Monday, April 13, 2009

Appendicitis and Accidents

Thanks to all who have been asking about my mom. She is fine now, if a little cantankerous.

I'm still not quite sure how it happened, except that at about 2 pm last Wednesday, I received a call from my dad on my mom's phone telling me she's being warded for appendicitis. That's the start of a supposedly-relaxing-but-actually-hectic weekend.

Apart from a scare with her blood pressure dropping like a rock on the first night (to which my brother quipped that my presence probably saved her life by raising her blood pressure), she is well and without complications. The doctor told her that they lasered off the appendix just in time.

She is now resting at home. I've moved back to live with her for a week. She and I exchange evil glares in the occassional battle of wills whenever I catch her doing something she isn't supposed to be doing. Lifting heavy things, puttering around needlessly, sneaking prohibited snacks away - the list is pretty endless. My dad and brother have declared themselves above it all.

Fun and games for the next week.


I spent some time over the weekend on the Causeway. My SO and I were travelling up for the weekend to get some stuff done, and we got into a minor, bumper scratching accident.

Which should have been resolved easily, except that (i) I was in a murderous mood by that time because of the long jam on the causeway and (ii) I really disliked the attitude of the guy when he got out of the car.

I have a thing against elderly men trying to take advantage of shock and awe to get a private settlement in their favour. I consider these guys bullies of the highest caliber. I can spot that kind of driver a mile away.

There are many ways to resolve the incident - some good, some not so good. My personal approach is that no matter how minor the accident, the first thing I will do is to check if anyone is injured or in shock. Honestly, there is no telling how minor or serious a fender-bender is until you check for injuries, and I never take this shit for granted. Then and only then do I check the damage to the car.

This particular elderly man didn't. He opened in the most politely aggressive way possible short of actual yelling - he asked immediately to see the license and registration of my SO, but without offering his own. This is a very subtle and firm indication that (i) he wants to be in charge of the process and (ii) that you are the one at fault, thank you very much.

All this got my blood boiling, so I got out of the car and started my discussions with him by pointing out to him that it wasn't clear cut that my SO was at fault.

Thing degenerated pretty rapidly from there. My offer to let our insurance companies settle this was refused, on the grounds that my SO was driving a Malaysian car - another indication to me that this guy just wants a quick settlement in his favour that I wasn't willing to give at that stage, seeing that (i) he was asking for quite a bit of money for small damage and (ii) I'm pretty sure that this guy was at fault even though the insurance company would probably disagree with me.

Seeing as he was unwilling to let the insurance settle this, we started the blame game, and ended with him threatening to scratch my SO's car here and now - just as an ICA officer was walking towards us, and well within earshot of him.

Things went south quickly once I asked him very loudly and clearly if he was threatening me in front of a uniformed officer. The ICA got involved and referred the matter to the Police. The Police got involved and tried to defuse the situation - which wasn't happening because Elderly Man was insistent that he did nothing wrong and said I was accusing him of something that he didn't do.

Except he did. Except that what he told the officers and what he told me were different things. Except that I had a very low tolerance to people who will twist what happened to their advantage and appear the victim. So I repeated what he said again. Loudly. In front of the police officer, who was valiently trying to calm both of us down.

My SO stepped in and defused the situation, by telling me to shut up. By this point, I was damn sick of hearing this guy go on and on about what a gentlemen he is and how all he really wanted was an apology (which was absolute bulocks - he never mentioned an apology until much later). I went down to the ICA station and got down the name of the officer who might act as a possible witness.

After I got back, I found out that my SO had settled the matter amicably, with neither side admitting fault or paying the other. We exchanged numbers, and I listened to a whole load of shite from Elderly Man about being gracious and not telling police officers that I had been threatened. I wisely shut up this time, and just let it go, given the matter was already settled.

Elderly Man, if you're reading this, bullocks to you and your fake integrity. If you had any at all, you would not have acted the way you did. If you want to try anything funny, I want you to know that I still have no qualms about making a police case over what you said.

Let's see how much integrity you have when the police get involved in this.


-ben said...

him threatening to scratch my SO's car here and now . . . Elderly Man was insistent that he did nothing wrong and said I was accusing him of something that he didn't do.

Except he did.

This is where a video recording comes in handy. Even the average digital compact camera can do that. Just start a new clip when the alloted time (2 to 3 minutes) runs out. The SO could do that while you debate the finer aspects of streetside interrogation with the Fourth Minister of Home Affairs.

You'll be amazed how quickly people clam up the moment they realize they are on camera. Former Officer Ryan Powell, however, didn't -- much to his everlasting sorrow.

Stay well.

-ben said...

Argh, what was I thinking?

Use your handphone / cell phone / mobile to record.

'Guess that slipped my mind since I don't carry one.

Trebuchet said...

Ha, yes. I hate that kind of shit too. Make trouble make trouble make trouble for them! Except that sometimes, your SO will tell you to forget the trouble and just extricate yourself from the shit.