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This is a question Darwin Awards

Bluffboy says: My mate cheated death and burned his eyebrows off looking down the barrel of a potato gun. Tell us about your brushes with the Grim Reaper through stupidity.

(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:01)
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This question is now closed.

Boulder Vaulting
After watching Raiders of the Lost Ark one too many times as a kid, I decided I could be just like Indy and turned my Grandad's garden into a makeshift obstacle course.

The first challenge was vaulting an 8ft tall slate boulder. In the rain. Aged 7.

A scar over my eyelid, fractured wrist and busted nose.

I only went back there 5 years later and did it again!
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 21:39, Reply)
The Sands of Brighton Jima
While at Uni I had the misfortune to live with Michael Jackson. Not that one, this one was black, didn't much like kids, couldn't dance, but was a whizz at chemistry.
I feel it was a waste of his talents (not as much as working in a chemists like he does now though), but he dedicated most of his studies to perfecting his home made bazooka.
We started off by topping and tailing some beer cans, filling the end one up with lighter fluid, leaning out the back window and peppering the flats opposite with conkers.
It was a mere matter of weeks before four of us were to be found on Brighton's Old Stein early one Sunday morn, green painted tins of Crawfords or Roses on our heads, kneeling in military formation with the mother and father of Sadam's alleged monster guns (still made from beer cans, but now filled with two cans of lighter fluid) attempting to launch golf balls wrapped in wet tissue at the Pavillion. I can't remember why we wanted to do it, but do remember jumping into the fountain and flapping about like Niki Lauda when the cunting thing exploded and gave us all a rather aggressive tickle. Burnt my jeans, but my helmet was fine. As was the one on the end of my cock.

Length? All still there.

Students, eh?
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 21:36, Reply)
light the paper and stand well, well, well back
as a youth we had many a happy day creating explosions from a number of dangerous household and industrial items, my dad worked in consrtuction and would have in his toolbox little delights such as hilti cartridges (there are other cartridges available) from said cartridge it is possible to extract a small amount of propellant powder, from a lot of these it is possible to get a lot of powder to make bigger bangs....... anyhoo a friend of mine was visiting one day and found me opening the ends of the cartridges very gently with a nail and a hammer, ah hah... wait for it..................i showed him how to carefully extract the best bits without any mishaps and he asked me for some of these thingies so he could recreate the fun of knacking stuff with small explosions, ok says i.

next time i sees him he has a bandage round his hand and a dressing in between his eyes! i asked him what haad happened to which he replied he had hit the hammer quite hard...mmmmm and that had set off the powder mmmmmmmm which had scorched his hand and also sent the hammer straight back towards his face and twatted him in the forehead......... i almost pissed myself.....

we wern't allowed to be friends after that...

for those of you who may feel i was a little cruel please allow me to point out that this is the same person who managed to stick a gardening fork through his foot instead of into the ground when his dad shouted him in for tea

apologis for length...none it was a long time ago
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 21:32, Reply)
Hoisted by my own petard
I don't cycle any more (I live in London and am too fond of life), and as a pedestrian I am suspicious, at best, of both cyclists and motorists, since they all seem to be out for my blood.

When I was a cyclist, though, I naturally hated pedestrians for never bloody looking before stepping out in the road.

Anyway, one day I was shooting round a bend on a busy street in Oxford and a woman steps out in the road. I swerved then turned in the saddle and began shouting a stream of obscenities as I rounded the corner, something about 'looking where you're fucking going you fu...'

At which point, no longer looking where I was going, I hit something very hard and gathered my senses a moment later to find myself in a heap on the floor being shouted at by an angry mum whose kids were now crying in the back of the people carrier, after just seeing a very angry, very fast man splat into the back window.

Nothing broken luckily - good job it was such a big, flat car to run into I suppose.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 21:28, 2 replies)
this happened 2 hours ago
I was at my granny-in-law's house removing a tree that fell over. After we finished I was clearing up the cable we had running from her basement to outside. her house has the storm doors to get into the basement (a bit like the door to get into the cellar of a pub so you can roll the barrels down. These things are made from steel and are heavy. I removed a block of wood from one side and started working on the other, only i left the first side up (I was tried and not thinking). Just as Granny said "watch the door, it might kill you" the thing fell. It missed my head by inches and just came to rest touching my shoulder. There's no doubt if I was standing over to the side a little more it would have killed me.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 21:26, Reply)
going on B3ta
and posting something in the wrong place
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 21:18, 1 reply)
On a mates 18th, now a long time ago, I got so shit faced on Southern Comfort that I fell off the roof of my conservatory. I found out the following morning that my Dad had let me in through my bedroom window. I'd apparantly lost my keys, which I found the next day in my pocket and had decided that I could walk up walls. I ripped a fair chunk of the guttering off, but alas I live to tell the tale.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:52, Reply)
Slate fight!
I have loads of these, due to growing up in the rural Midlands in a phenomenally boring town with little to do except find stupid things to try.

