Twitch-Twitch Which Way Miss?

August 13, 2009 at 19:10 2 comments

Enroute to a friend’s wedding I took a cab, and for the first time, found myself in the hands of a driver with an obvious case of tic disorder. I don’t usually stare at the cabby, but could not help noticing that this one twitched his head from side to side a lot. At first I thought he was simply being over-zealous about checking his blind spot, but when that continued to a ridiculous extent, I looked more closely and realized that his legs were twitching rhythymically too. Then I looked at his hands on the steering wheel and saw that they were going jerk-jerk, jerk-jerk. Yikes. And then each time after he asked a question or made a remark, all that twitch-twitch and jerk-jerk got twice as bad for a few seconds. Double yikes.

It wasn’t as dangerous as it sounds in words, though. It’s not as if the cab zigzagged through the journey, and I’m obviously still alive. If I hadn’t been looking at the cabby, I wouldn’t even have realized from the journey that there was something wrong with him. In fact, I think this cabby was safer than the one in Manila who stopped our cab right over a set of fully-operational train tracks. The other thing is that I know that tics can disappear temporarily in the course of voluntary movement, so sufferers can walk, or play tennis, or type, without falling sideways and twitching helplessly. There’s even a book written on this surgeon-cum-pilot with a tic disorder, who was able to do his work perfectly well. On the other hand, tics tend to get worse when the sufferer isn’t concentrating on anything in particular.

Such as when one is driving. Ha ha. 

This cabby reminded me of another chap I saw some years ago at a lunch event. This second chap was young and his tics were much more obvious – every few seconds he shrugged hard on his right side, like his ear and shoulder were trying to achieve urgent communion. But guess what – he was the event photographer. You cannot take a focused photograph if you cannot control your fine movements, never mind a whopping great jerk that could send your camera through the window. But he managed just fine whenever he took aim with the camera.

I don’t know if it’s OK to drive here in Singapore if you have a tic disorder. You’re not supposed to if you’re colour-blind or have epilepsy. I think this cabby is coping fine, but I wonder if other people have noticed, or have complained. I did not complain and I would not complain. Would you?

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Purplejake  |  August 24, 2009 at 08:11

    This may be an ignorant question but why aren’t you allowed to drive if you’re colour blind…? Surely not something to do with traffic lights?

    Reply
    • 2. Katie  |  August 24, 2009 at 12:06

      Yup yup, traffic lights are absolutely right. :)

      Reply

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Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

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