Friday, August 18, 2006

Bring on the car-wreck bulldozers

I WAS driving down one of our country’s major motorways the other morning when a Czechoslovakian lorry driver 100 yards in front of me drifted across two lanes and smashed a passing BMW into the central reservation.

So I did what any other good citizen would do. I put the hazard lights on, pulled over, called the cops and ambulance, and then went to see if I could help. The emergency services duly turned up, cut the BMW driver free, started going through the documents of the lorry driver, and that was that … 40 minutes or so from start to finish. And that is where it all started going pear-shaped.

We had an articulated lorry parked up on the hard shoulder; we had a BMW wedged into the central reservation; but at least two lanes of the motorway were clear and free. So perhaps we could press on with our important journey? Err, no.

It turned out that we (that’s me and the other 2,000 or so vehicles behind me) weren’t simply held up while the victims were processed. We were part of a “crime scene”, and as such wouldn’t be going anywhere very soon.

The traffic cops took statements from those who had witnessed the accident. That took about another 30 minutes. And then the men in white overalls turned up. They had string, chalk and those surveyors’ things on tripods. They paced, measured, photographed and took tarmac samples. Overhead, a helicopter hovered, videotape running. This wasn’t looking good.

After two hours, I politely inquired of a policeman as to when I might be able to resume my journey. His response was brusque. My equally abrupt reaction was apparently sufficient for him to threaten me with arrest if I didn’t “Shut the fuck up and get back in the car”.

Dear reader, we sat there for over four hours. Businessmen on their way to crucial meetings, lorry drivers delivering essential parts to industry, families heading to their holiday flight (now long departed), innocent commuters who now had to explain to the boss how a simple accident meant that they had missed an entire day’s work. It was an utter, utter farce.

I understand that in the event of an accident that might possibly result in a fatality (in this case, perhaps the poor BMW driver), the police reserve the right to treat the incident as an unlawful death or, presumably, a possible murder. This then requires the attendance of Dr Amanda Burton and her various spooks. It also means that the motorway in question will remain closed until the overalls have completed their investigation.

Wouldn't it just be easier to bulldoze the wreckage into the ditch and let the rest of us get on with our lives?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do in future. The next time an inarticulate articulated lorry driver falls asleep at the wheel and takes out a lane of innocent traffic, I’m going to swerve past the wreckage and keep on driving. The Plod might be happy spending the day dancing around in their high-visibility jackets. I actually have a living to earn.

didn’t want to have to return to the “passenger profiling” row of last week, but a bloke from the Muslin Council so aggravated me on the radio this week that I threw a strop worthy of Nikki off Big Brother (face of a 70-year-old, mind of a seven-year-old).

If you pop down to your local airport, what will you find? A rugby team heading for Dublin, a 12-strong hen party off to Prague, someone’s Granny on the way to meet the new baby, dozens of nuclear families (mum, dad and 2.4 children) off to Spain for their summer holiday, me and Mrs B heading for a romantic weekend in Paris (if I can get her out of the shops). And two single Asian lads, aged between 19 and 30, travelling alone on one-way tickets.

That’s a pretty average plane-load. So who are you going to subject to the strictest of security checks? Good, right answer. But why are you also going to inconvenience, embarrass and aggravate the other 150 people who are no more of a terrorist threat than Thora Hird?

I DO fear that when the Sunday supplements start looking for their icon of the year 2006, it will turn out to be the Clear Plastic Bag.

It says it all: how our society was reduced to organisational rubble by the mere threat of a terrorist attack; how hundreds of thousands of people had their holidays ruined or their business trips cancelled on the whim of a jittery government; how the ineptitude of the authorities made things 10 times worse than they needed to be; and how the jobsworth mentality is always ready to occupy any vacuum of common sense.

It used to be an old traveller’s trick to pack a spare set of clothes in your hand baggage. Then, if your case was lost, you could at least survive until it turned up. Passengers caught up in last week’s lunacy were denied even that opportunity. And worse – into their main luggage went their car keys and house keys as well.

How reassuring then that British Airways should have to announce that they’d managed to separate 10,000 people from their luggage during the terrorist crisis, and that a week later 5,000 were still awaiting their bags. This is just horrific. It means that some poor people have been away for a week’s holiday without ever seeing a change of clothes, and have then had to return, abandon their cars at the airport, and then go home to break into their own houses.

I happen to think that Michael O’Leary, boss of Ryanair, is a complete twat. I also think that he is probably right when it comes to the inability of BAA to cope with the current crisis.

THOSE WACKY Chinese have built a new town to accommodate 8,000 people just outside Shanghai that mimics the English equivalent.

There are Regency terraces, Georgian mansions and mock Tudor rows of shops. There’s a village green, a pub, a duck pond and a church. But one serious omission means that the whole plan is fatally flawed. There’s no Chinese takeaway.

HAVING BEEN irritated for ages by those “Baby on Board” labels you see on cars (What am I supposed to do? Decide not to crash into you?), this week I came across a people carrier with a sticker reading “Princess on Board” in its rear window.

I steered well clear of that one, assuming that the driver was probably drunk, working for MI5 and likely to crash in the nearest tunnel at any minute.

NANNY STATE update: The local council has installed a “noise-limiter” in the village hall at Waltham-on-the-Wolds in Leicestershire. The device has a red light that starts flashing should noise approach the set level. If it exceeds that, all power to the hall is shut off.

As well as hosting wedding receptions, Women’s Institute and scout troop meetings, the hall is also used by primary school children whose recent performance of the Jungle Book was rudely interrupted when parents started clapping too loudly. And, as doors and windows have to be kept closed at all times, four guests at a recent wedding passed out in the heat.