One that sticks in the mind most was going out in the fields to an abandoned farmhouse and throwing the bricks and slate tiles from the roof about, which escalated into a fight, which finished pretty quickly when we realised slate is really sharp and really hard. We realised this because my mate Eddie was sitting on the floor in a daze with blood pouring out of his head.

Luckily, I was better at dodging, so once we'd tied a sweatshirt around his head to stop the bleeding, I enthusiastically joined in taunting him for being soft as we walked him back to his house.

His mum was fucking livid, as was mine...
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:47, Reply)

As a young lad on a motorbike, I didn't see the car in front which had stopped to go past a disabled bay.

Hit the back and diagonally flew over the top, somersaulting, seeing a car coming the other way and thinking, 'shit, if the landinding does not kill me the other car will'

Survived enough for the Amblalance to pick up the pieces.

Scrapped out with just a neck brace.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:43, Reply)
Final Destination
Pea-roasted, so edited for brevity

Back in the day, we went on a school Youth Hostelling trip to the Devil's Punchbowl near Hindhead.

The hostel itself looks exactly like a witch's cottage, and is surrounded by trees at the top of a very steep hill.

Feeling brave and stupid after a day yomping round the local army ranges, trying to set off unexploded flares, our teacher – the excellent Mr Wilkinson – told us to collect wood, so we could all sit round the fire that night and tell dirty stories.

Armed with axes, saws and a huge trolley, we chopped up some wood we had found at the bottom of the hill and dragged it back up to the top.

God knows what got into me, but I took it upon myself to jump into the trolley at the top of the hill with my good friend Mad 'Completely Fucking Mad' Dave, and let gravity do the rest.

It was after about …oooh… five feet that we both sat paralysed with fear, realising that we were going to skittle down the hill, crash into a tree and get killed. Killed TO DEATH.

All kinds of things went through my mind, such as "Will this hurt?", "I'm going to die a virgin", and "I wonder what Trudy looks like in the nudd?", before we hit an exposed root and took off.

"MWAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" Mad Dave shouted.

"MWAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" I replied, as we landed, catching a tree a glancing blow, which, in retrospect, probably saved our lives as we were thrown to (relative) safety.

I found myself ripped to shreds by a holly bush, while Mad Dave ended up a mud-covered wraith as he belly-flopped into the stream at the bottom of the hill.

Then I was sick inna hedge to the cheers of my classmates, and had to wait AGES to have another go.

Full 12" version HERE
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:33, 3 replies)
I'd just got bored of reading the pub QOTW and settled down to do some essay, ahh well.

When camping with mates in Wales back in '06 we got a bit trolleyed and made the ill-informed decision to drive to the toilet block because we couldn't be arsed to walk. Mates #1 and #2 hop into the car and I (possibly as a protest at being denied the front seat) clambered onto the roof. Off we went, rather more quickly than was sensible and I begin sliding about on the roof, eventually managing to get their attention and tell mate #1 to slow down.

After getting back off the roof it became my job to flag the car through a bunch of trees in the pitch black to stop them hitting anything, in my drunken mind I decided that, as revenge for driving so fast, I would try to direct them to drive off the incredibly steep hill we were now atop. Being so dark they didn't realise how high up we were and started to move towards the edge of the hill before realising.

It was a good job the weather was so nice because if the grass had been wet/muddy then I reckon the car would have slid down the hill and smashed into the brick shithouse at the bottom.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:33, Reply)
Idiots, falling anvils and explosives...
That could summarize my early teen years. Only it was more likely to be rocks than anvils.

I think I've mentioned this one before: the Polish Cannon. (You can Google for instructions on how to make one- I deny responsibility for this.) We used to make these little gasoline powered tennis ball launchers in the 70s, and somehow managed to escape injury.


One day I said to my companions, "Hey, what if we soak the tennis ball in gasoline before we launch it?" The result: a fireball that arced through the air and left little flaming patches when it hit the ground.

