Archive | 20:43

The Dogs Made Me Do It

19 May

I may have inadvertently without meaning to and not on purpose caused a traffic accident yesterday.  Oops. 

It was just a matter of being in that place at that time.  George Michael comes to mind (the song, not the convictions).

Look at the photo: the man behind the car, next to the belisha beacon – he’s me and the dogs, waiting to cross.  That car, if it wasn’t on the crossing, would be to my right.

Pedestrians usually wait a long time at this crossing before someone remembers they’re a human being and not David Carradine in Death Race 2000, but yesterday I was pleased when a driver stopped right away. 

I looked to the left before stepping out, because a stopped car on one side often indicates to oncoming traffic to goveryfastbeforeawalkermakesyoubrake.  There must have been something in the air (well there was: a scooter driver, but that’s not what I mean) because the driver coming from the left stopped too, allowing the dogs and I to step onto the crossing.

A short aside: until the Hub told me otherwise, I thought the American offence of ‘jaywalking’ meant any cop in a bad mood could book you for walking because you’re not driving.  The Hub tells me that it’s actually for not crossing the road in the right place. 

What can I say?  I watch too much American tv.

So there we all were: cars stopped; woman and dog walking and waving ‘thanks’ to everyone, like a Royal walkabout.  Did you know that term came from a visit the Queen made to Australia many years ago, and the Oz press named her handshaking-strolls after the Aboriginal tradition of walkabouts in the bush?  I can just see Her Beloved Maj in a loin cloth and yellow hat, can’t you?

My hand had just come up to wave to Car Leftie when it went to my mouth in horror.  I never knew before, but the sound of a teenage male hitting the back of a stationary car is a lot like breaking plastic.  The car had no real boot so his scooter and him just sort of smacked into it.

He was fine, I assure you; otherwise this levity would be a little out of place, even for me.  I know he was fine, because I asked him three times.

Car and scooter pulled over to the side of the road (with the scooter not starting, it was literally pulled over to the side of the road).  Here’s the bit that bothers me: what is the correct etiquette for witnessing an accident that you are in no way responsible for but wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been there in the first place? 

Time for a little Clash, I think:

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I hung around for a bit but nobody seemed to need me.  The scooter was pretty bashed up but not the rider; the car had no damage that I could see.  I went.

About forty-five minutes later I found myself back at the scene.  An adult had joined the rider and was holding his scooter, but dropped it onto the pavement as I approached.  I said to the young man, ‘I’m a bit of a jinx for you, aren’t I?’  I offered him a lift home but he said he had a ride.  Probably didn’t like the odds of getting in a car with me.

The rider was young and had an L plate.  He wasn’t going fast, thankfully.  It’s probably done him a favour, though it might not seem like it now: scooters – be wary of car backsides.

He’s Still Here? He’s Still Here? He’s Still Here? He’s Still Here?

19 May

Describe the last time you were truly surprised.

Last Saturday, when Tory Boy wasn’t dashed face-first into the ground after hurling himself from a cage ten miles high with only an elastic band for safety.

Joke 56

19 May

Vivinfrance sent me a cracker:

A tourist dining in a restaurant after attending the bullfight was intrigued to watch a waiter bring one of those great domed silver salvers to the man at the next table.  With a flourish the waiter uncovered the dish, to reveal two enormous round jellylike blobs of meat.  Our tourist, always eager to learn, asked the waiter what they were.  ‘Cohones’ was the short answer.  ‘From the bull.  They bring great strength and prowess to whoever eats them.’  

Our tourist thought this sounded like an experience not to be missed and asked to be served the same delicacy.  The waiter protested that they had to be ordered in advance, so our friend put in his order there and then for the next night. 

Tomorrow never comes, but a semblance of it saw the eager man sitting at the same table in the same restaurant.  The waiter duly arrived with the same ceremony of the dome-covered salver.  Same flourish of dome removal, to reveal two miserable little objects.  ‘But that’s not what I ordered’ the tourist objected.  ‘I know, sir.  But sometimes, the bull wins.’

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