Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Road Rules in Real Life

Last week, my sister's husband died. The funeral was yesterday. There were so many events in and around the death that one blog post won't cut it. I figure, in a few months, when it's not all so raw, I'll serialise the story here. The story has a lot of twists... gangsters, death-threats, drugs, families fighting, a bizarre 21st in Canberra, and a eulogy speech from my Mum that rivals Marc Antony's 'Brutus is an honourable man' from Shakespeare.

In amongst the emotional carnage, there was a small event that made me smile.

My brother-in-law was a biker. Harleys. He was somewhat an expert in the field of Harley reconstruction, and he was popular amongst Harley riders - particularly hardcore gang members (the types of gangs you read about in the news) and many of these bikers came to the funeral.

When it came time to travel from the church to the cemetary, the order of the procession was supposed to be the hearse at the front, then my nephew (on his motorbike), then my car with me driving my sister (the bereaved), then behind us, my other nephew (in his car), then everyone else. But the bikers saw that my nephew was alone on his bike behind the hearse and decided to join him. So, the order ended up being the hearse, then about 30 scary biker dudes on Harleys, then me and my sister. Nothing was going to stop them from taking up this position, and besides, my sister pointed out that he would've been proud of having the Harleys behind the hearse.

Because we were driving through the suburbs, there were lots of red lights to navigate, and naturally, the hearse drivers were driving very slowly waiting for the long procession to catch up. The bikers helped. Two of them in particular kept driving in front of oncoming traffic, ignoring lights, and waving through the procession, then riding back up to the front.

When we hit the freeway, the hearse took a position in the left lane and was doing about 50km p/h, allowing everyone to catchup, but one man, not involved in the procession, cut in front of my car so he was between me and the bikers. My sister said, "It's okay, he probably wants to take the next exit," but when the next exit came, he didn't take it; he just stayed in our lane, at the front of the procession.

Then, he did a stupid thing. He tooted. And gesticulated. He wanted to go faster. He couldn't get out of the lane because all other lanes were doing 100km p/h, so he was stuck in ours. Tooting bikies in a funeral procession is not a good idea. He should've just pulled up in the emergency lane and waited, but no, he wanted to go faster so he was tooting the bikers. A couple of bikers dropped back to be beside him and they gesticulated back. In no uncertain terms, using hands, legs and frightening bearded facial expressions, the driver was urged to remove himself from the procession. But he had his back up. He was enraged that we were going so slow. Maybe he had a meeting to go to? Maybe he was hungry and wanted some cake?

And so, in order to end this farce, the bikers, somewhat symbiotically, all slowed down even more, and like a gang of lions in a BBC documentary, surrounded the hapless driver and quite literally ran him out of the lane and into the fast lane, nearly causing a massive crash with the fast traffic bearing down on him. And he still tooted at the bikers as he drove away!

I saw one scary biker take a good look at his number plate.

Oh dear.

I don't know anything about motorbikes or bikie gangs, but it is surely a VicRoads approved rule (and if it isn't, it should be in the driving license test), that when confronted by a mob of them on the roads, all existing road rules are out the window and they have right of way, whether they are on your right, on your left, on the wrong side of the road or in your driveway. Just pull over and let them ride, and maybe use the free time to check your hair in the mirror and see who is on 'The Conversation Hour' with Jon Faine.

When we got to the cemetary, the bikers set up a guard of honour into the property by blocking all oncoming cars (allowing the entire procession to turn right against the traffic and into the cemetary). At least 30 cars were made to stop. None of them tooted. They knew the real road rules.

49 comments:

Melba said...

Sorry to hear this Perseus, but I am incredibly curious about almost everything to do with this story. I will be patient and look forward to the fill-in-the-gaps post(s).

Mad Cat Lady said...

Condolences dude.
Awesome funeral.

Cath said...

Condolences to you and your entire family.

The bikers sound like great guys and did a wonderful thing in looking after a comrade on his final resting place. This post would be even more poignant if you posted the offending cars licence plate so I can gesticulate wildly and drive slowly if I should see him on the streets....

Mr E Discharge said...

My condolences also, Pers.

And my condolences to the family of the cunt motorist. Bikie justice is generally swift and severe.

Alex said...

I'd offer my condolences too if I was sure that it was appropriate. I vaguely remember you talking about a brother-in-law that you weren't particularly fond of. The father of 'The Butcher' I think. Same bloke?

Perseus said...

Hey, Alex, no, this was the nice brother-in-law who was the partner of my eldest sister (who some TSFKA-ers met at my 40th), not the the other brother-in-law, 'Mongrel' (as he is known), that was found to have another wife in Asia on-the-side.
Thank you for your condolonceseses. My normal blogging will resume next week.

WitchOne said...

Exactly what MLC said.

xxxx

squib said...

How rude. If I was stuck behind a hearse on a multi lane road, I wouldn't even overtake, let alone toot

Man, some people

Puss In Boots said...

Sincere best wishes, Pers. I hope your sister is ok.

Lewd Bob said...

Although I have already sent you my sincere condolences Perseus, I repeat them here. I met the guy once. Perhaps in the early 80s. Seemed like a nice guy.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I recall a piece of poetry which started

"Death can end a life, but it cannot end a relationship,

"It lingers in the survivor’s mind..."

wari lasi said...

As above Perseus, regards to you and yours. It doesn't sound like he was very old. Sad.

that was found to have another wife in Asia on-the-side

Oh dear, I think I might wind up with one of them, but not on the side. I've fallen hopelessy in love here.