Then says the idiot to his companions: "Hey, if we slice the ball a little and put some gasoline inside it as well, that could be cool!" The result: beady little eyes lighting up with pyromanaiacal glee all around me and someone scrambling to find a knife.

At this point sanity returned. "Uhh, guys, I gotta go now..."

The result: apparently a six foot blast of flame across the parking lot when it hit. I wouldn't know, as I got the fuck out of there.

Smartest move of my youth.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:32, Reply)
[pearoast] Does something good happen when you stick things in plugholes?
One Wednesday afternoon aged 5, I thought electrical wall sockets were mysterious. Things go in them and they can be turned on. Somehow, I had gotten hold of a piece of wire where both ends went into a headphone socket. Headphone plugs fit nicely inside Continental wall-sockets, so being both curious and under stimulated, I wondered what would happen if I stuck both ends into both holes of a plug.

I did just that. I created a blue spark which flew out, the ends melted slightly and the electricity in the house stopped working. Lacking in any knowledge of electrical engineering, I was unaware how just one tiny fuse had saved my life from 220 volts of electrifying goodness. But I had more immediate things to deal with - the wrath of my angry mother (although she may have been more glad I was still alive).

That night, we had our dinner by candlelight, as we couldn't get the lights back on. In fact, we enjoyed the candlelight dinner so much that we started a new tradition at our house - every Wednesday, we'd have dinner by candlelight.

So from that, we can learn that fuses are your best friends. And besides, as any regular reader of QOTW knows, there are better ways of spending a Wednesday afternoon (don't forget the candlelight dinner).

Length? About arm's length and slightly melted at the end.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:31, 1 reply)
Another one...
My best friend in middle school had three pet snakes, one of whom was a twelve-foot boa constrictor called Dizzy. One evening, when I was having tea around said friend's house and her dad and his friends were getting pissed and watching the wrestling, we realised Dizzy had escaped.

After about an hour searching, someone thought to look under the sofa. Curled up inside the lining, where it's nice and warm, was the massive bulk of Dizzy.

My friend and I were told to go upstairs and not come down again until the snake was back in the tank.

The last thing we heard before lots of thuds and swearing was someone slurring loudly: "Ey, let's poke it with a stick!"
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:31, Reply)
Many years ago, researching a comedy show about Northern Ireland...
I ended up at a post pub party in the house of a UVF member.
I was the only "outsider."
Songs are being sung.
A guitar is passed to me.
I'm told to play "one of ye're mobs' songs."
I start strumming.
I start singing;
"Six million jews and they should have been protestants..."

Thankfully, they laughed.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:21, 1 reply)
I'm going to get run over one day..
..I'm useless at crossing the road.

Only a few days ago I stepped out from behind a parked car almost right into a speeding land rover. In lighter-hearted moments I call it "motorist bullfighting" whereby you get as close to an oncoming vehicle without actually being hit. Trouble is, it's never intentional.

It's happened too many times for comfort. I can see a similar trait in my little brother - it's nerve-racking walking around town with him as he seems to have a complete disregard for anything going on around him and being a bit of a paranoid case (as I was to the power of 10,000 at his age) likes to keep "personal space" by wandering off the pavement unpredictably.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:18, 6 replies)
Never give loaded weapons to the Mentally Challenged
It was an air pistol luckily but it still hurt like a bitch.

Im sure theres some b3tards who have owned a Webley Tempest at some point. My dad got me one for my 14th Birthday and I instantly ran outback to pop empty beer cans with a look of sheer glee on my face.

A few hours into the day and many family visits later Im getting to the last of the 500 pellets that came with the gun.

Heres where my mistake came. Theres a member of the family everyone effectionately refers to as "Bubbles". Im not sure how it came to be but Im not quite sure everything in his head connects together the way it should. If it connects at all.

I recocked the pistol ready for another shot and he asked for a go. Why not I thought. I handed him the pistol and went to set the cans up again. I got about two steps before I heard a loud crack and felt a sharp pain in my hand.

I can only guess from where I was hit he attempted to shoot me in the backside.

Little twat.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:16, 4 replies)
Road accident
When I was ten and my brother was eleven, we both got "new" bikes from our stepdad. We decided the best thing to do would be to take them to the top of the steepest hill in Lowestoft and see how fast we could ride down it. My bike was like the one I had learned on, and my brother's was one of the ones with the curly handlebars (EDIT: A "racer", apparently.)

I get to the bottom fine, stop and wait for my brother to pluck up the courage to speed down the hill...

