Saturday, February 23, 2013

Schadenfreude #42

I was travelling at the speed limit, well slower really as the traffic was heavy. I was keeping up, shall I say. I noted an older man in a car behind me. He saw a gap on his right and pulled out, zoomed ahead and squeezed into the small distance of space between my car and the car in front. The manoeuvre was more in the character of a young female probationary driver than a middle aged man. It seems he had gained some advantage, well he thought so. I am long past fuming at such silly driving. I too was hot and bothered and anxious to get home, but clearly his need was greater than mine.

Ah yes, a Saab, I noted as we became stationary. His head was bowed forward, perhaps taking a moment for prayer, but more likely doing something with his mobile phone. At that point, with his head down, he was not noticing wisps of steam emanating from under his bonnet. He must have noticed when he looked up and moved forward, only to become stationary again. Now, it is a little more than a wisp of steam. Steam is billowing out from under his bonnet. Perhaps his car has a steam engine? No, the large tell tale puddle of green coolant on the road the next time he moved forward told the truth. I expect a radiator hose had burst. He blithely ignored the steam and continued on.

Around the lake I trailed after him, feeling as if I was following in the wake of a Stanley Steamer. I was prepared for him to pull over somewhere but no, he continued on and by the time we reached Albert Road, the steam had stopped. Should there be relief at the steam stopping? No, it means the coolant has completely gone and there is nothing left to condense.

He turned right into Albert Road, then left into suburban South Melbourne. For his sake, I hope his home was close by as much further driving would surely 'cook' his motor.

Do you think I took pleasure in his misfortune? Well, a tiny bit.

19 comments:

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    1. Yep Kath. It is going to cost him big regardless of whether the motor is ok.

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  2. It couldn't have happen to a nicer driver.

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    1. Sadly Bill, he won't connect the two things like I did.

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  3. Not only would his engine have been cooked, he would be too

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    1. Too right Victor. It was stinking hot.

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  4. He might have been driven by a similar mentality to that which takes hold during very bad storms - "I had better hurry and get home before I have an accident".

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    1. Or FC, I am running low on petrol so I had better speed up before it runs out.

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  5. Where did your tupperware post go? I was all ready to comment!

    I'd have laughed heartily as his predicament, what a shame he didn't come to a spluttering end.

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    1. Monday's post Fen. I accidentally hit publish, although I pulled it back with two seconds, clearly it was enough time for it to get out.

      Well, if he wasn't stopping in South Melbourne, I doubt the car would have gone much further.

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  6. Watch out Andrew, you might be sending out bad karma haha!

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    1. Grace, I gave him the evil eye.

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  7. I have debated this endlessly in the past (with myself, or perhaps with the spouse) - how much should a stranger intervene if a person is about to get into trouble, through his own stupidity or otherwise.

    Two recent examples will do. a] Two boys aged about 10-12 were crawling between windows on a beam, 8 floors directly above open ground. I was in the next door building and couldn't have saved them anyhow, so I rang the police. Bloody moron children :( Did they survive?

    b] A young man aged about 20-25 was walking in the middle of Dandenong Rd, drunk as a skunk. He was dodging 5 lanes of cars, trying to walk from Caulfield to Dandenong. We pulled over and talked to him, but he was laughing and joking, oblivious to the dangers. So I called the police. Did he survive?

    So yes, I think you should have intervened. RACV? Police? Yours was a trickier case than my two.

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    1. Hels, not tricky for me at all. It would have been clear to him that something was desperately wrong. He is grown adult and can make his own choices.

      The boys on the beam....well, I did some pretty dangerous stuff as a kid and survived. But I think I would have done as you did.

      The drunk, I would have certainly intervened. I have done so in the past.

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  8. Hell, even I took pleasure in his misfortune!! Sadly, his antics pre-coolant-loss remind me of my ageing father ...

    As to whether or not you 'should' have intervened, I don't believe the situation was life-threatening (unlike Hels situations), and what could you have done anyway?? What could the police have done? And calling out the RACV on someone else's behalf is going to cost them if they're not members.

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    1. Red, it was silly driving and I am sure if he thought it through, he would agree. Perhaps your father might be the same.

      The bloke was taking his chances on getting home, I reckon. His choice.

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  9. I imagine he was just trying to get home quickly before the motor died and if he was on his phone, perhaps he was calling his mechanic to book a time for repairs.

    My google reader tells me you have a post about Tupperware, yet when I click on the title, I'm told that page does not exist. This happens quite frequently on different blogs, different days. It's the first time it has happened on yours. Is there such a post? Perhaps you've scheduled it for another day?

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  10. Oh. I've just read Fenstar's comment and your reply.
    All clear now.

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    1. River, carelessness on my part. I hate the way that happens, but yes, I too have seen it happen elsewhere.

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