Mad MWF: The Road Warrior

The M5 slowed to a crawl as the cars filtered into the inside lane to pass a lorry standing still in the middle lane. In the outside lane was a car facing the wrong way, the driver side of the bonnet mangled, showing the cause of the delay.

Truck vs car.

Luckily all seemed unhurt and two other cars had stopped to help set up those high viz emergency triangle things.

We drove by and moved back into the middle lane, overtaking a black car on the inside.

The driver, a young bloke in his early twenties was on his phone. Not talking but actually typing on his phone as his passenger dozed next to him.

“That guy’s on his phone.” I commented. 

“What?” Asked MWF.

“That guy is using his phone. And we’ve literally just passed an acc-”

The rest of the sentence was drowned out by a loud blaring horn. The texting driver looked up in shock, his passenger jolted awake, startled and confused.

“GET OFF YOUR PHONE! YOU IDIOT!” Roared MWF.

That should have been it. Admonished for his wrongdoing, the driver should have put down his phone and thanked his lucky stars that we weren’t cops who would have handed him 6 points and a £1000 fine. 

But it wasn’t. Using the phone might have been a one off but he was about to prove that he was a bad driver.

He gunned after us, tailgating before overtaking and cutting us up.

It was a pathetic display of the male ego hurt, with the moron unable to accept he had been called out for doing something criminal and possibly dangerous. He doubled down on the danger by putting others at risk in what was clearly intended as intimidation.

And he wasn’t done.

Coming up to a junction he moved into the inside lane and we were passing alongside to carry on. As we were passing he swerved towards us and then took his turning heading for Penshore.

It’s a shame none of us got his number plate, but one hopes karma finds him and next time he uses his phone a copper spots him. 

It seems like him losing his licence would be the best outcome, as he clearly lacks the patience and maturity to handle the responsibility of driving. His pride hurt his response was to become more reckless and stupid.

Don’t be a dick at the wheel, someone could get hurt.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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Hey, speedy! You are a real criminal!

Apparently the punishment for being caught speeding is going to be stricter in the UK from next month (source). The announcement has been covered in a weird way by the press in a way that highlights an odd view of speeding we have here.

There are frequent articles in the tabloids where they whinge about speed cameras. The general feel is that this is a waste of police time and they should be going after “the real criminals”.

Here’s the thing, if you’re speeding YOU ARE A CRIMINAL. You’re breaking the law, and putting others at risk. Why this isn’t seen as a real crime boggles the mind, especially as the same papers are ready and willing to pile on when someone kills a kid while speeding.

If you regularly speed but haven’t had an accident yet, it doesn’t mean you’re a great driver. It means you’re lucky. Ayrton Senna was a great driver, and it didn’t work out for him.

The whole coverage is bizarre. They talk about speed cameras and anti-speeding measures like their some kind of cheap trick. That it’s grossly unfair.

People share where the vans are on Facebook like their getting one over on the cops and this is a good thing. But imagine any other crime handled the same way.

“Word to the wise, the police have got sniffer dogs at the airport! Don’t let the bastards catch you out!”

“Coppers caught me stealing a TV. I explained mine was broke and X Factor was about to start but they didn’t care. Heartless pricks.”

“The one time I assault someone I get arrested. Why aren’t the cops out there arresting real criminals instead of hassling people like me?”

It’s ludicrous. Take the Metro article and the headline:

“Here’s what you need to know” and yet the article isn’t just “Don’t Speed!” in big letters.

So, the punishment has got worse, you shouldn’t have been doing it anyway. 

It’s simple enough- there is a law for how fast you can go. It is a law designed to protect you and others. If you exceed it you are breaking the law and a criminal.

You can whine, you can make excuses, but the way to avoid the fines and hassle? Obey the speed limit.

Drive safe.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO. 


News Grab Bag: Old Friends, Old People and Old Stereotypes Confirmed

The fall and fall of Gavin Henson

When I was at uni Wales ended their Grand Slam drought and the boys in red became national heroes. One of the big heroes was Gavin Henson, who’s kicking had won us valuable points and he’d been impressive throughout.

Henson in happier times as a 2005 Grand Slam winner

Henson in happier times as a 2005 Grand Slam winner

 

The world, or at least Wales, appeared to be his oyster. He was a good looking sporting hero and shortly after he got together with Charlotte Church, becoming the Welsh equivalent of Posh & Becks.

But over the years Henson’s star has waned. Many came to regard him as arrogant and a bit of a tool, and he actually stopped playing rugby. He went on sabbatical and the wheels really started to come off for him, his relationship with Church ended and he appeared in a string of high profile TV shows which did nothing to improve his public persona- 71 Degrees North, Strictly Come Dancing and worst of all, The Bachelor.

