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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.

When I was in my teens, we were doing something involving electric currents and ACID!. Me and my mate were pissing about and I eneded up with a beaker of dilute acid over my crotch. The look of panic on "Scratcher" Jones' face was priceless. The image of me, standing in a sink in school uniform sluicing myself down with cold water while my groin area tingled was amusing.

Length? Its' short due to acid burns.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 8:00, Reply)
Potato Cannon Fun
Every year we here across the pond in the colonies celebrate our (erstwhile) freedom with civilian versions of war's horrors: fireworks.

A friend built a potato cannon, and I had "a great idea"! I inserted a dangerously large firecracker into a hollow carved out of a potato, and loaded the makeshift bomb into the cannon.

The idea was that the blast from launching the potato would light the fuse of the firecracker, and the potato would explode in the air.

It worked, too. Except that the explosion that launched the potato lit the ENTIRE fuse. The potato blew up about 6 inches past the muzzle of the cannon. Fortunately, the end result was being cov ered with raw hash browns, not being blown to bits.

Great fun, but we haven't repeated the experiment.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 7:57, Reply)
Trains in the middle of the fucking street
Cast your mind back to 1994 and Imagine if you will the young Australian traveller on his first visit to the continent. After a 24 hour flight to Frankfurt and a 4 hour train ride he arrives at Amsterdam for his first taste of the Dutch.

After finding a cheap and seedy hotel, he ventures to the nearest café to see if the rumours are true and you really can buy dope over the counter. Imagine if you will his utter delight when he finds not only can you buy the aforementioned brew but, you have a variety of interestingly named types to choose. With skunk, super skunk, northern lights, blonde bomb or grasshopper special blend running through his over excited brain he murmurs to the resident purveyor,

“What’s your best shit mate?”

For which the retailer asks “what sort of high are you looking for?”

“I want it to smash me”

40 guilders later he is clutching a bag of super skunk. Taking a seat at the bar, he orders a coffee (consumption compulsory) and roles up fat spliff after fat spliff disappearing for several hours into a cloud of pungent smoke.

Finally he makes to leave, baseball hat crammed on to his head, sun glasses firmly on face, back pack on shoulder he strides out the door and across the street when he hears it……………

The faintest of ding dings.

For reasons unknown,

he stops,

dead in his tracks as a rush of wind buffets his face and a 20 tonne tram knocks the baseball hat from his head and under it wheels.


3 more inches forward, he would have died that day a long way from home where nobody new his name.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 7:35, 8 replies)
I took a security job.
This was, in hindsight, a lapse in judgement. I already knew that all security work has its risks.

Now, there were a lot of tempting advantages to keep working there: It was working for the government, so your employment was secure. There were some great people worked there, and we formed a fairly heavy drinking crowd, some days seemed to consist of little more than anticipating the next session. Also, many of the people employed there were professionals, far better educated than I (one of them, who i got on really well with, even held a degree in physics or something), yet they didn't look down on us lowly security officers. So we had some good times.

But I regretted my choice of employment the day there was a big industrial accident in which some people - people I knew, cared about, was on first name terms with - died, and myself nearly included. With hindsight, I get the chills thinking how narrowly I escaped a very painful death. Later on, as if that wasn't bad enough, the place then gets nuked with most of the employees still un-evacuated.

Signed, Barney Calhoun.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 7:33, 5 replies)
Love will tear me apart.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 7:04, 2 replies)
Actually, after just replying to a post, here's a gonna happen soon Darwin award for you.
Mum died a year ago on Saturday/Sunday (time zone between US and UK) of lung cancer. From smoking.

I'm still on 20 a day. Sometimes more.

I lose.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 6:48, 7 replies)
A second away from being killed by a car.
School was over, summer holidays had started, the weather was great and i just wanted to go home and get changed and go out with my mates.

I stepped out from behind a stationary van into the front of a white car.

If i had even stopped to think about it. I would have been mincemeat, luckily i managed to step away. The white car screeched to a halt further down the road. I reckon it was going about 40mph.

Stupid but lucky.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 3:15, Reply)
Oh yes, Bob. He flunked out of our A-level class at 17, a victim of a none-too-generous IQ and a dismal combination of an extremely short fuse and a total lack of pugilistic ability, such that he would pick fights constantly, which he would lose.

