A FEW DAYS ago, a woman phoned the police to report that there was a dangerous drunk driver on the road: her.
The caller, a 49-year-old citizen of the US state of Wisconsin called Mary, told cops through her mobile phone that she believed a motorist was committing the crime of “driving under the influence”.
The police dispatcher asked: “Are they in front of you?”
She replied: “I’m them.”
Officers raced to the spot and found that hero and villain in this particular incident were the same person. She was arrested.
Something tells me that her lawyer is going to have a pretty easy job defending her when her case comes up. “Despite being incapacitated, the defendant heroically saved the community from an evil drink-driver, and let not the fact that she played that role too detract from her heroism.”
Luckily for us, Asians do less drink-driving than Americans or Europeans. Instead, we do lots of sleep-driving. Motorists in this region have five-minute power-naps all day: every time we park, every time we stop at the lights, and sometimes when we are cruising along expressways at 150 kilometers an hour.
You see cars drift across three lanes and have to give a loud BEEEP to wake the drivers up. I do this all the time (beep at people, not sleep on the highway).
That evening, I used the drunk-driving woman’s story as a cautionary tale to a European friend of mine who normally has only about 1.5 milligrams of blood in his alcohol stream. He seemed unimpressed, so I told him another true story about a drinker, this time in Asia.
Earlier this year, a bridegroom turned up for his wedding in Bihar, India, in a state of alcoholic befuddlement. This is the norm in the West, but is rather unusual in Asia.
As he staggered in, reeling from the effects of booze, the family of the teenage bride stared at him. Their eyes narrowed. They made a snap decision. “The bride’s family and local villagers chased him away,” police officer Madho Singh told the press.
Their eyes then alighted on the hapless bridegroom’s brother. “You’ll do,” they proposed romantically to the young man.
The brother said something equally romantic (probably “Help, help!”) and ended up marrying the bride.
Just think of that poor original bridegroom, I told my friend. “By drinking too much, this guy lost his woman and altered the whole course of his life. He can never turn back the clock.”
My hard-drinking friend thought about this for a moment and then shook his head. “Hey. The sober guy ended up married. The drunk guy ended up free as a bird,” he said. “Who won and who lost? I think I’ll have another drink.”
He staggered back to the bar. Have you noticed that people who are drunk say lots of stupid things and then, occasionally, something really rather smart?
But anyway, the moral of this story is quite clear. It’s perfectly fine to drink way too much alcohol and then get into your car to drive home. But only if your head is clear enough to organize your own detention before you cause any trouble. Be a hero. Arrest yourself today. You know it makes sense.
(Below is a video of people who drink and then try to do something complicated: stand up.)