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Walker: Preparing for the inevitable insult after injury

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: July 12, 2012 7:20 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2012 7:20 p.m.
 

There was another “high-speed” police chase on television this week. But, don’t worry, I’m not going to rework that topic.

However, as that chase wound down, one thought occurred to me.

As the inevitable bad end to this particular adventure approached, mightn’t the fleeing driver want to call someone?

I mean, as the odds of a fatal crash increase, he’s probably going to want to say goodbye to his mom. And even if he’s only going to jail, he might want the wife to know where he’s spending that night.

The point is, the guy is probably on his cellphone toward the end of the chase, if only to call his buddy and ask how the chase looks on TV. But my question then becomes, “Would the cops add a cellphone ticket to the fugitive’s long list of offenses that day, or let the small stuff slide?”

Picture the possible charges: attempted robbery, grand theft auto, refusal to stop for an officer, excessive rate of speed, reckless driving, public endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, vehicular manslaughter, DUI, mayhem, mental cruelty, public stupidity, social faux pas … and finally, operating a cellphone while driving, with this last probably making the guy say, “Really?!”

It would be adding insult to injury, my friends, and provides the motivation for today’s topic.

And we’re off …

Now, to “add insult to injury” basically means to hurt a person’s feelings after you’ve already done them real harm. But any added oomph will fit. Here are a few examples:

Consider the dramatic court-martials you see in movies. They’re drumming the poor schlub out of the army, he’s losing his livelihood and his honor – and then they wreck his shirt while tearing off his stripes.

That’s just hateful, right? It’s a classic example of adding insult to injury (AITI).

Another classic dramatic example is in “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Here, one of the three conspirators who cause the hero to be imprisoned also marries the hero’s fiance while he is locked away.

That’s just mean.

There are less “classic” examples of AITI, of course, but they are no less painful.

How about attending an all-night frat party, and waking up with a nasty hangover? There’s your injury. And the insult is when you find out that, while you were passed out on the sofa, your friends dressed you in diapers and posted the photos on Facebook.

Funny? Of course. Well deserved? Probably. An example of AITI? Well, you definitely see it that way, though, technically, you injured yourself. Your friends were only doing their jobs.

And then there’s the kind of AITI that the universe puts on you. You wake up to realize you’ve turned 40 (the injury) and find out you can no longer read the print on your birthday cards without magnification (the insult). But this also comes under the heading of KAMWHD (kicking a man when he’s down).

Of course, there’s always the verbal sleight-of-hand AITI. You’ve said something horrific to someone, hurt them emotionally in a major way, and they really deserve an apology from you. But you apologize thusly, “I’m sorry that you took it that way.”

Not only have you emotionally injured them with your first statement, now you’ve belittled their perception of events and, basically, called them paranoid.

This is not only AITI, it is also TTK (twisting the knife), which is really just adding injury to injury.

And, finally, consider: You’ve been knocked out by a rough body-check during a hockey game. I mean, things are so bad that they have to immobilize you on a stretcher to cart you away … and then the stretcher guys dump you on the floor. If that ain’t AITI, I don’t know what is.

And, yeah, you can view it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yxLlZkknv0.

Just remember, when you’ve been injured … clench up and cover your head. The insult can’t be far away.

Comment at jwalker@the-signal.com or at http://Twitter.com/DontSeriously.

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