Bob, however, was blessed with stunning male-model good looks, which irked us all considerably, and he used them to slowly crowbar his way through life, despite his lack of talent at pretty much anything.

The first job he charmed his way into after dropping out of school was with a firm of estate agents, where the combination of shallow charm and rank stupidity marked him out, even at that tender age, as a natural.

One of his very first assignments was to check up on an empty property the agent in question was looking after, and amongst his duties was to check whether the utilities were still working and connected. You know, water, sewage...

...and gas.

Bob turned on the hob as soon as he got there, and yes, the gas worked fine. He spent another 2 hours looking around and sorting a few things out. You guys have probably figured out what happens next - he forgot to turn off the gas. An hour after he left the building something rubbed against something else with just enough force and... boom.

Yes, only Bob could get a job as an estate agent and manage to blow up one of the houses he was supposed to sell, nearly permanently rearranging his chisled features in the process.

I tracked him down on facebook a few weeks back, his profile is 100% public and features over 80 pictures of himself, preening and posing. He now looks even more like Brad Pitt than he did at 17, and despite his history (which included being thrown out of the TA for threatening to blow someone away with a loaded SA80 when he lost his temper) he is now a well-paid consultant. I cannot emphasise enough that this man has the IQ of cottage cheese.

(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 2:45, 2 replies)
I went backpacking a few years ago with the missus (now ex). I think we nearly died a good few times.

First stop was Mumbai to Goa. In the Mumbai main central station, i saw my first dead body.

We later arrived in sunny Goa.
Where we relaxed for the first day, but realised that we should be out exploring. So i decide to get a scooter.
To cut a long story short, i crashed it after i left a club, yes i'd had two beers and stupidly smoked a spliff and tried to drive back to the guesthouse 'carefully', but managed to break too hard and sent myself and my girlfriend flying off the wretched thing(I hate myself for this, as if nearly killing myself wasn't enough), i landed hip first but managed to protect my head with my arm.
I guess I skidded a good eight feet or so in nothing but t-shirt and shorts and left a fair chunk of flesh on the Goa road.

As if the impact wasn't enough, my girlfriend (luckily) landed on me, taking my breath away, a second later the scooter landed on my ankles.

Without even feeling any pain, just pure cold shock, i picked myself up and turned around to check on my missus, who was cradling her elbow. Thankfully she had only grazed it, but then i took a look at myself.

So i peeled back my t-shirt and noticed a hole in my hip. My t-shirt was drenched in blood and upon further examination i noticed stones had embedded into my flesh. I also took one looke at my elbow and noticed a bloodied flap of skin (again with lots of stones).

I then picked up the scooter, assured the missus that we would be fine 'I'll drive very slow' and we hopped on. We drove for a mile or so, and realised that we were completely lost, so i found a small cafe/food stall/bar and slowed down to ask one of the workers as to the whereabouts of my lodgings. He then tried to chat up my missus (oblivious to my injuries) and demanded that she should stay there with him.

I rode off.
(I was by then in shock and in some cowardly way - I denied myself a visit to the hospital and got back to the guesthouse and politely asked my girlfriend to roll me a very strong spliff, as i would be spending the next three hours removing bits of stone and gravel from my body. I smothered myself in stinging, excrutiating anti-septic and bandaged myself up. The next five weeks, i spent limping around India, my ankles were horribly bruised, my elbow was knackered and my hip was agony. The hip wound at one point turned yellow, but just kept rubbing anti-septic into it. It got better after a while.

Three weeks after this incident, we visited a small coastal town called Gokarna, which was very pleasant, but contained some very shady characters, one of whom was a book/jewellery store owner. He was effectively a confidence trickster and lured us into a false sense of security. We had known him for a few days and he seemed very pleasant and had a good sense of humour. In the typical Indian custom, he invited us to visit his family for a meal, we could not refuse.

So we later arrived at his shop and he closed up for the day and took us to his house, which existed in a vast maze of alleyways, several minutes from the main road. Sure enough we met his family, which just so happened to be two other males. Who did nothing but stare at me as i politely but messily ate the offered rice with my bare hand. The owner of the shop, meanwhile kept staring and staring at my ex.

