7 November 2006

Sobering School Trip

Even if I were 'allowed' to, I am not sure whether I would consider learning to drive a car or not. Or monster machines of death and destruction as I shall now refer to them.

Tutorial is usually a tedious affair, a superfluous period of the week with only enthusiastic cries of 'Team Blight' and cross stitch conversation from Blighty to get us through. Not so this week however. A trip was to be taken. A trip to the fire station. Excitement barely covered the breadth of emotion felt by 13NB.

Road safety was the name of the game, with four volunteers being cut out of a car as if they had been in an accident. Though the fun actually began when we all had to don fireman (fireperson? PC but sounds less cool) outfits complete with size 10 boots, fire resistant gloves and bright yellow hats with eye protection screens. Much hilarity had, and photos taken. Not entirely sure what the point of this was as we were only standing watching the car being cut up. But anything to get into the spirit of it all. Apparantly we needed to be protected from the flying glass etc as they shattered the windows and ripped the car apart. Mr H wasn't given an outfit though. Maybe he didn't need protecting.

Kind of exciting, but very scary. Lots of talk of death, injury, 'the golden hour' (once the hour's up and you're still not in hospital then you're pretty much done for), and how all the newfangled so-called 'protection' on cars can actually prove detrimental and lethal when trying to rescue people. Goodo. When there were the inevitable sniggers at the back, the leading fireman (the one who grunted least) stated stoically and from experience, 'Oi, no laughing. This is some serious shit.'

Serious shit indeed. Many spine boards, oxygen masks and destroyed cars later we all watched a stream of those hard-hitting, graphic, heart-wrenching adverts they use to make you drive more carefully. Followed by pictures of crunched up cars from accidents the chaps have been called out to.

Two people I know have their test this week. I am never getting in a car again.


Limping of Swindon said...

Of course, accidents can be pretty bad if one of those monster killers hits someone who isn't in a car. I don't suppose the firemen had pictures of those accidents?

I expect the intention was that the audience realise that the flimsy steel enclosure does not provide much more protection than a tin gives to a tin of beans when a high speed accident happens. I hope that the other people also felt their sense of invulnerability slipping - did they?

anna said...

I think everyone was suitably shocked into becoming responsible wielders of the death-machine weapon. Not sure about the baked bean imagery though; a little too reminiscent of tomato sauce mush that results from an accident.