The law of unintended consequences

Over the past few weeks there has been a spate of car break-ins and thefts in my area. I always check that I haven’t left anything worth stealing in my car, except last night, in a rush to get home, I left my jacket on the back seat and my debit card in my jacket pocket. This morning I found my car window smashed and my jacket gone. When you break procedure things go wrong.

But there is a bigger picture here than just the inconvenience of having to get a new bank card and the cost of having to replace the window. The thief used my card in two local shops early this morning so now the police have the exact time and location of the thief, and hopefully will get some CCTV footage that will allow them to identify him. So, if I hadn’t left my card in my jacket pocket the thief would have carried on breaking into cars and getting away with stealing sat navs and the like, but now maybe the police will have a chance of catching him. Smith’s invisible hand reaches out again.

Car culture meetup

Nine pm on a Sunday night and Tesco car park has more cars than it ever does when it’s open. Tonight is the 6th Shutter Gang meet up and hundreds of customised and modded cars of all makes, ages and value have converged to create the biggest car meet in the region. 

Car culture meetup

The Shutter Gang website says “We are relatively new car community established in 2016 in Buckinghamshire. We started as a group of friends who loved two things: cars and photography – hence shutter in our name. We bring the biggest and most fun car events in the area, we spend hours planning every little thing so you can enjoy your night and this is what gives us satisfaction! Our ideas clearly work as there was over 500 of you at our last meet of 2016 and we had over 300 cars in there!”

It’s fantastic to see this kind of subculture thriving. It’s especially fascinating for me because I’m interested in how subcultures around a shared interest develop and what model is used to create a community. I hope the Shutter Gang meets continue and the community grows in the way the organisers want it to.

My car crash 

It was a sunny morning in January and I was working as a recovery driver. Three weeks before there had been serious flooding meaning lots of cars suffering flood damage and so lots of work for us. I’d been working eighteen hours a day every day since the 2nd of January.

I was driving one of our courtesy cars, a little Dawoo Matiz, to a customer to bring back his car for repair. I was driving along in a line of traffic when the car in front stopped to turn right. I didn’t see it stop and drove into the back of it. It was a big heavy Mercedes estate which my little car bounced off and into the oncoming traffic. My car was hit again by a Volvo estate doing 50mph and was spun back onto the side of the road it was on before but now facing the opposite direction.

I got out and asked the other drivers that had stopped to help me push the car off the road. I phoned my boss to tell him what happened. He turned up in the recovery truck to pick the car up. He said that if the car I was driving had been a much heavier car then it wouldn’t have bounced into the oncoming traffic, but if it had only been a slightly heavier car then it wouldn’t have bounced as far as it did and instead of hitting the door post of my car it would have hit the drivers door and probably seriously injured me.