Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday: I get rear ended by a drunk driver

Now there’s nothing funny about drunk driving –it’s stupid, dangerous and irresponsible – but my run in with a drunk driver on Friday was hilarious. Well, kind of.

Home time rolls around on Friday afternoon and I jump into my car eager to get back because, as some of you may know, my friend Ryan was on his way to my flat and we were all due to go out for a meal. Unfortunately the traffic was terrible, real stop-start kind of stuff, and I found myself getting pretty pissed at the fact that it was taking longer than usual to drive my 13km’s home in the sweltering South African heat.

Eventually I made it to the point at which I cross over the highway. This is a watershed moment in my journey because, when I make it over said highway I know that everything is going to be ok and that I’ll be home soon. I’m feeling relieved, excited and a whole host of other colorful adjectives.

And then…WHAM!!!!!!

I jolt violently forward in my seat and my bag of groceries goes flying forward into the dashboard like a malfunctioning parachute, spilling cracker bread everywhere. I check my rearview mirror, slightly confused, not quite sure if I’ve actually been hit because the driver of the Land Rover behind me isn’t flinching.

It’s a big fuck off kind of Land Drover, the kind you’d expect to be transporting legions of mercenaries through the depths of Africa for example, not the kind that you’d expect to find in Friday traffic.

After a few seconds I decide that something isn’t right and I leave my car to inspect the damage. I discover that my rear bumper is badly scratched and cracked down the middle and yet still no response from Mark Staddard behind me (we’ll call him that because that’s his name, bastard). Eventually I walk up to his window to let him know he’s hit me, he takes one look at my face and he speeds away.

At this point my blood really starts pumping. Finally my dreams have come true. Finally I get to test out the mad driving skillz I’d mastered playing Need for Speed all those years ago. I jump back into my car, rev the engine like I’m an extra in Fast and the Furious and begin to chase the asshole down. Eventually, after plenty of red lights and stop streets he pulls into a housing complex and, after convincing the security guard to let me in I track him like a wild animal to a side street where he’s trying to hide from me.

I get out and walk up to his car with the kind of pirate swagger that wouldn’t be out of place in The Godfather, he winds down his window and a conversation ensues:

Tom: Um, you hit me back there

Mark: Uh wha? Whore ewe?

Tom: I’m Tom and you hit my car

Mark: But thes noreven any damach

Tom: Yes there is. It might not be a big deal to you in your big land drover but if I want to resell the car I’m going to have to fix it.

Mark: Ofcorsh, well you haf my detailz

Tom: No I don’t, do you want to give them to me?

Mark: But thes noreven any damach

Tom: You just said that.

Mark: What’s thiz gonna take?

Tom: Well I’m definitely going got have to replace the bumper, that’s about R2000. Do you want to see?

Mark: Yesho

Then Mark Staddard gets out of his big Land Rover and face plants into the tarmac.

I can’t decide if he’s dead or just sleeping.

Slowly he picks himself up and starts staggering off in the general direction of my car.

Mark: But thes noreven any damach

Tom: Yes, see there is (shows him the damage). Besides, I can tell you’ve been drinking.

Mark: Yeah we’ve all been drinking! (Hiccup)

Tom: Clearly. Look this is going to cost me some money. If you want you can give me R2000 and get someone to pick you up and this will all go away (I say this in my best gangster tone).

Mark: But thes noreven any damach

Tom: Yes there is, I’m calling the police.

Suddenly, with the speed of a Kenyan sprinter, Mark runs to his car and races off. Once again I’m in hot pursuit. He’s headed toward entrance to the gated community we’re currently trapped in and after screaming out my window at the security guards I manage to persuade them not to let him out.

Tom: Now I’m really calling the cops

Mark: Wait, wait! what’s thiz gonna take?

Tom: I told you; give me the cash and this can all go away. Do you have someone who can pick you up?

Mark: No, no one

Tom: Ok, then you’ve run out of options, I’m calling the police

Mark: No! I’ll sordyou out

Tom: That’s a nice watch you have there... (ok I made that part up)

Tom: Ok, just write down your details (gives me his business card and falls over)

Eventually I notice that I am running late, so I whip out my phone and take a quick video of his drunken ass, his number plate and make sure I have all his details. I also take a security guard to the side and explain to him that I am calling the police but that I also have to leave.

Very clearly I explain that they should not, under any circumstances let Mark Staddard of Kyalami Estates; Midrand drive away until someone arrives to arrest him. Security guard happily agrees, I call emergency to report the problem and I start driving home.

Who meets me at the lights at the top of the road? Mark Staddard of course.

I give up.

Is it my fault? ProbablyL


Bella@That damn expat said...

Who meets me at the lights at the top of the road? Mark Staddard of course.


But Tom, you shouldn't be chasing drunk drivers! They might have a gun, or rape you or something.

Good story though!

rachel elizabeth said...

wow. that's craziness. glad you're okay though!

Shannon said...

Wow, that wasn't a very happy ending! The drunkard is back on the streets :( You did what you could though. Hopefully he doesn't hit anybody else... It's a good thing you are okay though, drunk driving accidents almost always end fatally.

Nikola said...

LOL, this actually was kinda funny.

But seriously, you have some balls! Chasing him around like that...

I'm following your blog, it's official! :)

Thomas said...

Bella: Ha ha, I know! I don't even carry mace. Just a question, is rape a common passtime of drunk drivers? Thank you for the concern:)

Rachel: Me too! It was probabl the coolest thing to happen to me in the last 6 months, I felt like I was stuck in Hawai Five O

Shannon: I know:( When I saw him driving past me I got really upset, in hindsight I should have forgotten about my plans and stayed there to make sure he got arrested, but we all make mistakes unfortunately.

Nikola: It was awesome, it was so awesome. Looking back on it it was, um awesome:) Thanks for becomming a follower!

Anonymous said...

I had it together until you got to this part:

"I can’t decide if he’s dead or just sleeping"

That? Was hilarious. I know it's not a laughing matter but damn you told this well.

I agree - you have guts. :)

Tamara said...

Hehehehe... Laughing so hard a bit of wee might have come out ;-)

Glugster said...

Aha, I know exactly which highway you need to cross every day and where. I go the same way. LOL

Thomas said...

Sleepyjane: Ha ha, thank you. I've edited it about a million times now and I think I've finally got the bug. He really did look dead!

Tamara: Great! that's my goal! that's what i want:)

Glugster: Over Cambridge? Yeah, Friday traffic sucked ass in hell...lame for you and me..