Go with a smile!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Some readers would know that I own a van. It was bought for my mother’s use by my father, and I get to share it with her. I don’t use it very much because I don’t like the idea of creating massive amounts of CO2, but there are some times when I just have to get to places in a hurry, or to go home in the wee hours of the morning.

There are times when I’ve felt quite sleepy when I’ve had to drive. And that’s when I take the precaution of a nap at the back of the van. I take as long as I want, it doesn’t matter if I take longer to reach home because – in any case, I’d have spent that equivalent amount of time at home sleeping.

But strange things have happened to me while I was napping in my van, that now I must consider it a very hazardous activity that I may only partake at my peril.

There was this time, I entered a car park which was half full. I had just sent a friend home and I was smashed. The ride home would take 20 minutes, but I napped. I must have been really tired because I only woke up 1 hour later, and then there was this big ugly pickup parked right next to my van. Before I knew what was happening, the pickup had pulled right out of that lot, and parked right in front of me, obstructing my way out. Before I knew it, the driver was gone.

I followed his movements, and deduced that he had gone into the nearby Mac’s – probably was a supplier. After that, I tooted my horn furiously, then decided to go out and look for him.

He was back within 5 minutes. I shouted at him to move his pickup. Then he grumbled to me that I was an asshole for taking up 2 lots by not parking my van properly – that was true, but I had parked it like that when the parking lot was half full. Now, it looked like I had selfishly taken up the last 2 lots. But I didn’t like that he said, “now you’re tooting your horn as though it was the most wonderful sound in the world.” That implied that he knew that I was trying to get out of my lot, but just took another 5 minutes so that he could “teach me a lesson”. (Truth is, he probably took as much time as he needed to take, and I don’t think that anybody – unless he’s a complete asshole – would park his car in front of another car unless it was for a short while).

But it didn’t feel good to be quarrelling with an old ah beng at 2 in the morning about moral philosophy. I think I would have been better off avoiding the mistake of sloppy parking.

That mistake was a minor one compared to what I did during another time. I was in a multi-storey car park and took a nap in the back. I had locked the door from the inside, so that I would be protected while asleep.

So I woke up, and got out of the van through the back door. Then I closed the back door. Then I found out to my horror that the key was still inside, and all the doors were locked.

I actually spent 5 minutes trying to figure out what to do. First, I took stock of what I did or did not have. My handphone, the key, and very importantly, my shoes were inside. At least I still had my wallet with me, and I could take public transport.

I couldn’t call up some help. I considered finding a locksmith, but I didn’t know where to get one, or to look for one. I thought of smashing in the car window, but I balked at having to pay for repairs. I didn’t think I could walk far because my shoes were still inside the van. Another option was to find a public phone and call my parents. But that would entail walking around in a HDB estate, where the ground was not that clean, in order to find a public phone. I didn’t want that.

In the end the obvious solution was : go home and get the spare key, with or without the shoes. So I walked barefoot for 300m to get to the bus stop, took it to the MRT station, then took it to my place. I always used the steps and avoided the escalators. At least I got onto an empty train. There was this punk sitting opposite me, he was dressed in an outrageous costume, and he was startled to see me in office wear but without my shoes. The journey took forever. This is probably the first time (and hopefully the last time) I've had to walk home from the MRT station to my house without my shoes.

When I got back home, my mother took 10 minutes to find the key. She's as disorganised as usual. Then I used the other car to drive to that carpark, with my father in the passenger seat. He drove it back later.

So guys – moral of the story, a nap in your vehicle can be a very hazardous thing if not managed properly.



Blogger Nat said...

Heh, you know what they say about lessons, can be learnt only from experience... Once you have learnt the important ones, napping in car can be done in relative safety.

There is this strange feeling I get that taking the MRT barefoot was more of a social experiment, in a fix, I would have taken a cab :)

8:57 AM

Blogger 7-8 said...

Surely you know me well enough to recall how tight fisted I am with cash!

5:50 PM

Blogger 7-8 said...

Surely you know me well enough to recall how much I love social experiments!

6:01 PM


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