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Freddie Woo says: Looking back on it, the moment when we left the road because I was trying to get the demister to work, regaining control just in time to miss a tree probably wasn't my finest bit of driving, nor my cleanest pair of pants. Tell us about your lucky escapes

(, Thu 4 Jul 2013, 15:44)
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Yet another bicycle accident…
…which explains why I am collecting money for the Kent Air Ambulance: justgiving.com/aglet. I am hoping that if I raise enough money they might let me sit in the ambulance in a condition where I can remember it.

Deaf in one ear, balance permanently readjusted to a "couple of pints" level, some impressive titanium bits and bobs holding my dome together, but I'm not dead, and have now been back on my bike again for the last couple of months. Amazingly, air ambulances are pretty much funded by donations; I'm aiming to raise a day's worth of money.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 21:42, 1 reply)
We all had a lucky escape when Gordon Browntrousers lost the election.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 18:03, 8 replies)
Devil's Dyke
Driving home in a rush once, overtook a cyclist and hit a bloke on red Triumph motorbike arrogantly riding in the middle of his side of the road.

A witness said "Did you see him ?" what a stupid question, how can I see him when I'm sending a text.

Not sure what happened to the biker but I had a lucky escape because the ambulance taking him to hospital dropped me off at home so I was home in time for Countdown after all.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 16:22, 2 replies)
After some theiving pikey bastards siphoned my first ever tankload of fuel out of my first car..
I had to drive very gingerly to my Computer Science exam at College to conserve fuel.

Approaching a slight bend at around 30 or 40 I turned the steering wheel on my Mark 1 Escort a little sharply due to my inexperience. I wasn't prepared for the way the car behaved.

Spinning 180 degrees into the oncoming lane, bouncing over the kerb to hit the armco on the other side of the road, I was then span another 180 until I bounced into a low verge on my side of the road.

The vehicle I narrowly missed as I crossed lanes stopped to check I was ok and then left me be.

If I'd have been going a little faster or the armco hadn't stopped me I'd have bounced into the valley some couple of hundred or so feet below.

When I got in touch with my dad he did say,"Those Mark 1's are a little tail happy."

Here's the spot I lost it - and the armco that saved me from a possibly grisly demise:

(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 16:16, 4 replies)
Farewell my beautiful motorcycle
I've been riding bikes 12 months a year since I was 16, including 4 years as a despatch rider ni London, but only ever had one new motorbike - a red 1998 Triumph Thunderbird Sport:


I rode it every day and it was the best piece of engineering I've ever sat on. Took me 5 years to pay for.

About a year after that I was literally going to see a man about a dog one Sunday in April. I clearly remember backing the bike out of the drive and pulling off up the road. Lovely day.

The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital. My wife and my 16 week old daughter are there. My right arm and left foot are bandaged up. I ask several times what happened.

I'd had a head on collision with a car over by the Devil's Dyke. According to the police, we were both doing 40mph, I was in the middle of my lane but unfortunately so was the car. We'd met on the brow of a humpback bridge, as the car driver was overtaking a cyclist.

To this day I have no memory of any of this. I had a broken wrist and a broken heel bone. I also managed to put a 6-inch split into a £200 crash helmet. I'm told that I got up and started hopping and swearing. Apparently I had to be 'restrained'. And somehow in the middle of all this I managed to leave a message on my wife's voicemail: "I've had a bit of a prang"

5 days in hospital (God bless the NHS),6 months of a crutch on the wrong arm, 4 years of solicitor hell. Came very close to running out of cash a few times. No more riding or driving for me, I get sweaty hands sitting in a taxi.

Lucky escape? It could have been luckier, but I'm still here, still walking, wife's still got a husband, girls got a dad.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 15:34, 6 replies)
i hope people on the internet think i'm cool

(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 15:30, 2 replies)
Happened this Tuesday.
Just back into the estate after a 50 mile bike ride, I decided to do a circuit as a warm down, and to ensure that I'd hit the magic 50. Four hundred yards from home someone in a silver car pulled straight out of a side road. The white lines indicated that it was my right of way, but apparently this only applies on Thursdays, and if you're not driving a silver car.

Option 1: be hit.

Option 2: swerve into the junction to avoid being hit.

