I don’t do so well on holidays. I get rusty and it takes a while to get back into the groove.
But you will be patient, while I iron out the kinks, yes?
While I was away, I saw a car hit an old woman.
I was standing at the side of the road. The car was going too fast, and the woman too slow.
I wasn’t paying attention until just before the car hit her, so when I looked up, I only saw the final second before the collision.
Imagine I have a big orange ball. It’s a huge round piece of foam, like the ones toddlers play with, but larger. It gets to about your waist level.
I tell you that I am going to roll this foam ball to you, and I want you to hip check it when I do. Okay?
Use your bum to hit the ball back to me.
I’m standing about four steps from you holding the ball with both hands, and your side is facing me.
I have a mischievous look in my eyes that makes you think I won’t roll the ball, but when I count to three, I do.
No tricks, nothing.
I roll the ball to you. Slowly.
The look on your face is part surprise, that it isn’t a prank, and part annoyance that I’m making you do this silly ball thing.
As the ball rolls, you raise your hands up to your head so you can cock your hips properly for a good bump and you open your mouth slightly.
That was the old woman in that frozen second.
Except instead of a foam ball, it was a car.
Two things could happen when a car hits a pedestrian. One of them is worse than the other.
The car could be going fast enough, and it pinballs the person off the hood.
Or, the driver sees the impending accident, tries to slow down, and hits the person at a speed that is too slow to throw them off.
The person hangs off the bonnet, then scrabbles down the grill of the car into the undercarriage as the car drags them along creating a streak of torn clothes and blood on the road.
Fortunately, the car was going fast enough here.
It punted the woman out of her yellow slippers and off the road.
I’ve heard people say you get knocked out of your shoes during an accident.
But seeing as it was a pair of flip-flops, I think different rules apply. (Unless her toes were expected to clench together at the point of impact to secure her shoes)
The traders at the roadside screamed and gathered around the woman lying in the bushes.
I was waiting for my cousin to pick me up. She’s a doctor.
Frantic, I call her, tell her about the accident and ask where she is. Maybe she can help?
She tells me she is “close” and then asks how old the woman is.
“I don’t know! Maybe 70, or 80? She’s very old.”
She replies, “Eh, don’t worry about it. Those people never die.”
20 minutes later, my cousin still hasn’t arrived.
The old woman limps into the road, her lip is bleeding and she has bits of grass stuck to her clothes. She picks up her slippers and completes her interrupted road crossing.