From the silly to the sen­sa­tional - the big cat's out of the bag

Daily Messenger - - National - Kelly Clarke

Clearly a man with a con­science, Mah­moud Khaled re­sisted any thought of a lav­ish spend­ing spree - an in­ter­nal con­flict I'd strug­gle with - and in­stead ex­er­cised his bet­ter na­ture by head­ing straight to the near­est cop shop.

A stupid, stupid man. That's how I de­scribed the 20-some­thing driver who ran into my car back in Novem­ber. He apol­o­gised by way of a gorm­less smirk, con­fess­ing he was on his phone and 'dis­tracted' when our bumpers came nose to nose. The 'stupid' part was an in­ter­nal thought process, of course. I wouldn't be so bla­tant to say it out loud. I'm more of a smile pleas­antly and scorn later to friends over the din­ner ta­ble, kind of gal.

Lucky that, con­sid­er­ing that last week we heard about some ver­bal con­fronta­tions that landed res­i­dents here in hot soup. Over the last few months, at least two peo­ple have landed up in court for in­sult­ing friends. But the in­sults weren't pep­pered with of­fen­sive ex­ple­tives like you may think. The word 'fool' ended up cost­ing one man dearly: Dh20,000 in fines to be ex­act. And an­other is cur­rently stand­ing trial for call­ing a co-worker 'silly'.

Moral of the story, think twice be­fore ver­bally bash­ing some­one here. One silly mis­take could leave you look­ing pretty fool­ish - or even worse, be­hind bars or out of pocket. An­other story that piqued in­ter­est this week cen­tred on the old adage, 'hon­esty is the best pol­icy'. We hear the phrase all the time. My teach­ers at school overused it in some des­per­ate at­tempt to breed a class full of but­ter­wouldn't-melt in­di­vid­u­als; ha­los in tow.

But for one chap in the UAE, his urge to do the right thing re­sulted in a pub­lic ap­plause by way of Abu Dhabi Po­lice. The story got more than 23,000 views on­line in just a few hours. It was shared more than 12,000 times, too. The hero:

Mah­moud Khaled Al Shi­bli, an Arab res­i­dent in the cap­i­tal. His good deed of the day - hand­ing in over Dh40,000 in cold, hard cash that he found on the street.

Clearly a man with a con­science, he re­sisted any thought of a lav­ish spend­ing spree - an in­ter­nal con­flict I'd strug­gle with - and in­stead ex­er­cised his bet­ter na­ture by head­ing straight to the near­est cop shop.

And if Google an­a­lyt­ics is any­thing to go, those sta­tis­tics prove that our read­ers like noth­ing more than a heart­warm­ing, feel-good story from time to time. Or maybe not! Did you hear about the jaguar at the zoo? (and no, this isn't the open­ing of some corny joke). The head­line 'jaguar at­tacks' caught the at­ten­tion of more than 15,000 vis­i­tors on the Khaleej Times web­site within hours of go­ing up; prov­ing our read­ers love a sen­sa­tional read, too.

On Wednes­day, two zookeep­ers were pounced on by the stealthy, wild cat. It hap­pened at Al Ain Zoo and hu­man er­ror was to blame. Some­one left a gate open, the cat took ad­van­tage, and the re­sult: two men walked away with some fairly nasty in­juries, but thank­fully, with their lives in­tact. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are still go­ing on into what ex­actly hap­pened, but it's safe to say it was a les­son learnt. Mov­ing away from the ob­scure and onto news a lit­tle more UAE spe­cific, Emi­rates air­lines an­nounced that it would be tak­ing away its chauf­feur ser­vice from some pas­sen­gers, spawn­ing a new ad­di­tion to that com­i­cal #dubaiprob­lems list.

On Mon­day, it con­firmed pas­sen­gers up­grad­ing their tick­ets to First and Busi­ness Class through Sky­wards Miles will no longer be able to avail the com­pli­men­tary chauf­feur drive ser­vice from the mid­dle of this month. The story was shared more than 12,000 times on­line, and no doubt started con­ver­sa­tions trick­led with frus­tra­tion and dis­may from some. But fret not. Those trav­el­ing on a redemp­tion ticket will con­tinue to en­joy that lux­ury lounge ac­cess, as well as the gen­er­ous free bag­gage al­lowance that comes along with fly­ing in style.

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