So, i thought, it's only my imagination, and eventually the other two guys left the flat, leaving us alone with him. He rolled up a very strong spliff (charas - afghani stuff) and we eventually 'chilled out'...... until the paranoia kicked in, but certainly not unfounded as he kept telling me to stop sitting with my girlfriend, how i should maybe have a look around his house (dark rooms) and how he kept telling me how beautiful she was. Hmm...

But then he started asking very personal questions (moreso than a typically curious local would) and i got the feeling that i was gonna be murdered. The door to the outside was locked, and suddenly i felt very sleepy. It was the fucking weed. I thought he'd laced it.

I checked my pockets for a potential weapon and found my pen knife (a gift from a friend), and the blade was probably only an inch long (worst pen knife ever), so i thought it would be down to fisty-cuffs.

The next thing i knew he had his hand on her, OKAY time to go. I managed to 'man up' enough to break the taboo of cultural politeness and made to escape, where he blocked my way and demanded we stay.
'Shit i thought, i'm going to have to fight this bloke and i've got a fucked hip and a shit knife'.

But he let us go.... I dunno how and why, but i think he must have realised that we wouldn't go out without a fight (her included). But as we left he grabbed her in a very long and over friendly hug and then gave us directions back to town and told us to 'be careful of the police, they don't like foreigners'.


Not quite, my girlfriend wanted to follow his directions, but i didn't trust them. So i used my direction sense and managed to get us back on the main road (albeit a mile away from where we started), but his directions would have sent us god knows where....

We were shaken, but on the right path... A little stoned, a little excited, but alive and well.

Until... A few moments later we found ourselves being followed by a pack of street dogs. If you don't know, Indians do NOT have pet dogs, Dogs are generally considered vermin and filthy and are gutter-beasts. During the hot day, they sleep, to avoid the blazing sun and the damaging rikshaw wheels and kicks from people who pass them.

At night, they are hungry psychopaths. In many parts of India, children have been found torn to pieces by such dogs and here we were being followed down a VERY dark and empty street.

More and more of the beasts awoke and stepped from the shadows and soon there were at least ten or more dogs all getting closer and nipping at our heels. SHIT.
'Look for a stick or a large rock' i said to her, but unfortunately fate had planted us in the ONLY street in India with no rocks and no sticks and i'd be damned if i'd use the shit pen knife.

I thought this was the end, we were doomed, we had managed to get away from the freak, but only to be killed by rabid, skeletal dogs.

But.... Our saviour arrived in the form of a flying chair and a flash of light. A bloke in the next building had heard something and checked outside. He'd spotted us two white-skinned, terrified looking youngsters surrounded by dogs and had immediately reacted by switching on a very powerful lamp and lobbed a wooden chair at the pack.

We were saved.....

Phew... and i've not even mentioned my terrible vomiting and shitting sickness i developed in Rikishesh, or the terrifying bus rides through the himalaya's (a rusty metal box, filled with people, hurtling down a slope with little or no brakes!) or the confrontation with very dodgy geezers in Goa, who demanded that we take jewels to australia from Mumbai.

Apart from that though India was great, and i can now look back at those days and smile, but at the time it was very scary and maturing experience for me.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 2:30, 19 replies)
[pearoast] My first cigarette
At the tender age of 11, I decided I wanted to try inhaling from teh white cylinders. I knew about some of the dangers and knew they were supposed to be addictive (even though I did not know what they were like). I wasn't curious about nicotine, and wasn't even thinking of doing it to show off to my mates. I think it was more the action of smoking than the smoking itself. But I was dead paranoid my parents would find out. I lived in a non-smoking household (so nothing to nick), buying them in a shop was out of the question, and I was afraid that if I used a cigarette vending-machine, someone would spot me.

Eventually, when I was nearly 13, I somehow managed to get hold of a cigarette and some matches. My parents often used to host dinner-parties and one of the guests left their ciggies behind. Taking one, I hid it in my school-bag to try later.

For some reason, I chose to smoke it in a remote part of my school grounds during the lunch break where I would be totally alone. Because I had hidden it in my school-bag, it was slightly crumpled, but even so, I stoically placed it in my pocket along with an equally crumpled nearly empty box of matches and went off to find the secluded spot to soil my lungs. Winter had stripped the trees and bushes of their leaves, so I had to go deeper into the wooded-area behind the science-wing to feel sufficiently alone.