Being a sensible sort of chap I chose option 2. Fate, and a large patch of gravel intervened, along with the oncoming kerb, depositing me in a tall leylandii hedge, head first. Unfortunately there was a street sign, on concrete bollards, in the way.

I hit the sign mighty hard, chest first, before being thrown into the hedge and being deposited back on the pavement, all of the wind being knocked out of me. I lay there desperately trying to catch my breath, wondering what the hell had happened, and who had hit me so hard. My shirt and vest were torn to shreds, there was rather a lot of blood seeping hither and thither, and my bike was arranged around me.

Three days on my entire right side is now in what I like to term its Richie Blackmore phase - every shade from Deep Purple to Rainbow, the cuts have stopped weeping, and the aching subsiding. When I went to the doctor her diagnosis was "That looks a mess" and told to take ibuprofen.

When I consider what might have happened I shudder slightly.

The car driver? Didn't stop at all.

Heigh ho!
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 15:21, 4 replies)
I once nearly lost a million pounds on my property empire when interest rates threatened to change
but fortunately I have a computer that doesn't exist yet so I hacked Mervyn King's hot mail account and something or other my heart isn't really in it fill in the rest blah blah Marshmallow.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 15:09, 8 replies)
Reposted story, same shitty keks.
Driving along with Little Miss No.5 in the car going home from the hell that is her Reception age ballet class...it is dusk and I am pootling along when I see the lights of what is clearly a large tractor trundling along in the other direction, as it nears I ensure that I ease over away from the white line (narrow roads where I live). What I fail to see is the solid steel bar on the tractor trailer that has slipped loose of its mooring and swung into my lane at chest height a fact I am only aware of when my wing mirror vanishes with accompanying crash bang and wallop. Manage to haul on the anchors and turn around to, ahem, 'discuss the incident politely' with the farmer. He has stopped some 100 yards up the road and is standing under streetlights looking whiter than even the most Dazzed of sheets. It is only when I look at the horror laden mess of my car exterior I see why. A foot closer to the centre line and I would have been decapitated almost certainly crashing the car into the granite walls lining the road and taking my daughter to the pearly gates with me. The shock didn't kick in until I got home. I imagine it was as bad for him when he got the £1000+ bill for my wing mirror and bodywork.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 15:00, 2 replies)
My parents live near a stone quarry.
As an early teen my friend and I would wait until the quarry closed and would then scramble up the newly blasted rockface to investigate the new landscape - From time to time we'd find a precariously balanced rock that was just begging to be shoved off the cliff so we could gleefully watch it tumble onto the surface below.

One time there was a particularly large one (perhaps the size of an oldschool Mini) that was begging to be shoved. After some shoving it was clear it wasn't going to move so we resorted to lying on a handy flat rock just behind it and using our legs we were able to get it rocking back and forth.

Backs straining we finally got the thing to topple and leaned forward to watch its descent... the avalanche it created was one of the best we'd seen.. up until the point that we realised that most of the cliff face beneath our feet was starting to shift downwards.

We ended up scrambling up a rapidly accelerating avalance of huge rocks expecting to be smashed to bits on the rocks below but somehow managed to scramble high enough onto a more solid part of the rock face.

After a nervous laugh we sat back to watch the dust settle, fearless as kids are.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 14:50, Reply)
A working class type nearly spoke to me once.
Luckily the butler had him shot.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 14:33, 1 reply)
Speaking of motorcycle escapes...
Approaching red lights in the rain, I was being cautious because the road was very slippery. As my engine note decreased, I became aware of a strange noise behind me. Glancing in the mirror I was distressed to see an 18-wheel rig jacknifing right behind me, sliding sideways toward me at a bowel-loosening rate. It was already so close that it didn't all fit in the mirror...

Luckily there was just enough space between the two cars waiting at the lights to nip through; the rig managed to grind to a halt just before hitting them, stopping about where I'd been, a far-too-small number of milliseconds earlier.

Waterproof trousers work both ways, you know...
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 14:10, 1 reply)
I was watching a YouTube clip
When my eyes nearly wandered to the comments section.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 13:46, 5 replies)
As a motorcyclist...
...somet' like this happens every winter. Here's 2 of them.

