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Thursday 17 January 2013

Safety First

Change down... NOW!
Ease it into second... 

Approaching crossroads,
Lights. And a pedestrian
standing on the corner.
Waiting for the lights,
think I. Not so!

Watch him... him on the corner.
Potential suicide, for all we know!
He waits until you are right there
on top of him -- then: Bingo! 
Throws himself full length in front
of your front wheels! Believe me,
you never will get over it!

An early driving lesson. My first
experience of rush hour traffic
on our busy by-pass in the rain.

Looking back, it seems
our little town was home
to multitudes of suicides
just waiting for my car
to come along. And then
there were the muggers,
car-jackers, rammers,
maniacs of every hue
and size -- Some visible,
most hiding out of sight
behind a haystack, car,
or street sign saying STOP.

One time I knew his clone.
A school inspector known 
to us as Risky Biz 
I could not move move without
I'd done a risk assessment first.

Did I decide to go into the playground... where,
if I please, my risk assessment for the plan?
Not just the admin areas, the whole school, each
area collected its own paper mountain. He came
one time to give a presentation. Assessing Each
and Every Risk . Fell over the projector lead,
and would have lost a lot of cred', had it been there.

Written for Poetry Jam's inspired prompt DANGER.


kaykuala said...

Weirdos of all kinds are there. Truly said Dave! Strangely enough must they unwittingly involve us when suicidal or are they just plain crazy? Nicely!


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Not sure I want to drive in your town!

Manicddaily said...

Very funny! My dad was in an accident once (a huge truck actually ran into him) - and he covered the car with tapes that read things like "Keep Vigilance". Most of these were of course on the passenger side because they couldn't fit on his - I should probably write a poem about it - it was quite unnerving.

Your story is really very funny. You've described the type so well. Your character pieces are just a lot of fun, with a sharp but kind eye. k.

Mary said...

Now I have something new to fear -- the danger of someone throwing himself in front of me in traffic. Yikes.

I remember hating the driving lesson done in rush hour traffic. Thankfully the rush hour traffic in THAT town was much less 'rush' than where I live now...

And yes, there are always dangers lurking. I guess we should all go about doing 'risk assessments.'

JANU said...

I am scared of driving...good read.

Brian Miller said...

wow to have a rush hour first driving experience would be stressful...and there are def people that will jump out there and pay no mind to who is coming...or that want to get hit....funny was just talking about this and a student i am concerned about...geez...nice write sir...

The Weaver of Grass said...

A friend has a son who is an underground train driver and has experienced several suicides - not a nice thing and each one has severely upset him for months afterwards.

Sarav said...

Dave, you took me back to my drivers lessons-stress!! I didn't have the added tension of risk assessment, if so, I think I'd still be riding a bike :-) As usual, you have perfectly captured the scene and emotion of this piece of life, well done!

Susan Lindquist said...

The world is full of strange characters, indeed! What a snapshot of the absurd people there are!

Peggy said...

Enough to make one stay off the roads completely!

Elephant's Child said...

Love it. Risk assessment can be stultifying, exemplified by 'helicopter parenting'. I loved that inadvertant trip, and am now starting my day with a wry smile. Thank you so much.

Myrna R. said...

This is humorous, but has such frightful truths. Enjoyed reading this and I'll def be really careful when I drive.

kelvin s.m. said...

...i don't drive but still a huge worrier every time i go out to work riding in a public cab... at least less of a worrier compared to those driving their own... danger will always hit you when it sees a chance to do so..

haricot said...

Hmm, funny but fearful story. Me, I don't want to loiter in your town thinking something else, like a potential suicide.

A Cuban In London said...

Your post reminded me of the first time I sat behind after passing my driving test. It was at night and I drove with the full beam on without noticing! :-)

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Thanks Everyone for another great bunch of replies. Exceptionally so. A real mixture off responses and yet a lot of agreement there as well. Just to set the matter straight, though - in case it needed it - maybe I ought to point out that my town was not inhabited by a greater than usual number of weirdos. The real weirdo was my driving instructor who was most decidedly paranoid. I stayed with him only until I had completed the prepaid lessons. I would have changed anyway as we were moving from Surrey to Kent.

Finally, thanks to you all for your visits and contributions and a really big Hi! and Welcome! to those who are visiting or commenting for the first time.

ND Mitchell said...

Enjoyed the way you described these "dangers". Glad you managed to ditch the driving instructor!