Brilliant! You really could not make it up.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone voting for the ginger-headed, cottage-burning, militant Welsh idiot on Big Brother, of anyone not scandalised over that snatched kiss between Clarrie Grundy and Mike Tucker, or of anyone who hasn't broken one of the 3,023 new laws NuLabour has introduced in the past nine years. I always thought Socialists valued the freedom of the individual ...


Anonymous tony b.liar said...

Brilliant stuff this week Bazza - I wholeheartedly agree with all your amny points. Keep up the good work!!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Neal Asher said...

"I always thought Socialists valued the freedom of the individual ..."

The individual is free to exist, everything else must be controlled by the wise heads in government. We'll soon be filling out risk assessments every time we're due to take a crap.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous lil will said...

Socialists? What Socialsts?

4:32 AM  
Blogger The Weardale Militia said...

Nay Lad its all a conspiracy. I tried to go on holiday with my usual homeopathic medicines as any good Druid chap would and I was told they were unacceptable by a leery eyed airport security guru. Eye of newt, serum of monkey spleen, snake venom and powdered rhino horn are ordinary medications as far as I am concerned. Off to the well appointed ablutions complete with scented air and piped music (Bloody pans pipes again) and I scoffed the lot. Aye lad I was laid low for a while but you can’t be dumping good swag like that down the toilet. It was frightening to see some of the gals on that long haul flight without any make-up, but I think the cabin staff (girls and boys) were allowed to bring their own make-up – just to make some passengers feel even worse. I noted some people actually buying make-up on the plane. I have never seen this before so like I said its all a conspiracy.
More to the points what’s this tosh I hear from the brewers and publicans association that Supermarkets should stop selling cheap booze because this is the precursor to binge drinking. Well that’s like Pol Pot giving seminars on social integration and social tolerance. Even better imagine that Yorkshire man in Zimbabwe “E by Gum” sorry I meant Mugabe giving lectures on land reform and agronomics. Well it’s the pot calling the kettle black. I like to ferret around those shelves looking for good strong bargains. So what is the wine is marked at half price but still at the actual selling price its still cheaper than the pub or the restaurant. What’s more they buy it from the supermarket and add 100% and sell it to us. Well done ASDA.
At the local hostelry the “Frog and Firkin” I have yet to see the old lads in the corner going to the supermarket to stock up for a binge drinking session. It would take two day to get there and back on public transport if there was any. What’s more their bladders are not what they used to be. Perhaps if they start on Tequila shots before they come out the dominoes will be more interesting.
All I have to say to the breweries and pubs on the subject – “tough”.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous sammy the sailor said...

John Reed and Charles Kennedy are cast adrift in a boat in the middle of the ocean (I wish). A magic lamp floats past and Charlie grabs it and rubs it. A genie appears and grants Charlie one wish. 'I wush the sea wus whuskey', says CK. Immediately the sea is turned into 94 year old Glensporran malt.

'Ye feckin' heathen Tory sassenach!' screams the Rt. Hon. Home Secretary, 'We have to piss in the boot the noo!'

Scotland forever!

10:57 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

A very popular Scotsman dies in Glasgow and his old widow wishes to tell all his friends at once so she goes to the newspaper and says
"I'd like tae place an obituary fur ma late husband"
The man at the desk says "OK, how much money dae ye have?"
The old woman replies "£5" to which the man says "You wont get many words for that but write something and we'll see if it's O.K." So the old woman writes something and hands it over the counter and the man reads "Peter Reid, fae Parkheid, deid"
He feels guilty at the abruptness of the statement and encourages the old woman to write a few more things. The old woman ponders and then adds a few more words and hand the paper over the counter again.
The man then reads "Peter Reid, fae Parkheid deid. Ford Escort for sale"

3:55 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Was that a snatched kiss between Clarrie Grundy and Mike Tucker or a kissed snatch between Clarrie Grundy and Mike Tucker?

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pair of cloons

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, nice story, got one of my own tbh, i was at a red light waiting to turn right (crossroad) on my motorbike, when some lady, who claims her foot 'slipped' darted two lanes and hit me (she told that to the police, tho when i called the insurance, they confided to me that she stated she hit me instead of the other two cars to 'minimize damage'. she wrecked my bike (which ended up under her car) and sent me flying 15ft between a reservation with loss of conciousness (i only remember a blur of red and black)

i dont remember much of the accident, and this is the part that relates to you, as i've had nothing from the police, no information, no phone call, no visit, cept one letter. one: what happened in your opinion. (i dont even fucking remember, i lost conciousness!?)

i'm a careworker, and in my line of work, i'm required to go from client to client on a basis that takes 12-16 of my hours a day, and thought being 21, have been treated like a statistic. well, being 0 from what i have seen. i've have no compensation, i've had to pay out a fortune for a new bike myself as the one they gave me on rent (which apparently i have to pay) was unusable, i'm now in large debt due to treatment for my injuries (my depression has returned), and in the dark from everyone who's handling this. oh, and it's only been 1 month and 3 weeks.

in a sumerization (tpyo? :P) norwitch union (her insurance) have been useless, the police have been non-existant, rental has been damaging, and life has been hell. but of all that has happened, i can say that for almost 3 or 4 seconds, i flew xD life's a glitch

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Los Angeles Location said...

This is very similar to the discussion on just saw on a Los Angeles car accident attorney's website, almost exactly the same.

6:45 PM  

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