1. tl;dr: got cut up on an A road. Brain saves the day.
Travelling around my town's bypass (I live on the opposite side to the city where I work) on the way home I reached the super dodgy junction where a 60 zone tees with another 60 zone but there's a 90 degree bend (blind but you can take it at 60) so cars on the joining road can't see that they're approaching a junction until they're 100yds from it. This leads to a lot of cars overshooting the junction and stopping in the road. I expect this to happen and I always spot potential numpties, albeit with a high false-positive rate.
This time the car overshot the junction when I was less than 100yds away. I'd seen it coming and hit the brakes before it even got into my path but the onboard fogey had timed it perfectly so that I had the minimum possible braking distance. The car stopped halfway out into the road so not completely blocking it but just far enough so that I was heading straight for the tip of their right front wing, I was about 40ft from it at this point. Fortunately, I subconsciously realised that a. I couldn't stop before hitting the car and b. that half the road was still available; without thinking about it I let off the brakes about 20ft from the car and swerved around it, missing by a few inches.
Danger passed, I checked my speedo; after dropping the anchors I was still doing 40mph. If I'd clipped the car bumper I'd've lost my left foot and hitting it straight on would've at least put me in hospital.
I was tense for about 36 hours after that one.
This was my 2nd and worst near miss at that junction.

2. tl;dr: an actual prang but fortuitous bodily arrangement prevents serious injury.
Eventually, my high false-positive rate on numpty spotting caught up with me. Again, on the way home, I approach a T junction (this time in town) on a busy road where there's often a queue both to get into and out of it. People often zoom through minute gaps in the traffic at this junction but that's not a problem as they can actually gauge the gaps well. The prang began with a pair of drivers NOT zooming though a fairly large gap in the traffic...
As I approached the junction, there was the usual cars waiting both to get in and out of it but, cryptically, neither car was moving even though the gap in front of me was big enough for 1 and probably both of them to turn. Perplexed by this, I noticed one of them inch forward, and then the other... then I realised they were having a Mexican Standoff at the junction. This is the perfect situation for them to misjudge the approaching traffic as both drivers are paying more attention to each other than anything else. Expecting that one of them would cut me up as I approached, I decided to near-stop (slowing to a walking pace, actually stopping and setting off on a bike is hard work) and let them both make the turn, thus defusing the situation. The car behind me worked this out when he was about 10ft away from me.
All I heard was 'screeeDOOFeeeeeeeech' as the car locked up before shunting me and then actually coming to a stop. The entire force of the impact was transmitted through my arse, later leaving me with a rather sore bruise in my arsecrack.
Usually, when a bike gets shunted, the bike is knocked out from under the rider and you get slammed onto the bonnet of the car. Not this time. The impact to my arse bent me double and flung my legs out infront of me, my right foot hooked under the right grip and I was yanked along by the bike, springing me back into shape. All this happened while the bike and me were airborne. The bike landed back on its wheels, still upright, and a split second later I landed on it laid flat out on my back. The bike rolled along for a moment and I thought "I can save it", except as my internal monologue got to 'save', the bike tipped over onto its right side and scraped along the ground, dragging me down with it as my foot was still hooked under the bars. The bike scraped to a halt and I slid off it onto the ground.
My first thought was to turn off the ignition so I sat up to do this. Then, I noticed that my right leg wasn't going anywhere; it was no clamped between the right grip, the road and the side of my bike which conveniently formed a triangle that was almost as big as the cross section of my leg. Almost. The guy who hit me and the 2 drivers that I thought were going to cut me up leapt from their cars and lifted the bike off me, presumably expecting me to come apart like a Crash Dummies doll. I don't know if seeing me get up straight away and hobble to the side of the road was a relief or a disappointment.
On the plus side, the guy that hit me had insurance and was super apologetic, he was also surprised as fuck by the V-shaped dent that a 400lb bike had left in the front of his car. For bonus points, because I'd landed back on the bike my gear didn't have a mark on it, except a small scuff where my leg had been clamped. On the minus side, my entire right leg was sprained, weird bruises appeared on my shin and I got mild whiplash in the entire bottom half of my spine. I still get more back pain than I had before but it's tolerable. The bike was a cat. C write off but the payout was a few hundred quid more than it cost me to fix it.

To round it off, I had another near miss at the junction from story 1 while riding the courtesy bike from the insurance, involving the exact near miss that I was trying to avoid when I had story 2. That being the 3rd near miss I've had at that junction in 4 years, I've actually changed my route home to avoid it.

Usually, I have a near miss every winter. I don't wear a Leatt brace 'cos I think it looks cool.