Come on, Gav! You're better than this trash.

Come on, mankind, we’re better than this!

 

Despite being a two time Grand Slam winner, and a former Lions player, Henson’s reputation is in tatters and he appears to be his own worst enemy. He’s wasted time on side ventures and taken extended periods away from the game which has stopped him from capitalizing on the opportunities and potential he might have had back in 2005. Since 2010 he’s been with 5 different clubs, but only made 21 appearances.

Things appear to have got off to a rocky start at his current club Bath, with footage emerging of an altercation with a teammate, who proceeds to deck him. Here’s a gif someone made of it:

henson punch

Bath are investigating, but it doesn’t look good for Henson, who seems doomed to go down in rugby folklore as a bit of a tool who squandered his chance of being an international great.

Japan: No Country for Old Men

Sometimes you see a headline that just stops you in your tracks. The Huffington Post through me such a title earlier today when I saw this:

Adult Nappies Will Outsell Baby Nappies in Japan by 2020

Like several other countries around the world, Japan has an ageing population with almost a quarter of the population being over 65. As a result of this the adult nappies prediction has been made. But what really blew my mind is that apparently adult nappies are already on the rise in Godzilla’s stomping grounds and are a billion dollars a year industry.

This does little to change my impression of Japan as being a bit of a messed up country.

All this is adding into my “Hope I die before I get old” ethos, because it just sounds like a terrible way to go out of this world. I mean, it’s just not very dignified is it. Yeah, if it ever gets that bad for me I’m heading for Switzerland.

No picture for this story, because I’m quite frankly too scared to type “adult nappies” into a Google image search.

Story here.

A right tit of herself

Regular readers may remember that I discussed a story about a young lady, Josie Cunningham, who had a breast enhancement funded by the NHS and hoped to become a glamour model.

So today, as I scanned the magazines at my local shop I spotted a familiar, um, face on one of those godawful celebrity magazines where Kerry Katona or Jordan is bleating on about something in their life or there’s almost malicious glee in the fact some reality star has put on a little bit of weight. The headline that caught my eye was in the top corner featuring Miss Cunningham, described as a “shameless glamour model”-

I had my £4,800 boobs on the NHS, now I want them out…for free!

Now, clearly, this trashy magazine was trying to stir up some anger towards the lass, so I came home and Googled to find out more. It’s true that Josie does want a breast reduction, and is quoted as saying:

They’re making my working life difficult. They’re so big I find them embarrassing and I don’t feel I can do any modelling because they’ve attracted so much negative attention.

Hmm. Now, I don’t really see many glamour models in my day-to-day so I can’t say whether they have hindered her career move, but I’d have thought that she’d have got a few just because of her notoriety. And also, I don’t think this is going to lessen the negative attention, in fact, it appears to have just hauled her back into the firing line.

I was sympathetic with Josie when she got the op initially, as she described how insecure her formerly small chest had made her, and I think the op could have helped improve her well being and made her some cash, which would have gone back into the tax pot. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to have happened and she still has some problems with her body.

Rather than attacking her I think we should all be asking about the larger things at work here. Clearly this is a young lady who is riddled with insecurity and feelings of inadequacy, clearly unhappy with her appearance and striving for a perfect look she may never achieve. Instead of anger we should feel pity and offer some support. This is a girl who needs to work through her issues and not just go under the knife to fix whatever problems she feels she has.

And this isn’t an isolated case, Cunningham is just the tip of the iceberg of a growing problem of this kind of negative body image which we really need to address.

It’s just a rather sad story, especially given the obvious outpouring of anger and misguided hate sent her way (of all the bad things our taxes go on £4,800 on a pair of tits is small potatoes).

Story here.

Who’s surprised?

A recent survey to find the rudest cabbies in Europe has yielded unsurprising results. The winners were Rome and Paris, which must have shocked absolutely no one.

I’ve visited both cities and while I didn’t use taxis, I did have to negotiate them on foot and public transport, and the average drivers there are rude and bad tempered, so it probably crosses over to cabbies. Seriously, it might be a bit more sane than Marrakesh or Colombo, but compared to British drivers, the French and Italians are like someone playing Mario Kart while having a heated argument and shouting at girls on the pavement.

It should also be noted that the poll was done of British people returning from their holidays, so it might be a “lost in translation” thing or a biased survey, as we quite often find the French in particular to be rude, and quite a few of them don’t particularly like their neighbours across the Channel.

