Jul 20
Mercedes Syndrome
icon4 Jul 20th, 2008 | icon2 Bric-a-Brac |

Where we live there exists a very frightening type of woman. Their personalities are a toxic brew of depression, menace and unpredictability which combine in lethal proportions, often with terrifying results.

Whenever Rach and I see this type of woman we refer to her as “Mercedes” after Mercedes Corby, who is the archetype for this previously undescribed syndrome. Characteristics of Mercedes Syndrome sufferers include oversized teeth, gnarled facial features, shrieking voice and an extremely short fuse.

Here is a brief sample of the original Mercedes, Corby family spokesperson (good choice!), as she addresses the press scrum moments after her sister Schapelle’s guilty verdict:

“Schapelle is innocent, this verdict is UNJUST! The case now enters a new phase and we’ll stand by Schapelle every step of the way. Our lawyers have done their best, and with the support of all the Australians – thank you – Schapelle will be coming home soon. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY WE HAD THE BLOODY TRIAL, THEY DIDN’T TAKE ANY OF OUR WITNESSES INTO ACCOUNT!!!”

Recently I had an encounter with a local “Mercedes” while driving through Woy Woy.

I was heading out of Woy Woy along Brisbane Water Drive, with the train station on my left. Just beyond the station there is a set of traffic lights. The light was green, but as I approached, a woman stepped onto the road and began to cross. She was talking into her mobile phone, oblivious to the danger of oncoming traffic.

I was only traveling at about 50kmh, but slowed down as I got nearer to the woman. I was maybe fifteen metres away and she still hadn’t noticed me, so I tooted the horn – just one quick toot to let her know that perhaps she might want to move it along.

The car horn must have scared her out of her reverie, because she jumped about three feet in the air, then turned and looked at me. I knew right away that I had made a terrible error of judgment.

Her face initially registered surprise, but this quickly turned to rage. She made no move to get out of the way of my car, but actually stepped towards it. I was stationary now, mere metres away from a creature more deadly than anything Africa has to offer. She took her arm back as if to throw her phone at me, then thought better of it. (I wonder what the person on the other end of the line made of all this.)

Then she started screaming at me – I heard “What the fuck … ” but beyond that all I could make out through the windshield was an inhuman, banshee-like screeching. (Refer to video above for an example.)

I came to my senses, stepped on the gas and swerved around her. As I passed she took a half-hearted swipe with her foot at my car’s front bumper. Speeding away from the scene I could see the woman in my rear vision mirror, planted in the middle of the road, still screaming abuse.

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