Bear News Beartown News
APRIL 1, 2000



Traveling on Indian Roads is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, and always unforgettable.
Most Indian drivers, and others found within the limits of a highway, observe a version of the Highway Code based on a Sanskrit text. These 10 rules of the road will be printed here in English.

RULE 1 The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

RULE 2 Indian traffic, like Indian society, is structured on a strict caste system. The following precedence must take place at all times. In descending order, give way to: cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, jeeps, ox-carts, cars, motorcycles, scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles (goods-carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.

RULE 3 All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim: to slow is to falter, to brake is to admit defeat. This is the Indian driver's mantra.

RULE 4 Use of horn (also known as sonic fender or aural amulet):
CARS 1 Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, i. e. in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians path. 2 Long blasts (desperate) denote supplication, i. e. to oncoming truck: "I am going too fast to stop so unless you slow down we shall both die". In extreme cases this may be accomplished by flashing of headlights (frantic). 3 Single blast (casual) means: I have seen someone out of India's 950 million whom I know" or "There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my wind screen)" or "I haven't blown my horn for several minutes."
TRUCKS & BUSES All horn signals have the same meaning, viz: "I have an all-up weight of approximately 30 tons and no intention of stopping, even if I could." This signal may be emphasised by the use of headlights.
(RULE 4 remains subject to the provision of the Order of Precedence in RULE 2 above)
Continued next month


A shilling subscription having been set on foot to bury a attorney who had died very poor, Lord Chief Justice Norbury exclaimed, "Only a shilling to bury an attorney! Here's a guinea; go and bury one-and-twenty of them."

A fellow stole Lord Chatham's large gouty shoes; his servant, not finding them, began to curse the thief. "never mind," said his lordship, "all the harm I wish the rogue is, that the shoes may fit him!"

Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, talking to a friend about the antiquity if his family, which he carried up to Noah, was told that he was a mere mushroom of yesterday. "How so, pray?" said the baronet. "Why," continued the other, "when I was in Wales, a pedigree of a particular family was shown to me: it filled five skins of parchment, and near the middle of it was a note in the margin: 'About this time the world was created.'"

A certain noble lord being in his early years was much addicted to dissipation. His mother advised him to take example by a gentleman, whose food was herbs and his drink water. "What! madam," said he, "would you have me to imitate a man who eats like a beast, and drinks like a fish?"

A certain Lord Mayor, hearing of a gentleman who had had the small-pox twice, and died of it, asked if he died the first time or the second.

A soldier passing through a meadow, had a large mastiff run at him, and he stabbed the dog with a bayonet. The master of the dog asked him why he had not rather struck the dog with the butt-end of his weapon? "So I should," said the soldier, "if he had run at me with his tail!"

Sir Thomas Overbury says, that the man who has not anything to boast of but his illustrious ancestors, is like a potato, the only good belonging to him is underground.

Lord Bacon, speaking of commentators, critics, etc., said, "With all their pretentions, they were only brushers of noblemen's clothes.".

(this name has been created to protect the true identity of these well known people)

Why are Zangonian mothers so hefty?
From raising all those dumb-bells.

Do you know why Zangonians don't eat M & M's?
They are too hard to peel.

It seems two fellows were traveling through Zangonia, when they became very hungry. They soon saw a pig by the roadside and picked it up. Then they heard on the radio that the authorities were on the lookout for pig thieves. One said to the other, "Mike, let's put this bonnet on the pig and sit it up between us on the seat.," which they did. The law stopped them to ask if they had seen anyone suspicious, they said no. When they had left one officer said to the other, "Sure beats me what a good looking Zangonian girl can see in those two!"

Why did they have to replace the grass on the football field with Astro Turf at Zangonian University?
To keep the Cheer Leaders from grazing at half time!

Did you hear about the Zangonian who built his house out of ice on the lake?
He drowned digging his basement.

A man came into a store in Zangonia and saw a sign "T.G.I.F." over a shoe display. When asked, the clerk explained: "No, that's not for Thank God It's Friday. It means, Toes Go In First."

Did you hear about the Zangonian who thought he found his gum in the chicken coop three different times?

Two Zangonians were walking down the railroad tracks.
One said to the other: "This sure is the longest set of stairs I've ever climbed."
The other replied: "I know. What's even worse is having to bend down to grab the hand railings."



Copyright 2000 Claude Dern, All Rights Reserved
This site hosted by