Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In which ToE brings you eye-witness journalism from the frontline

The above picture was taken on my mobile phone. The shop – a retailer of ski and skateboarding stuff – is next door to my office.

On Monday afternoon a loud crash brought us all onto the street, there to bear witness to a quite surreal scene. A poor old dear, perhaps in her 80s, was sitting in the above car, engine still revving, looking quite bemused.

Quite how she managed to attain both the required speed and the perfect angle to reverse up onto the pavement and through the shop front is a mystery not even the BBC can resolve.

By some miracle, nobody was hurt, and even the little Scottie dog that normally sleeps in the window is still with us.

The end of one old lady’s driving career, I suspect.


Peter Burnet said...

I suspect as well. These stories can be very poignant. My father was just past eighty when he was ordered by the province to take a vision test to renew his license. He just puttered around the neignbourhood doing unecessary errands, but even so he had alarmed us with his declining driving skills for some time and we were all quite relieved when the kindly doctor told him he couldn't pass the test.

It hit him like a blow to the gut. We all rallied around like fussy pollyannas to encourage him to set up a standing order scheme with a taxi company, promise to schlep him around, blah, blah, but he just changed the subject with the humiliated look of one who felt the permanent loss of a long life of independence and self-reliance. Six months later he was gone.

Brit said...

That is sad. It is clearly a heavy blow, perhaps especially for men.

M Ali said...

FOrtunatley by the time I'm 80, we'll have robot butlers, jetpacks and self-driving cars.

Peter Burnet said...

Dream on, M Ali. Those will all raise new safety and mis-use issues we haven't even dreamed up yet and will require permits, tests, updates, check-ups, etc. You will fail yours because you can't understand the questions anymore or read the manuals and you will be totally reliant on the undependable kid next door to remember to come and programme the robot to make your soup. But, cheer up, there is more to life than that and I'm sure Oro can tell you about the amazing gadgets that will help you. :-)

monix said...

Poor woman, I'm glad she wasn't hurt.
When she appears in court she needs a scientist rather than a lawyer to represent her. There are two theories about women and reversing cars. One says it's genetic (of course!). Men being the hunters needed a gene to guide them home from the hunt, while the women needed genes to make them stay home to cook and clean. The other theory is that most women have short 'ring' fingers - usually the same length as the index finger, while men have longer ring fingers, proving they have lots of testosterone and better driving skills.
I use both excuses regularly in the supermarket carpark.

Brit said...

One wag from the office went into the shop today and asked: "How much is that Astra that was in your window the other day?"

I wonder how many times they'll hear that this week.

erp said...

How do you know she didn't deliberately back up into that window to place a take out order?

Peter, sad about your father, but if I have my druthers, I'd rather not live if I wasn't able to drive. Having a chauffeur 24/7 wouldn't do it either so I hope none of your family feels guilty for not doing enough.

monix, the theory about ring fingers is totally news to me. Never heard that one before. How silly can they (men) get.

monix said...

Evolutionary psychologists produce new theories all the time, test them on tiny groups of people and then present them as scientific facts. (Did you check your fingers?)

I like 'druthers' - I haven't seen it before and had to go to an American dictionary to find it. I'll be introducing that into my conversation.

Oroborous said...

M Ali, when you're 80, life will be more wonderful than you can now imagine, power will be too cheap to meter, and in any case, you won't be leaving the house, 'cause why would you, when virtual reality is so much more fun than reality ?

Mike Beversluis said...


Oroborous said...

Holy Hannah, that's bad driving.