Alex said...

this was the nice brother-in-law

I'm sorry for your loss and you and your family have my best wishes.

RandomGit said...

My condolences for your loss.

That idiots driving was wrong for any sort of funeral procession, let alone one packed with bikers. Ignorant to the point of non-survival that one.

Perseus said...

Thanks guys.

Maybe he didn't realise it was a procession. Maybe he hates bikers. Whatever the case, he was nuts.

Wari: Full story please.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Yes Wari, why should Perseus be the only one we laugh at.

wari lasi said...

It's OK Ramon, I'm used to being an object of ridicule. But you'd probably worked that out already.

wari lasi said...

Perseus, you have mail.

WitchOne said...

Pers. Can you post Wari's tale of love for us all? Because I need to know now and secrets aren't nice when I am not in on them.

squib said...

Yeah, what's the goss?

Mad Cat Lady said...

is it the most beautiful woman in the world who then turned out to be of negotiable affection that you mentioned?

Lewd Bob said...

...or turned out to be a guy...

WitchOne said...

Was her name Lola??

As your registered internet affair (TM) Wari, I have a right to know! I don't want any viruses.

Lord Gravy said...

Lola! You'd better not be in love with my wife Mr Lasi.

Although she does have fine ankles so I can hardly blame you.

wari lasi said...

Not Lola LG, and just for the record I don't do OPWs (other people's women). Found it a fine survival tactic.

Her name is Noi (mono syllabic names or nicknames are all the go here), and no I don't believe she's on the game. But who knows really. She is just the most beautiful lady I've met in years. Perseus can verify this I believe and as I have Squib's email I'll send a picture to her and she can give a female's perspective as to whether she looks like a hooker.

patchouligirl said...

Good luck Wari and sorry to hear about your brother in law Perseus. It's awful when people die young.

WitchOne said...

Send it to me too wari! Please?

Dr. Golf said...

Condolences Pers.

Over here they completely shut down a major freeway for 20 minutes, just before afternoon peak hour, for the funeral procession of each fallen soldier in Afghanistan. (131 to date).

I think they do it on purpose, to force a large number of people to make a small sacrifice. Nobody complains, its good.

wari lasi said...

Witchie has mail.

squib said...

What?! You sent it to Witchie AS WELL? I don't feel at all special now

wari lasi said...

Look up Squib, she practically begged. And she emailed me.

You got Noi first though. Well, after Perseus.

How were the cheese straws? They sound yummy.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

You'll always be special to me, Squib.

squib said...

Wari, I haven't cooked them yet. I have too much work to do (hence I am commenting on here)

Ramon, I saw you twirling your finger around your ear when you said that

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Squib, anybody who takes the time to send me three ace buttons AND a bonus poem is OK by me.

I think The Virge would be well within her rights to say "Fuck, Joyce, what sort of whackey tobaccy are you smoking there, you gibbering buffoon".

wari lasi said...

What? Ramon got three buttons? THREE?

Now I don't feel special to you either.

Can I have the cheese straws recipe please?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Suffer in your jocks, Wari.

Squib likes me better than she likes you.

Nyah, nyah, nyah.

wari lasi said...

It's your common literary background I fear. I was never a chance.

C'est la vie ...

Must go for breakfast, all this talk of cheese straws has made me hungry.

WitchOne said...

I'm not above begging if I get my own way.

squib said...

oh dear, oh dear, now you've landed me in it, Ramon

Wari, I only sent Ramon a third badge because I didn't think you were interested in dead Russians

I have a superb cheese straw recipe from this very fine book

WitchOne said...

That old chestnut Squib?? Fantastic boo, I think everyone has a copy don't they? I know I stole mine from my mother, thankfully my sister doesn't care as she doesn't cook.

Anyone buying the Philly cheese promo from Coles? Buy 3 Philly cheese products and you get a free cookbook, pathetic but I don't care, I'm getting one tonight!

Leilani said...

Withcie I would rather just buy the book than have to find a use for three tubs of cream cheese. Unless it's a fantastic book, is it?

WitchOne said...

It's a $35 (RRP) cookbook that uses lots of Philly products. I figure I can use my product out on some of the recipes and if I like it, it can be a keeper.

Apparently at least one of the recipes is amazing, it's a slice of some sort, I didn't get to try it but I did hear about it ad nauseum.

squib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mad Cat Lady said...

lime cheesecake with pineapple chunks mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

squib said...

Yes Witchie, what a marvel it is, a cookery book that lets everyone know what this nation stands for

I'm going to dig it out again on Sunday when I make a pavlova for our guests

find a use for three tubs of cream cheese

Easy. One word. Cheesecake

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Stop saying "cheesecake" in there.

WitchOne said...

Toblerone cheesecake!

There is a recipe in the book for a smoked chicken cheesecake, I will be making this one on the weekend, will let you know how it goes. I'm about to make a tuna casserole with philly cheese through it to use up at least one tub!

Chicken cheesecake is another.

I also got the mini tubs to round out the 3 required products so I shall no doubt be having philly on salada's with the REAL vegemite for a while.

Cookery the Australian Way, the number 1 cookbook to take when you leave home, better even than your mothers jewellery!

Kettle said...

Sorry to hear, Pers, and what a send off.

Dr. Golf said...

Should philly cheese be capitalised?

(In a grammatical sense as opposed to financial sense).