driving along a very busy street in Sydney on a Saturday morning, keeping to the left lane next to the kerb. My passengers and I watched with fascination a large powerful black car overtaking other cars. Often, it ran between lanes, bouncing off the cars in its way: it was a display of very skilful but ruthless driving. However, the traffic was so dense that little progress was made; and no driver took any action against this thuggish behaviour.

A little later, to my surprise, the black car turned up just behind mine on the dividing line. It then bounced off the 2 cars in its way, including mine. My car was 15 years old, the first model (FX of 1953) of Australia’s General-Motors Holden. It was the pride of a low-paid federal public official; and stocks of replacement parts were running low in the supply industry.

Indignantly, I changed my driving style – from the sedate federal-capital-in-the-desert mode to the move-it-fast Sydney style. I had substantial experience of both styles. I drove into the middle lane. From there I forced the black car in the kerbside lane to stop.

The driver, a large guy, wound down his window and stared at me with very cold eyes, but said nothing. But I was not in the mood to receive silent messages. His passenger was a fattish man, whom my wife later described as either a gangster or, more likely, a horse-racing bookmaker. He did not bother to look at me.

I was, at 163 cms (5ft 6 and a half inches), slim and able to outlast any opponent by running away speedily; I have been a sportsman all my life. I would not be running away here. I said to the driver ‘You hit my car. There are 2 women and 4 little children in it.’ I then examined my car for any damage. Strangely, there was none. I went back to the driver and said ‘OK,’ and drove off.

The black car took off speedily, bouncing its way all over again. Mr. Bodyguard was a very clever driver. I would not want to meet him on a dark night, although I could out-run him.