Thursday, April 10, 2008


Well the morning started off with a bang and not in a good way either. Had a later start caused by sick man waking me up last night. I was in no mood to be washing out coffee pot and all of that for ONE cup but I had to, had to have my coffee, so it was made by someone else. If you've never been to the Rituals in St. James it's a nice enough place, large glass windows that look out onto the busy Western Main Road. It's kind of hard to hide in there because you can be seen from all sides so if you don't like eating in the public eye, it's not the place for you.

Standing making small talk with the other regulars and Adanna behind the counter as she expertly swirled up a Moccachino, a regular with Hazelnut and Vanilla Latte, tall, it was just another fine morning. The Drummer guy (name withheld) and I were at the counter looking out at the street. We heard the brakes first, everything happened in stop motion after that. The blue car ran into the back of the goldish coloured car, bumper parts, broken lights flying everywhere, everyone behind them pulling on brakes and moving aside to try an avoid the wreck. Simultaneously a grey pick up coming in the opposite direction swerved round the side managing to clip the edge of the cars before ploughing into an old Cressida parked illegally on the side of the road. The force of the impact pushed the Cressida into the on-coming traffic causing people to swerve everywhere. Debris all over the place, the pedestrians on the sidewalk breathing heavily I'm sure. It was a really close call.

The Gayelle folks must have a had a field day because they're often shooting their morning programme out in front of their building across from the Infirmary. They and the lady from the Fruit shop were literally first on the scene, talk about breaking news. All of us in Rituals were a little shaken, if the pick-up hadn't stopped it would have ended up over on our side. Thousands of dollars in damage in seconds. Fortunately no one was badly hurt, miscellaneous bruises, scrapes, banged up hand. The pick up looks like a write off, the air bags deployed in there and in the cars that had them which should give you an idea of the force of the impact. At least five or six vehicles were damaged, the traffic was unbelievable. People were pouring out of the Infirmary to macco, of course. Even harder to believe, the police station is within walking distance, they could see the drama from their roof. Up until the time I left, clutching my coffee, chaos was prevailing and nary an officer in sight.

I watched a friend trying to get around the wreck blocking the road, he was lucky, he'd missed the drama by minutes. It was an accident caused by stupidity, lack of attention and ego, like most road accidents in this country. It was made more appalling by the amount of people witnessing this travesty and then, further compounding the stupidity by driving like assholes because they wanted to pass NOW.

There are many mornings where I have had to dodge people driving the wrong way up a clearly marked one way street. Yes I know there is insurance but it doesn't help you when you're dead right. I am totally sick of the carnage that prevails on our roads because we are discourteous, uncaring, lawless and lack responsibility. Every time I hear that someone "lost control of the car" or the other platitudes used by newspapers I wonder. How fast were they going and how good a driver were they to begin with? Speed does not equal sense. Tin foil Japanese cars are more likely to flip or swerve when stopped suddenly at high speed. Tank like European cars like mine have a longer stopping radius due to the weight of the car, yes it can go from 0 to whatever in 60 seconds but you have to know how to apply the brakes. Our awful road conditions don't help.

So, yes I am a trifle shaken but this morning's event. I'd prefer if the only jolt that I got was from my coffee.

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