Tragedy and the compassion index


More than 40 pensioners on an excursion have been killed after their bus crashed with a truck on a country road in south-western France. The collision happened near Puisseguin in the Gironde wine region, east of Bordeaux, not long after the bus had set off from a nearby town.

French President Francois Hollande tweeted the government “is fully mobilised on this terrible tragedy”. This is the worst French road disaster since one in 1982 when 52 people died.

Road transport secretary Dominic de Vacuous, who lives near Beaune, spoke to France Est, ‘This Bordeaux crash down south was bad, no doubt of that but it does not quite take the title of Black Friday. No.  Many of you will remember Saturday July 31, 1982, when the worst road accident in French history happened.’

He went on, ‘Around 1:45 a.m. on that day, a coach collided into passenger cars near Beaune here in dense holiday traffic during rainfall. The collision and subsequent fire killed 53 people, among which 46 were children. After this crash, regulation – it was enforced to prohibit the travel of groups of children during this part of the year. Yes, much worse.’

‘You see,’ added Marc le Prat, of the Beaune district council, ‘ours were children, having a far higher reader compassion index to mere pensioners.  And ours pips Bordeaux numerically, the only sure way to rate disasters on a Top 100 scale – they only lost 40 old people.’

When tasked about many of those children only dying by fire and of injuries later, whilst Black Friday saw them all snuff it in one hit,’ M. le Prat replied, ‘ah well I don’t want you to think it’s just a case of the initial numbers. Dying of injuries later counts too so we still claim the record.  It’s not unlike Australia pipping Scotland at the death – they had the points on the board.  We’re quite proud of the record and it’s great for the local economy.’

When tasked with being a cold-hearted ghoul, M. le Prat retorted, ‘Well that is good, oh oui, coming as it does from the gutter press, for whom disaster ratings determine column inches and degree of grief and outrage. After all, the loss of even one person is a tragedy,’ M. le Prat touched his heart,  ‘though to be fair, we do have the overall score on the board and ours were mainly children.’

‘So you don’t feel the title of Black Saturday has been overtaken by Black Friday?’

‘Well no.  If those Bordeaux officials have an issue with this, let it be recorded – Black Friday and also Black Saturday – they can be France’s worst road disasters ever.  But remember – Friday comes before Saturday.’

When asked about the Wikipedia listing of 1982 disasters in order of horror, grief and those all important numbers, and the hundreds allegedly killed in the Salang tunnel fire in central Afghanistan, M. le Prat replied, ‘Well that is simply disgraceful, listing a year’s disasters like that in Wikipedia.  Have those people no souls?  Besides, they were not European.  Lower compassion index.’

‘That is heartless, diabolical.’

‘Not as diabolical as those ghouls who go to youtube to see the worst murders and other disasters they can find and get off on that.’

‘M. le Prat, merci.’

‘My pleasure.’

1 comment for “Tragedy and the compassion index

  1. October 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    The ‘names’ kind of tell the story, but you have highlit the problem which was first detailed in the old newspaper editor’s dictum:-

    ‘If it bleeds, it leads’

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