Other minor two-wheeled lucky escapes: doing a small powerslide off a roundabout when I opened the throttle too early and, on a different occasion, doing a rolling burnout instead of accelerating away from a different roundabout.

Length? Bitches don't know 'bout it.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 13:40, 10 replies)
I once ate some food that was dressed in Four-Leaf Clovers.
It was a very Lucky Escalope.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 13:28, 3 replies)
I beat up Eddie Kidd and called him a complete spastic.
Luckily he's such a complete spastic that he mistook me for his wife and had her nicked instead of me. What a spastic, eh readers?
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 13:25, Reply)
I was once standing in a large circular structure just outside Woodleigh Station in Western Australia
I almost got smashed to smithereens in a colossal fireball, if only I'd just been standing in the same spot 364 million years earlier when the meteorite hit. I almost shit me pants, though this was unrelated to the incident.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 13:22, Reply)
Oh la la
One year while on holiday in France, my wife and I decided we'd try the local zoo.

It was much the same as any other zoo we'd ever been to, except they had a sort of carnival/fairground too. You know the type of thing - Hook-a-duck and so on.

Then I saw the rifle range and decided the best thing to do was to spend the day shooting at tin cans in the vain hope of winning the stuffed monkey, which took price of place at the back of the ticket booth.

I shot the place up in spectacular fashion and collected my prize...

Le kiosk ape.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 12:59, 1 reply)
I was dealing massive drugs to some children.
As the children were walking away, a Honda Accord passed by. I noticed the driver was with no less than three supermodels, but fortunately as the deal had concluded mere moments before, the Children were already out of sight.

I immediately realised that I had escaped being pinned against the alley wall and receiving the beating of my life and never dealt drugs again.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 12:58, 8 replies)
An overweight woman got on the bus this morning.
She, to be fair, was a complete fucking mess. She was dripping with sweat, wearing a thin summer dress and didn't appear to care too much for her appearance, as evidenced by the fact that she looked like she had Lionel Richie and shaft under each of her arms in a headlock.

Fortunately, she decided to sit on one of the numerous vacant seats instead of next to me.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 12:51, 3 replies)
In the late 80's
My uncle worked for Hewlett Packard

This required him to travel to America quite a bit.

He was supposed to be on Pan Am Flight 103 ie the one that got known as the Lockerbie bombing but he had to cancel and rebook. Basicly by being shit at his job and having to move a meeting he saved his live.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 12:49, Reply)
I very nearly died in the Blitz
but fortunately I was born a quarter of a century too late and in an area that received very little bombing during the war. I did still shit myself for the first couple of years.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 12:38, 1 reply)
I very nearly got shot when on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Luckily I'd decided that, in order to minimise the chances of such happening, I wouldn't join the army.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 12:27, 3 replies)
None for us thanks.
Some friends got in car crash in a run-down area of central Africa. They were a bit bashed up, but nothing too serious.
They got taken to a nearby hospital and placed on a packed, filthy ward filled with dying and emaciated men. The three of them were given a single stained bed at the end of the room, and then were left for several hours. As it got dark, two of them managed to drift off, but the one sat on the floor was too uncomfortable to sleep, which turned out to be quite fortunate.

A man in hospital scrubs finally came onto the ward. My mate watched him check each moaning or dozing patient in turn, moving from bed to bed in the gloom. As he got nearer, it became apparent that he was injecting them all with something – fill the syringe, find a vein, inject, repeat. The same syringe. All the way down the ward. Some 50-odd sick and dying people.

He got to my friends’ bed and said cheerily “Something to help you sleep?”, waving the dirty, blood-covered needle at the only one who was awake. He politely declined on behalf of all of them.

Being British, he even managed to apologise.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 11:56, 5 replies)
Karma yet to catch me.
Wrote this 3 years ago and still alive.