As he rounds the corner, I hear his long drawn out cry: "I CAN'T FIND THE BRAAAAAKES!!"

At about 45mph, he reaches the bottom of the hill and slams into my bike in a futile attempt to stop himself flying off the end of the road into the sea wall. This sends me flying into the road and bends my bike in half, completely crushing his front wheel.

I broke my nose. He was never bought a new bike again. :D
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:10, 2 replies)
the drive from hell
my mate used to have a flatbed truck of some sort (well his dad did) and could easily fit ten people in it to drive up one of the old farm tracks, get stoned and play top trumps.

hey we lived in a little village in the late 80's there was nothing else to do apart from play conkers using suger beet

So one day we are all waiting to be picked up and have had a wee drinkie and a smoke or two and the lift turns up!

hurrah, everyone piles in and I decide to climb in the back rather than side. just as i get one leg in the back and lift the other up someone bangs on the cab roof and we shoot off up the road, I go falling backwards and spent the next 200 metres being held in the truck by my ankles while I dangle out the back and screamed like a motherfucker!

2nd closest to death I have ever been.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:10, Reply)
Wasp stupidity
One summer our house was being terrorised by wasps. The nest was down at the bottom of the garden and I volunteered to get rid of it. I came up with a plan which involved matches, some newspaper and the tank of petrol we used for the strimmer. Dressed in my wasp-fighting outfit (which consisted of a pair of shorts and my flip-flops), I approached the wasps' nest.

I started by screwing up some newspaper, placing it underneath the wasps nest and lighting it. I then poured petrol onto it.
The fireball was fairly impressive and took the petrol can, the skin on my hands and my eyebrows with it. Within seconds I was surrounded by an angry cloud of flaming wasps. I ran back towards the house with the bastards stinging the fuck out of my bare legs, arms and chest.
I have learned to treat wasps (and petrol) with more respect.

(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:09, 3 replies)
God, there's
Loads, i'll get writing when i get to my pc
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:08, 1 reply)
Kids at our school were always throwing themselves off walls or into canals for a laff until 3 of them did themselves in by throwing themselves in a quarry or a canal...
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:08, Reply)
Shit! I'm far too sensible for this qotw.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:07, Reply)
Don't eat an entire box of anti-histamines..
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:06, 5 replies)
The Reaper, the Road and the Bicycle
When I was a young undergraduate student, I cycled everywhere. It was about 2 miles from my accomodation to the lecture halls and since my parents had gifted me with a bike... I thought it a shame to waste money on a bus.

And I am ashamed to say committed the three cardinal cycling sins, all of which were bloody stupid.

1) Not wearing a helmet - this is bad, but you're only a danger to yourself, your danger to anyone else is unchanged
2) Not wearing reflectives - Something a lot of cyclists don't do, but my bike didn't even have rear reflectors. That's very bad.
3) Not wearing lights at night - this is just plain stupid. For yourself and everyone around.

I will quite possibly end up in hell when I die, being repeatedly run over by women on mountain bikes, all of which look like Anne Widdecombe.

Cycling home from an evening at a friend's one rainy night... I turned the corner. With no lights. I was a ninja on a bicycle, silent and deadly.

And there in the middle of the road, I saw Death. Wearing a huge cloak, with an ancient wrinkled face, and hand outstretched. His bony finger pointing at me, his mouth open as if in horror with long white hair wetly plastered to his face. I skidded to a halt and fell off my bike. I was shocked, but hadn't hit my head. But all that faded into fast terror when Death walked over to me, his cloak billowing dramatically in the wind and rain - it would have made a great cover to a rock album.

For a second there, I thought I'd actually died and that he was the Grim Reaper come to collect me. He stood over me, his mouth moving but I couldn't hear a thing.

When the world looked normal again, I could hear properly, and noticed that I was getting an absolute earful about being a fucking stupid bastard from Death himself. The grim reaper was giving me a well-deserved bollocking.

Then when my vision cleared up a bit more, Death suddenly started looking more like an old Cambridge professor in his gown on the way to a formal dinner.

I didn't utter a word of protest. You do not argue back to the Reaper, especially when it was your own stupidity that got you into the situation in the first place.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:06, 1 reply)
The closest I've come to death
is the corpse of one of my rape victims.
(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:05, Reply)
p.s. Duckeee exclaimed 1st and got 2nd and then deleted HER !!! post, darwin would be proud - natural selection on a website

(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:03, 6 replies)

This question is now closed.

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