Interestingly, the best were found to be in Turkey and the Greek island of Rhodes, although it should be noted that these are touristy destinations, whereas the capital city drivers probably have a mix of locals and tourists to deal with. Also, the streets of Rome (filled with crazy Italian drivers) and Paris (chock-a-block with rude, impatient French drivers) are probably a tad more stressful than cruising around on a Grek island.

That being said, I probably would avoid a taxi in Paris and Rome.

Story here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Wrong Way

Earlier this week there was one of those stories that makes you despair not just for the decency of mankind, but our general intelligence. The story was that at a 100 mile bike ride in Norfolk at the weekend (which my brother-in-law was taking part in) there was a collision between a cyclist and a passing car.

Cars hitting bikes is hardly news, and luckily the cyclist wasn’t badly injured, but what sets this incident apart are the actions of the driver. First of all, she left the scene of the accident. Now, I don’t even drive and I know that’s a big no-no. 

To compound this, and doing little to eliminate the “dumb blonde stereotype”, the young lady, Emma Way then proceeded to tweet this message:

way

Understandably, response to this tweet was loud and spirited. The dumbass was not only confessing to the incident but was showing a frankly disgusting lack of empathy or care for the safety of the cyclist and then throws in some stupid throwaway line about road tax.

Here’s the thing, Miss Way, I doubt that guy is always on his bike. He may very well drive as well, but even if he didn’t does that make it okay? You know who else doesn’t pay road tax? Children. So if a driver has right of way and a kid’s on the road are they okay to hit them too? Would you then use the hashtag #bloodykids.

Way quickly deleted the tweet and her account, going to ground quickly. But the genie was out of the bottle and things were in motion.

Norwich Police had been contacted about it and were interested to talk to her, and of course having used her full name and a picture on her Twitter account she was quickly identified in the press.

Way’s employers were contacted by angry e-mails and came out to condemn the events and to announce that “appropriate action” would be taken. It didn’t sound good for Way.

Way went to see the coppers and also gave an interview to ITV local news, flanked by a lawyer. Now, this is where Way shows even less class. In this kind of event you’ve just got to hold your hands up, apologize, take full responsibility and take your licks, knowing that while it might be rough for a bit attention will shift elsewhere eventually.

But Way’s interview is a disaster. I know she’s not PR trained, but a bit of common sense would have told her to approach it in a different way.

She apologizes, but focuses more on the tweet which she feels has been “blown out of proportion”. That’s your first mistake right there. Sure there’s been a massive reaction, but it was more than a “stupid” and “spur of the moment thing”. It was a disgusting and nasty thing to tweet, and in this age of social networking everyone knows tweets aren’t secret or limited to a few dozen people. She seems more intent on apologizing to stop getting hassled than due to any real sense of remorse.

Secondly, and this is what gets the blood boiling, she tries to play the victim. She says she’s getting “severely bad named” as if she’s being unfairly judged or wrongfully accused. The only reason she’s getting a bad name is through her own actions. I mean, we all make mistakes but this one is on her. She sent the hateful message and that’s what people are judging her on. If you do something douchey you can’t complain that people think you’re a douche.

She talks about the fallout at her work, which is rough, but at the same time, what are they gonna do? If they do nothing it’ll be a public relations nightmare for them, and as such it’s better for them to just suspend her and launch an investigation. Now they look like they’re doing something about it and I gotta say, I don’t imagine this will end well for Way.

Then she does this bloody daft thing where she tries to make excuses saying she didn’t even feel the cyclist touch the car, which is a bit of a blatant lie given that in her tweet she says she “definitely” hit him. She then says she never would have driven off if he’d been hurt, which I don’t quite believe. 

Her third error is that when asked if she could go back, she says she’d take back her tweet. Now, the tweet is bad, but surely you’d start off with saying you’d be a bit more careful while driving and stop at the incident. Saying she’d change sending the tweet seems to imply that while she may have some remorse for the incident she’s rather more concerned about the fuss and trouble that the tweet has caused her.

It’s a nightmare and confessing to being a cyclist herself in order to not look like a cyclist hater is even dumber. She’s a cyclist so she could easily be on the other side and should thus be more considerate, but she still acted as she did and said what she said, if anything this admission just makes her look worse.

Her lawyer makes a good point at the end, that the police should ignore the brouhaha over the tweet, which is right. The problem is that she’s pretty screwed anyway. The tweet can be used to confirm that she knowingly left the scene and failed to report the incident, and they have the cyclist’s testimony too. So, in the eyes of the law she’s in trouble and until the next story she’s not exactly going to be popular either.

I think the morals of this story are- think before you tweet, always stop if you hit something, when caught out just apologize and take responsibility for what you’ve done, being aware that you are in the wrong and most importantly, don’t be a dick.

You can see the interview here.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.