Saturday 24 August 2013


It used to be that transactions were simple and made sense.  You had some grain that I wanted, I had some milk that you wanted, so we traded my milk for your grain.  And we were happy.  Somewhere along the line someone realised that gold was rare (and thus valuable) and could be traded for stuff instead of goods.  And then some other genius decided that substituting pieces of paper that represented this money would be simpler and safer. 

But ever since then, people have been figuring out ways to save money. Some people go out of their way to reuse things. Others rely on coupons and sales, whilst some do their best to reduce their usage and recycle what they have. And then there are some who completely lose their minds and make an incredibly stupid decision, all in the name of saving a little money. 

A man in his 60's was brought to me after he crashed his motor scooter on his way to work.  He broke 3 ribs and his wrist, but fortunately he was wearing his helmet so he had no serious brain injury. When the time came to discharge him a few days later, I was elated to hear him say "You know what Doc, I'm done with scooters.  They're too dangerous!  But that's what I get for trying to save a few pounds dollars euros rubles yuan kronas rupees yen." (You didn't really think I'd let that slip, did you?)

I suppose he saw my quizzical look, because he continued.  He informed me that he had bought the scooter because it was cheaper than a car and got great fuel economy.  He never once thought about his own safety.  Never mind the fact that he took this little thing on the freeway around maniacs driving way too fast while putting on makeup, updating Twitter, and drinking a cup of coffee. 

I saw him a few days ago in my office, and he's recovering well.  He's already sold the scooter, and he's looking for a used car.  One with seat belts and air bags and crumple zones, none of which you'll find on a motorcycle. 

You get what you pay for. I guarantee he'll be paying more now (in lost wages, etc) than he would have if he had just bought a car in the first place. 


  1. The way you wrote that sentence sounded like the guy was the one putting on makeup and updating Twitter and drinking a cup of coffee. In which case, the man's got talent! Wait...

  2. I disagree a bit... The overall lower cost is a huge factor. Personally I come from a family without any major financial troubles and will never buy a motorcycle, but I could definitely understand why people do. It's a lot less safe, but then again accidents are a lot rarer if you're careful (which most people think they are, and a lot of people actually are). The chances of dying or getting seriously injured from a motorcycle accident are small, and apparently for those people the much lower cost of both the machine and the upkeep (fuel) are worth that risk. Not to mention how they solve parking AND traffic jams.

    However, a friend of mine was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident a few months back. He was injured so badly that we still can't visit him in the hospital. His family says he's slowly improving, but AFAIK his neurological state is still unclear... It's terrible what happened, but I have to say he was never an especially safe driver. Also worth mentioning that he cared nothing about the price, he simply loved motorcycles, and that's another story altogether. I'm absolutely sure, though, that if.. no, WHEN he makes it out of this, he's going to give up motorcycles for life.

    1. Just noticed some horrible phrasing on my part, in "The chances of ..." I meant the chances of an accident happening at all, not the chances of getting hurt in an accident that happened.

  3. I've always wanted to buy a motorbike. I've loved them ever since I was young. However...I've know some people who have been thrown off their bikes. I feel nervous driving a car. I'd feel worse on a bike, with nothing to protect me. I don't want to end up in the ER, all battered and bruised. Safety should be everyone's first priority.

  4. If you really want to get mad look up the peel p50. If that doesn't get you mad enough try Capara T1, Morgan 3 wheeler, and Jeremy Clarkson's p45. When do you find time to write and post these?

    1. When I have a few minutes here and there I jot down ideas. I tend to expand them late at night before going to sleep.


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