Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The kindness of strangers

A good-ish number of years ago, when I was at Uni, some mates and I were in a car on Saturday night, travelling down Chapel Street to a party- as was our wont in those long-gone times.

Near the intersection with Dandenong Highway our car bumped – quite gently – into the rear of the car in front. Our driver got out to inspect the damage, as did the driver of the other car.

From there, things got weird.

The driver of the other car and for ease of narrative, lets call him “Insane Psycho Lunatic” or IPL for short, took exception to our mate’s explanation of the incident and knocked him to the ground.

“Right-o” we all thought, “spirit of Gallipoli and all that”, so out we go to come to our mate’s aid.

The drawback was that this bloke was an insane, psycho lunatic and we were arts students, the result being we were knocked around Chapel Street like nine-pins. I was punched to the ground, got up and was punched to the ground again.

I remember lying on the ground thinking “well, things aren’t going so well” when there was a shout of “oi” and a passer-by came to running to our aid and gave said IPL a through and much deserved walloping.

“Err, thanks mate” we said. “No worries” he said and drove off*.

The moral of this story escapes me, unless it’s “don’t get into fist fights with lunatics if you’re a weedy arts student**.”

*We managed to track him down and delivered a slab of beer in thanks the next day.

**I suppose having Alex*** with us might have come in useful.

***I mean, of course, the surly, punching-on Alex, not the fluffy, nice Alex we’ve all come to know and love.


Anonymous said...

I'm probably not imagining this right, but I'm giggling at the thought of someone driving down the street and saying "Hey, there's a bloke being attacked by a mob of drunken youth. I'd better give them a hand before someone gets hurt."

Mad Cat Lady said...

lol - thank you - good story

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

It was a bit surreal, MCL.

Bloke driving down the road, saw us in a spot of bother, got out of his car, sorted the bloke out in about 10 seconds, got back in his car and drove off.

We were left scratching our heads and saying "who was that unmasked man"?

Mad Cat Lady said...

I wish I had as good a 'kindness of strangers' story to give.

My encounters with lunatics are unoriginal.

One of the last was a large unkempt gentleman who'd had such a big night (or perhaps week) that his eyes resembled boiled prawns rolling around in the sockets. Sat next to me at a brisbane bus stop around 5 or 6 am and after some polite chitchat offered to come back to my place with me and have sex with me because I wasn't too bad.

Then there was the large toothless black man in a sydney pub seranding the cliental with a Mariah Carey song who introduced himself as Shiloh and said he was a hit man for a bikie gang in town overnight for work, who when I declined his offer, told me I was missing out because, he said, the stories about blackmen having large cocks was all true.

WitchOne said...

I wish I had some weird stories, but I can't remember any!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

This was one of my milder ones!

Mad Cat Lady said...

*sits downed crossed leged on floor and looks up hopefully*
Can you tell us another story pl-eeeease, Mr Insertnamehere

squib said...

I was backing out of a space in a Coles carpark once and somehow I took the side strip off the car next to me. And scraped the paint a bit. At the same time, the car's owner returned. He picked the strip up off the ground, said no worries, and drove off. He was quite cheerful

Anonymous said...

I'm with MCL. Let's hear one of the not-so-mild ones.

WitchOne said...


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Well, there was the time I was abducted from a student party in Carlton.

Or the time we spent 24-hours drinking with some mad farmers in the mountains in Cuba.

Or roaring through the small Hungarian town of Pecs, hanging onto the broken seatbelt which the taxi driver cheerfully announced were "kaput!"

Also, I've just watched the health debate.

Kruddy did a "Fargo*" on The Mad Monk.

*ie, fed him through the chipper.

Anonymous said...

Fuck. I forgot to tape that. Is there going to be a repeat? Can I get it off the web?

Also Ramon, I've had plenty of experience with pissed farmers and hooning around in unsafe vehicles. I vote for the abduction story first.

Mad Cat Lady said...


Ramon Insertnamehere said...


This requires some thought.

Alex, I'm sure that Monk's manic cackle will be replayed again and again and again.

Leilani said...

I missed the debate too dammit.

Once as I approached the lights I didn't brake hard enough and I gently touched the car in front. I got out to inspect the damage and then the driver of the other car got out to inspect the damage and he was a clown. A real clown, with clown make-up, red nose, green wig etc.

That was pretty weird.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Did the clown want to punch-on?

Anonymous said...

Leilani, you're lucky thirty of them didn't get out.

Ramon, seeing repeated footage of the Monk cackle like a madman is hardly going to be a consolation.

Leilani said...

Actually the clown was pretty nice. I had dinted his car but as his car was a pile of crap, AND he was running late for moomba, he told me to forget about it. Which was very nice. I was so excited I almost squeezed his nose.

TubularBells said...

A friend of mine (mad northern englishman) tells a pretty fantastic story about the time he was set on by a couple of drunken louts on the side of a traffic-free road at 4am ish. A van happened to drive by, stop, and out hopped his landlord armed with a plank of wood which he used to beat the crap out of the louts. Truely a rare landlord that one.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I think your mate's story tops mine, TB.

squib said...

How annoying would that be? Someone has just trashed your car and you have to grin from ear to ear because you're a clown

Mr E Discharge said...

I've always thought that one of the defining characteristics of the Australian people was their willingness to render assistance to stranded motorists.

Wherever you happen to be, if you lock your keys in your car, within minutes a small crowd will appear from nowhere, each armed with either a coathanger, a length of wire, a steel ruler, a piece of pallet straping and their "secret" trick that their Dad/Uncle/Boss/Mechanic taught them.

Each will take his turn at unlocking the car while the others offer words of encouragement, guidence and well meaning criticism, until the door is at last opened. A small celebration ensues with thanks, congratulations and expresions of satisfaction at job well done, after which the crowd disperses as mysteriously as it appeared.

At no time during the entire proceedings does anyone ever ask if it's actually your car.

obtuse-a said...

I once locked my keys in my car, and, noticing there was a guy sitting in the car parked behind mine, went over to ask for help/ coathanger/wire/ruler etc.

He was busy, with his fly down, enjoying the view and the sunny afternoon if you know what I mean.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I've noticed that as well, Mr E.

That's because blokes are itching to either a) fix things or b) break things.

Puss In Boots said...

My first car was a piece of crap 25 year old Toyota Corona. The previous owner was always locking her keys in it, so her dad had drilled a hole in the door lock. It was painfully easy to stick a coat hanger through the dodgy rubbers and pull the door lock up. Consequently, it was broken into at least once a week.

Once, I left it in the car park at uni, and came back a few hours later to exchange books. I noticed the door was unlocked, but that didn't surprise me. Then I got in and saw a Hungry Jack's bag sitting in the centre console. Some weirdo had broken into my car, eaten their lunch, and then left!

Mad Cat Lady said...

I wish there had been somebody to help the first time I took the work car out.

I locked the keys in the car with the engine still running and the lawyer I worked for had to come down in a taxi with the spare keys.