Now I had been anticipating this moment for ages so was beginning to shake. "This is it! This is it!" I was thinking. With a crumpled cigarette in my mouth, my heart was beating faster and faster. I was nervous and excited at the same time, but my nerves were winning. I got a match out and tried to light it, but I was trembling so much that I was incapable of lighting it. "Light you bastard!" I kept thinking, but to no avail - I just couldn't light it. Ever try lighting a match when you're shaking all over? It's just not possible I tell you! Feeling slightly annoyed but more sheepish, I gave up and continued my lunch break.

It was the last time I attempted to try and didn't try again before I once and for all decided that I wanted to be a non-smoker (which was over a year later). And so, my lungs remain smoke-virgins to the present day. And that's how I narrowly avoided a slow and painful death at the hands of lung-cancer thanks to my own stupidity.

Won't apologise for length, will apologise for smugness.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 1:28, 7 replies)
Another one of my teachers
Managed this little effort some years ago.

You know how sometimes, if you can't get a bonfire started, you might add a bit of petrol to get things started? This guy did. However, he decided to take it one step further. He built a 9ft high bonfire and coated it in several gallons.

Of Diesel.

The thing with diesel is that it only burns in vapour form. Basically, light, wait, explosion.

And he knew this.

He threw a match toward the fire, then turned and ran like hell.

I'm told he got behind a wall about twenty yards away with seconds to spare. The fireball launched bits of burning wood hundreds of metres and destroyed a fair bit of the wall he was hiding behing with flying lumps of tree.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 1:01, 3 replies)
Abdomen pain.
If you are female, and have nausea with severe abdomen pain, take some painkillers. If that doesn't work after 12 hours call NHS Direct and they usually tell you to see someone.

Do *not* spend the night masturbating for hours on end in the hope that the pain will eventually go away, or be flooded out with endorphines.

The GP who eventually sees you will not be pleased when you swagger in John Wayne style with a red plastic bucket and you have to explain what you did and could they please have a look down there too...

(Kidney stones apparently. Joy.)
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 0:14, 3 replies)
Licking fingers...
and poking sockets with spoons seems to be a recurring theme this week.

So I will keep it short.

After many beers, the 5 mile hike home seemed a good option to clear the air and find salvation in my bed. I was reasonably familiar with the route home, in fact so much so I decided that a short cut over fields was order of the day.

Now, in the middle of one of those fields was a large metal pylon, the sort you don't often get to see close up. I was fascinated - I was drunk - I like climbing...

In the early hours of what ever day it may have been, on my own, in the middle of a field well away from a main road, I climbed nearly to the top of a pylon - to within meters of the cables.

To think back now amazes me, and hearing other stories about people just touching the legs and receiving shocks makes me wonder what on earth I was doing... even removing the electricity element I was a good way up...

I got home, via a motorway as I got lost a few hours later - unscathed, but without my coat.

I do wonder what happens to my brain when I have had a couple...
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 23:57, Reply)
I've just been messing about with Hydrogen Peroxide and ammonia
Dying my hair some red shade (will turn out dark due to my dark hair)... Anyway, I've been getting giddier and giddier, then felt ill, and I realised I'd sealed myself in the bathroom.

(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 23:23, Reply)
She was only young
Perhaps 6 or 7 years old, she ran from the sweety shop a year younger than me perhaps a year older it was so long ago. The car struck her and that was it.

A year later it was the summer holidays and I was staying at my Grans. Under strict instructions not to leave the street,

Why ? I was delivered home at the age of 3 after helping myself from the Woolies pix and mix. I don't think my family trusted me.

8 year old, stay in the street not a chance, off to the boating pond. Then it was time to go home, did she take me did I follow her it was so long ago, she was a friends older sister perhaps 10 or 11 or 12. She lived in the next street.

I gave her some lip she went for me, I ran from her; it happened so fast so quick, they got out the car. I was okay time to run I was fine, run run.

My mother only found out about it years later when I was in my 20's she cried when she asked me about it. How she found out I have no idea. She wouldn't say. Mothers !

