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.

26 Responses to “The Dogs Made Me Do It”

  1. mairedubhtx May 19, 2011 at 21:06 #

    Good that no one was seriously hurt.


  2. vivinfrance May 19, 2011 at 21:26 #

    It makes your heart lurch when something like that hwppens. I’m glad no-one was hurt.


  3. kateshrewsday May 19, 2011 at 21:41 #

    Your taste in music is impeccable 🙂 Those darned dogs….


  4. beckysefton May 19, 2011 at 23:08 #

    I’m glad you’re all ok!! Malteser?


  5. Pseu May 19, 2011 at 23:16 #

    Dangerous things scooters, mainly because most riders are young and inexperienced. So glad to hear no serious injury. I know recently of a boy who has become paraplegic riding over a speed bump and loosing control and landing awkwardly. So sad.


    • Tilly Bud May 20, 2011 at 10:01 #

      It is sad. But I know of a woman who peladed with her son to sell his bike and buy a car. He did, and died in a car accident a week later.

      Whatever we do has risks; the trick is to enjoy life and be sensible.


  6. Piglet in Portugal May 19, 2011 at 23:28 #

    I don’t like scooters either 😦 I had one on the bonnet of my car once and the guys nose pressed on my windscreen.


  7. slpmartin May 19, 2011 at 23:57 #

    What is that saying “No good deed will go unpunished.” Seem to be true in this situation.


    • Tilly Bud May 20, 2011 at 10:03 #

      Poor motorist. Never thought I’d feel sorry for one of those…they’re usually too busy trying to run me over.


  8. Cindy May 20, 2011 at 05:04 #

    Close scrape, Tilly, glad nobody was hurt. I need my eyes tested, can’t see you in the photo 😦


    • Tilly Bud May 20, 2011 at 10:04 #

      I’m not in it; it’s just of the scene where it happened. 🙂


  9. nrhatch May 20, 2011 at 05:17 #

    Lucky lad.


  10. earlybird May 20, 2011 at 05:27 #

    glad no one was hurt


  11. kiwidutch May 20, 2011 at 06:17 #

    Scooters are dangerous, especially for young drivers as they offer zero protection for stupid mistakes due to inexperience.

    Clearly the scooter driver wasn’t paying attention, and also not looking at the road ahead or he would have seen you crossing and known why the other cars had stopped.
    He(well, his bike) paid for his inattention dearly.

    Better a Life Lesson that *didn’t* cost him his life…

    He now has the chance to reflect if a new scooter really is his best option, or choose a safer means of transport.
    Look at it this way: this accident will probably have saved his life, if he chooses not to go back to the scooter or if he does he will pay far more attention.

    I used to take a bus to work and one regular guy used to mutter out loud in dutch every time we saw a motorbike or scooter ” there goes an organ donor”. With the amount of near misses we saw during 6-7 years of bus rides, he’s not wrong.


    • Tilly Bud May 20, 2011 at 10:43 #

      To a point. I don’t know if the rider was in the wrong; maybe the driver’s brake lights were out.

      Scooters are a cheap and efficient mode of transport, and better for the environment. The point is to learn to ride them properly, and to take care.

      I declare an interest here: the Hub had a motorbike when I met him; we went everywhere on it.

      People die all kinds of ways; better to enjoy life and take care.


  12. speccy May 20, 2011 at 08:38 #

    The scooter boy was lucky, indeed. You were a charm and not a jinx :0
    I heard of a recent accident where a man came off his motorbike (no-one else involved) and was then caught under it. It was very early in the morning and the road was empty, except for two people who WALKED PAST. Nobody stopped or called for help. He had to fumble for his mobile to get help. From under the machine. Now that is scary. The man is still in hospital, lucky to still have his arm, and his life.
    Also, love The Clash 🙂


    • Tilly Bud May 20, 2011 at 10:45 #

      I despair for the human race sometimes. That is just dreadful.


  13. eof737 May 21, 2011 at 11:58 #

    Lucky no one was hurt… enjoy the walk hassle free next time. 🙂


  14. sarsm May 21, 2011 at 23:11 #

    How shocking! I’m glad that you were all OK, but not a nice thing to happen. You were in no way responsible though Tilly. Although I can see why you’d think if I hadn’t been there at that moment etc… Take care x


  15. zzrajput May 22, 2011 at 15:25 #

    Sorry for the scooter, happy the guy wasn’t hurt…but honestly Tilly, I love ur prose…



  1. Ouch « I'm Not A Verse - May 20, 2011

    […] on my other blog I wrote about an accident I witnessed.  No one was hurt and I got this senryu from […]


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