Archive for January 22nd, 2006

Saturday Night Skid Marks

I had a bit of a brown trouser moment last night when, coming off a roundabout on a busy stretch of road, I lost control of the car I was driving, which began to skid, and as I struggled to regain control, it careened into a traffic island, narrowly missing a lampost. To give a non-technical explanation, it turned out that the thing that controls the steering of the left wheel had snapped.

There seem to be two very common ways of rationalising accidents. The first one is to claim that you knew something was going to happen, and the second is to say that it could have been a lot worse. Neither is particularly meaningful, but the second one seems particularly absurd, given that any such accident could also have been a lot better. But I found myself practising the second one, especially in light of the fact that the pick-up man kept saying ‘you were extremely lucky, so you were.’

So, it could have been a lot worse. In fact, it was the best possible place for it to happen, because I was doing about 20 mile an hour. 5 minutes earlier or 5 minutes later and I’d have been doing upwards of 60. 12 hours later I’d have been making my debut on teletext.

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January 2006