It was only 100m from the sweety shop. I still dream about that shop and the lass.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 23:10, 10 replies)
Gunpowder, treason and plot
When my little sister and I were little, my biological dad (we'll call him Gay Dad from now on, because he was), who was divorced from my mum (because of the gayness), used to play some really good fun games with us when we used to visit him of a Saturday...

Little sister was a bit of a pyro (at 6), so he used to mix this stuff up together from a chemsitry set, then we'd set fire to it, and it'd bubble and fizz.

I still remember the ingredients and the care in which he used to mix them. We were to grind some caster sugar right down into fine powder, then add a spoonful of potassium nitrate to it, and here we were given strict instructions to stir it in VERY CAREFULLY, because we weren't to make any sparks. Then later we were allowed to light it (with a taper) and watch the yellow bubbles burn and fizzle up.

It was only a few years ago that I realised we were messing around with one of the key components of gunpowder. Aged 6 and 8.

Oh, and there was also the time that he took us picking "magic mushrooms" for "daddy's friends". Only we weren't supposed to eat them. Once again, I remember the care he took to instill in us the dangers of picking the wrong shrooms, including giving us a little pocket book of wild mushrooms, and pointing out the similarities and differences to death caps. I was 9, my sister 7. We were told not to eat them, and I kinda understood they were drugs for grown ups. We picked HUNDREDS. And that was the end of the story... Or so I thought.

Turns out that little sister hadn't really got the "drugs for grown ups" thing; she thought they were mushrooms that would instill magic powers in the eater, and had munched her way through a few in the hope she might become magical. She only confessed this to me a few years ago. Said nothing happened and she was quite disappointed at the time.

The same man gave me his tips on drugs once (I was 18 and had not even smoked a cigarette)...

Gay Dad - "I keep the stash over there..." (cue pointing at stash and pipe)
GD - "If you need any advice on drugs, you can ask me because I've done them all"
Me - "Er, oooohkaaay... What do you mean you've done them all?"
GD - "Well, put it this way, I found cocaine to be more addictive than heroin"
Me - "........"
GD - "And when you take LSD..." (note the use of WHEN and not IF) "make sure you are with good friends because..." and then he went off on some story tale of when he was high one time...

AND he had the nerve to have a go at my mum for taking us little 'uns pony riding, because it was dangerous... while he was practically getting us cooking up crystal meths on our Saturday visits! Bless him.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 23:08, Reply)
Now I am the expert
At fucking myself up in amusing ways...

Cue the first....(wavy lines)....

A year or two back, thoroughly pissed off with life, the universe, and selling cars to inbred yokels with fewer braincells than fingers (and that took some doing in Shropshire, I can tell you) I decided to go back and look again at the TA. The STABS. The SAS (Saturdays & Sundays). I had had the chance to go regular years before, but had splatted myself into the deck in an unfortunate parachute/fuckwit coincidence so had duff knees and was ineligible to travel the world, meet interesting people and blow their houses up in the name of Big Liz, the UN, or Tony Frigging 'World Statesman' Blair. Hey Ho.

Soo, I decided to get the lardy/beer related gut off that 4 years of fatherhood had mysteriously deposited on my once-rippling flanks. Back out on the road again, new trainers, all the bollocks. Until my aged and well pickled joints complained. Well, I'll get on the bike again, sez I, dragging the slightly rusted carcass of my noble steed out of the shed. Cue overhaul, greasing, lubeing and tweaking (then I left the missis alone and fixed the bike) (sorry).

Trial run. All seems well, the gears are a bit graunchy, but nothing that a bit of the 4lb Lump Hammer Fine Adjusting wouldn't cure.

And then, after a hard day, I stagger home, looking for nothing more than a dram and a scran. A refreshing beverage or two or so is imbibed. Peace........

Shes's "late". Oh Jesus Yellow Painted Rubbery Fuck on a Stick. I've got two "wonderful" kids. I have an overdraft the size of the GNP of Liberia.

These two may be related.

She needs an 'ohfuckI'mdeadstick' to dangle in the fragrant flow from her ladyparts to determine if I need to take a short stroll with a shotgun or can breathe again. I'm pissed.

A-Ha! The bike!


Helmet on. Check. High-Vis On. Check. Lights On. Check. Sense of Responsibilty? Absent.