I am on borrowed time.
1 was meant to be on Southall train that crashed but rearranged my schedule that day for no apparant reason.
2 was meant to be on the Ladboke Grove train but missed the train that morning due to getting my leg over.
3 saw the beginnings of the 100 car pile up on the M40 j8 in my rear view mirror which I would have been in the centre of had I taken the right hand slip road as normal.
4 was in a plane that left JFK and within a minute had stalled due to turbulance, dropped but recovered. just. (3 months later, it happened again and it crashed into a suburb killing all on board) Was due to not enough gap between flights.
5 was stepping on an escalator as a kid. mum grabbed and stopped me. A step had collapsed and left a hole all the way through to the machinery where I was about to step.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 11:53, 3 replies)
Fortunately, it wasn't me who was involved, but a friends brother. (I shall refer to him as HNJ on the basis that I closed my eyes and just jabbed the keyboard to protect his identity) I have met the guy on a number of occassions and to see the way this affected him, turning him from an outgoing, friendly guy to an alcoholic stoner recluse is incredible.

He hasn't spoken of the story to anyone outside of the military, but his sister provided the details. Her knowledge of military equipment and procedures is not great. My knowledge extends to the being able to spot the difference between a tank and a plane, so I apologise in advance for the lack of detail.

On a journey from one part of a wartorn country to another, there were two landrovers travelling together, albeit with a distance of roughly 100 yards from each other. Each contained two people and a shit load of munitions. Now, being british military hardware, the lead landrover had a damaged passenger seat and as a result the roads were making HNJ's arse and spine slowly change places.

The passenger in the other landrover kindly agreed to swap places roughly half-way along the route. The journey itself was pretty uneventful so I'll cut to the interesting bit. Having arrived at the half-way point they stopped, swapped and then carried on. The vehicle that HNJ was travelling in moments before made it about fifty metres before it triggered a roadside bomb, killing the occupants instantly.

I think about this story, and there's a number of things that would make me vacate my bowels.

1) Seeing how close you came to death.
2) Seeing someone unwittingly take a bullet for you.
3) Knowing that the same shit could still happen to you.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 11:45, 3 replies)
The end of two relationships
Waaaay back in the 1980s, at the height of the initial AIDS panic, I made the rather distressing discovery that a woman I'd been Dancing the Futon Fandango with was an intravenous drug user. Ok, I was young and naive, and should have noticed the warning signs before then, but in fact I found out too late. Naturally, that was the end of the relationship, and thankfully nothing bad came of it.

I also discovered that she was pregnant - thankfully not by me, but it compounded the sense of finality!

But that wasn't the lucky escape I'm writing about. The lucky escape was moving house a few weeks later, as it meant I would change doctors. I went to the previous doctor for advice, particularly about whether I should get tested for HIV... His sage advice was, "I wouldn't bother if I were you - if it's positive, you'll only worry."

I still wonder how he managed to qualify.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 11:32, 7 replies)
You know those massive, tall sets of wheeled steps they have in shops and warehouses?
Yeah, they have a brake for a reason - as I found when one decided to roll from under me while I was moving a load at the very top. Dropped the carton, and a speedy hand-over-hand along the racking to catch up my upper body with my feet followed by a desperate grab for the handrail and somehow broken bones and possible death were avoided.

I was really quite stupid when I was younger.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 11:25, 4 replies)
My stepfather was an officer on one of the boats circling Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He said the scariest moment of his life was when his CO was given the order to open the sealed orders, which were "Fire if fired upon".
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 11:11, Reply)
My Grandad..
(well, Ivor wasn't really my Grandad, but Grandad was dead and Ivor was boffing my Grandma for most of my childhood, so he was functionally my Grandad even though I just called him Uncle Ivor...)

...used to tell two stories about being in the infantry in WW2.

The first was about his mate who was terribly superstitious. One day, shortly after the D Day landings, they were in the back of a truck in France, and his mate decides he doesn't like where he's sitting in the truck, because being at the back is 'unlucky'. Ivor, who's sitting at the front, tells him he's a silly bugger, but agrees to switch with him anyway. Five minutes later, the truck goes straight off the road and a tree branch comes through the canvas at the front and crushes his mate's head, killing him instantly.

The second story was about when they'd got hold of some brandy in a town, and his squad had got totally hammered. Ivor goes out into a field at the back of the house for a piss. He's standing there, happily peeing away, and starts wondering "What's that popping sound? there it is again... and again... weird". Then a bullet whizzes past his ear and he realises he's been standing stock still in the middle of a field letting a sniper shoot at him for the last minute. "If you've never tried running for cover whilst shitting yourself at the same time, son, I can tell you it's not very dignified".

Nothing from my own experience can really compete with either of those.
(, Fri 5 Jul 2013, 9:59, 1 reply)

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