The price of getting involved

10 Jun

I mentioned in my last post about Benugo at Waterloo that I do like to get involved in things I care about. I’m about to add road safety to that list. Strange topic for a petrol-head like me, but then again, is it really?

I’m one of those drivers who loves to give the V6 an airing but at the same time, is aware of speed, braking distance, built up areas and more recently iphone cradling – buggy pushing mums. I don’t mind the ones who are on the phone talking to someone and then look up and pause the call as they cross the road; it’s the ones who are oblivious to the planet around them as they navigate their buggy on auto-pilot and walk into the road without thinking.

Worse than that, the ones who find the best time to update their status is just after the school run as they wheel the pre-schooler back home. “Just dropped Peaches off now for some R&R if Ryan goes to sleep. LOL.” Ryan will be sleeping alright if you don’t look up NOW!

The other day near Abbey Wood station a woman was texting merrily away when the toddler she was meant to be looking after did a sharp right into the road. I gave a quick blast of the horn which temporarily jolted her out of her digital nirvana, long enough for her to roughly yank him back on to the pavement and reprimand him, before going back to whatever important business she was carrying out on her BlackBerry. I drove slowly away wondering if she really gave birth to that boy or as we say back home dem dash am de pikin.

This morning on my way to work another iPhone cradling woman walking into the road in-front of a moving vehicle, giving him barely enough time to brake and blast his horn. What’s worse was she had a folder of papers up against her face with the phone and couldn’t see where she was going. Normally you’d expect an embarrassed giggle and a “sorry, didn’t see you there”  but what the driver got was a tirade of foul mouthed abuse. I know, right?

My surprised eyebrow didn’t evade her attention and she started on me with the same choice expletives and I could only ask if she’d been drinking as the bloke just saved her life. I won’t bore you with the finer details of our conversation but I’m guessing she wasn’t having a good Monday.

Moral of the story? Two actually:

Firstly, when you are on the phone be aware of your surroundings, you’re less likely to:

  1. get mugged
  2. run over
  3. run over someone else
  4. get your kids run over
  5. …you get the idea

Secondly, get involved when someone’s being a knob-head, you might just save them from themselves and others.

Getting involved does have its rewards after my episode, I got to Benugo’s for my morning fix and  I’ve been gifted with a lovely picnic bag.

I take it they liked my article.

picnic bag

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