Thursday, December 13, 2007

Studds Farm

The Danger Of Making Assumptions

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Sometimes, assumptions can come completely unstuck. Yep, even assumptions made on the basis of what might seem perfect logic.

Consider this case. It was back in the days when I lived in India and edited a weekly sports magazine for a large media organisation. I was about twenty-four years old. At that stage, I rode a motorbike and wore one of the first locally manufactured full-face helmets. It was a Studds helmet, produced in Madras and after a couple of years, the sliding visor cracked when someone dropped a cricket bat on it.

The only way to replace it was to take the helmet all the way to Madras and have a new visor fitted by the Studds staff. Because I travelled a great deal, it was not long before I found myself booked on a flight for a two-day trip to Madras. I took an overnight bag with me, and carried the helmet in my hand. A very good friend of mine, the late sports journalist Ashok Kamath, met me at Madras airport and we walked out in deep conversation.

At the exit, someone asked me something in Tamil, a language I do not speak. The man was immediately rebuked by someone standing next to him. As we walked past them I asked Ashok what had just transpired. He chuckled and gave me a translation.

The first man had asked me if I wanted a cab or an auto-rickshaw. The second man had chided him for his apparent stupidity. ``Don’t you have eyes? The fellow is carrying a helmet, so he obviously has a motorcycle parked outside.’’

Perfectly logical. But oh, so wrong.

13 comments:

Hammer said...

Motorcycle helmets with visors are great for keeping hard shelled beetles from ruining ones complexion.

Mushy said...

Good story my friend. It also gave me a chuckle.

Akelamalu said...

Ah yes, assumptions can be soooo wrong! Great story.

Jeni said...

As an old teacher of mine used to say - "Never assume anything. If you do, it becomes something where you make it just the way it is spelled - "ass of you and me" (ass u me)

BRUNO said...

Couldn't have described it better myself! But then, I have enough common "horse-sense" to know better than to try such, in the FIRST place!

However, I have learned a bit about other languages years back, especially when it came to HAND-gestures! THIS doesn't necessarily mean THAT over THERE, let alone HERE! Although, they were fast-learners....!

Corey~living and loving said...

um yeah....one should never ASSUME.

It just makes an ASS out of U and ME! tee hee

Corey~living and loving said...

oh I see...I wan't the first to say that. LOL that is me assuming that I am witty. lol

Ms. Tuesday said...

hmm... im also discussing assumptions this week!

my favorite part of this one is actually his assumption that you spoke the langauge, not about the helmet!

itisthelittlethings said...

I am the queen of assumptions. I assume, that is.

Jules said...

I think most of the things that we see in life are often assumptions - that's why we get into so much trouble.

great catching up with your interesting blog!! Love the bees. friends here have an apartment int that building and I'll be staying there when i visit next year - hope the bees are still there!!!

imac said...

At least your cracked vison hasnt ruined your eye for a photograph then.lol.


My fri sky watch is a must:)

Sniz said...

This is such a cool story...a great way to demonstrate why we shouldn't jump to conclusions.

backpakker said...

great story..we often take a lot of things for granted