The joy of others' misfortune

Doubled over in illness, sometimes one forgets that there is happiness in the world. Sometimes it's cheesy happiness; the reuniting of loved ones, the twinkle and promise in the eye of a young child, an engagement ring received with a "yes". Sometimes it's earned happiness; the joy of hard work being recognised by a raise, the unequaled joy of completing a novel (not quite there yet) and then having it published (still a very long way). There's occasional drunken happiness too, But there's another happiness. One that stems from the very core of human nature; it's not pretty.

It's the happiness and joy when someone else, often someone you don't know, proves themselves so stupid that even if you've been throwing up for three days you feel fantastic about yourself. That even if you'd been knocked out of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire without a penny, you'd feel a genius, and intellectual giant in comparison to the person who'd exhibited such stupidity. Posh and Becks could look upon this person and comment "'e's a bit fick" with pride.

The nice thing about living on the Thames is the view. Mostly. But there's also the chance to see people make terribly naive and stupid decisions, underestimating the power of a tidal river. Parking in a slipway during a spring tide while residents warn you to move your car and giving them the finger instead of listening to them, only to return to find that the tide had taken you your car 20 metres before it sank by the bow of a river barge. A teacher bringing a bunch of 5 & 6 year-olds over to see the tidal island at low tide and not checking when high tide was due, leaving them trapped and in need of rescue. Heh.

The most recent episode warms the heart more, because arrogance and pride as well as stupidity led to a young man taking his girlfriend for a bit of a joy ride. Wanting to impress the young lady and to show off his (or most probably his parents') brand new Range Rover Sport he decided to take it off road. Now, in spite of the vast numbers of so-called off-road vehicles in London, there are very few accessible off-road courses. Especially at midnight. However, it happened to be low tide and so our horny boy racer thought he'd take his lady and his motor onto the river bed, 'cuz that's off road and usually under water. Sadly, Range Rover Sports aren't really designed to go off road, and certainly not underwater. As this paragon of stupidity was to find out. So finding himself, his ladyfriend and his very expensive car stuck deep in the bank of the Thames, he calls the emergency services. Once they stop laughing they send several vehicles but all they can do is tie a buoy to the top of it so that no passing boats accidentally smack into it. They'd pick it up in the morning.

Which I got on camera for posterity. I was going to send them to the owner, as anyone so galactically stupid deserves to be reminded so that they never act so stupidly again. But then I thought that with salvage costs and of course, writing off a brand new Range Rover Sport, he (or most porbably his parents) would have paid enough. Then I figured I'd offer them to Range Rover, hoping to blackmail them with how badly their car performed in a real-life off-road situation. But then remembered that anyone requiring a car for a real-life off-road situation would have bought a Defender instead.

Please remember when having a look at these photos that the car is already dead - it has spent 6 hours several metres under water.

Having been abandoned overnight, with only a buoy for company, and truly buggered as the tide line is about 4 metres over the roof.
Help arrives - yes, so trecherous is Thames mud and so heavy is the car that salvage has to be via the water.
The winching begins
The boats for one car - overkill perhaps?

The tide's coming up again - how's that little barge going to get that big fucking car out of the water?

Uh, that's how I guess. Cool.
And off home they go, to the great big Range Rover Sport graveyard. Heh.Oh - and all photos ©NCM Productions.