On Tuesday morning, shortly after nine, I was driving north on the causeway through Stanley Park.
An ambulance suddenly appeared travelling from the North Shore into town, sirens going, lights flashing.
What did I do?
I did what is required by law, what is common sense and common courtesy. What is the only reasonable thing. What you would do.
I pulled over onto the shoulder, putting on my right turn signal, and I stopped.
In under two seconds, the car behind me began furiously to honk its little horn.
Why do I say "furiously?"
Because I looked in my rear view mirror and saw three people in the car behind me, one of whom was a young woman of about 28 or 30 wildly, madly gesticulating at me with rage.
Her gesticulations translated as something like,
YOU STUPID BASTARD, WHAT ARE YOU PULLING OVER AND STOPPING FOR, THE AMBULANCE IS GOING PAST YOU. THIS IS A FREEWAY.
All of this happened in less than five seconds.
This passenger, this woman, this citizen, this human being is so important, so self-involved, so wound up for her day that someone impeding her progress sends her into The Red Zone in a flash.
How dare an ambulance interfere with her personal movie?
How dare I obey the law and pull over for a moment?
I was a terrible awful person who must be yelled at and called names because she had to pause for a few seconds.
Was she going to a conference on nuclear isotopes?
As George Constanza says in an early Seinfeld episode, "This is supposed to be a society here!"
I am obsessing on this incident, I know.
It speaks to me of the End of Decent Public Behaviour, which of course appears a hundred times a day in a thousand guises, each more offensive than the last.
I shared this little tale with a B.C. Ferries employing in the cafeteria of the boat about half an hour after it happened.
He said these acts of rudeness and indifference and boorishness and total self-interest occur so many times a day on his watch that he couldn't even start to list them.
I have a question.
How can you resent an ambulance?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
“I've turned over files to the RCMP and nothing happens,” laments Al Rosen, the forensic accountant. “We just don't have people who are trained in what to look for. We have bad securities acts. We have bad sentencing guidelines. We've had some bad court decisions. We're 80 years behind the U.S. If you're a crook, this is the best place to be.”
The above is taken from Margaret Wente's column in this morning's Globe & Mail.
I don't much care what happens to Garth Dabrinsky.
He's a crook and a miserable s.o.b. who made a substantial career yelling at people and trying to tell us he was God's great gift to show business.
A couple of good shows do not make you a saint, boobelah.
What I do continue to care about is the wammy-shammy we call criminal justice here in Canada.
May the appeals fall on their faces and may Garth & Myron spend some real time in jail, which is where people who steal money aught to go for a while.
Posted by David Berner at 8:55 AM