Her last words as I charged out of the gate, legs pumping like a rutting Jack Russell's arse as I screamed off like a terrified overweight Banshee? "Use the Cycle Lane"

I use the cycle lane. Apert from the joys of Stealth Dogshit (yes it deserves the capitalisation, you haven't lived until warm, runny faeces are sprayed at pressure over your back) (unless you aspire to a career in politics, in which case it's a job requirement).

Kerby bit. Down. Kerby bit. Huup.....crunch. Twatted the wheel in such a manner that it buckled, jammed in the forks, and catapulted me into a fence, in a flying stye only adopted by gutshot swans, drunken dodos, and unlucky members of the Luftwaffe. Double crunch.

You know those fences that are squared off railway sleepers, with the pointy bits pointing outwards? I fucking do know. Three sprung ribs and a sense of burning embarrasment as the local teenagers jeer at the fat bloke in the hedge.

Seven hours later, I arrive home, having stashed what remained of the bike with the very lovely staff of the local Sainburys who had let me phone for a taxi to take me to A&E (where I was forced to deck one of the local crackheads who desired my wallet/organs/change, pushing myself back in the list by 2 hours as he got seen to before me) AND having been forced to watch late night TV, I arrived home, screaming like a distressed virgin every time I coughed, to present the frangrant and lovely Mrs Osok with the 'don't go blue for fuck's sake' thingies.

They didn't.

She had got her dates 'confused'

I love my wife, but I must admit I did kick (fall over) the cat's arse that night and may well piss on her grave while singing 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' because of that night.

Darwin? Stay on the frigging Beagle. I don't even need contraception to avoid breeding, just a fence, half a bottle of Spiced Rum, and a sense of Emergency.

(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 22:43, 7 replies)
And yes, my hair is aflame
Not my stupidity, someone else's. Although it may be argued that my being with him in itself puts the onus on me...

My ex was trying to light a fire in the hearth. He never cleaned it out, insisting that it didn't need it, and so had to resort to more and more resourceful measures to get the fire going. Cooking oil, plastic bags and bottles, candles, my hairdryer (no, not burning it - using it)...

One time he was emptying a gallon of meths on to it from a plastic container. The gas inside it ignited with a bang and blew the container out of his hand and into my face as I sat innocently nearby. Before I consciously knew what was happening my reactions were quick enough for me to block it swiftly with an upward motion of my arm, so it span away and bounced off the top of my head.

"WTF?" I thought, but that was nothing compared to what I thought next, when my ex set upon me and started beating me about the head.

Then he literally fell about laughing, unable to speak with mirth. Eventually he gasped "you - your face! you were like this," and he opened his eyes wide with his fingers "with flames - your head - on fire - bar har har har!"

Remind me again why he's my ex?
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 22:23, 1 reply)
My fella,
as a youngun, flew spectacularly off his bike as a result of idly thinking while speeding down a hill "I wonder what would happen if I put my foot in there..."

Yes, he inserted his foot into the spokes of his front wheel. Both he and the bike got distressingly borked.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 21:40, 2 replies)
Roughly 6 pints of Kronenbourg to the good...
I decided I needed a kebab... and a piss.

Not wanting to wait for my food any longer than I had to I began queueing at the burger van. On reaching the front of the line I placed my order, undid Zippy and released Bungle and began to hands-free hose down the front of the burger van whilst detailing my chilli sauce requirements and texting a mate what I was up to.

To this day I don't know how I got away with it- I'm not a fighter at the best of times and had I copped the shoeing I deserved in the rough end of Hemel Hempstead I probably would have lost teeth. As it is I didn't even dampen my shoes.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 21:17, Reply)
Cycling Stupidity, Part Two (The Log of Doom)
Where I live there is an industrial estate at the edge of town, connected via a series of major motorways linking into it. Due to the nature of where I live, and the endless labyrinthine housing estates that melt into each other tied with roundabouts and confusing road networks, I can actually zip through said housing estates on mountain bike and get home as quick as, if not quicker than someone in a car.

My mountain bike is kitted out to the max, Cat Eye lighting set ups (RC-230, HL EL520 as “side lights”, TL LD1100, and bar end mirrors with a flashing light on my ruck sack), with my ruck sack containing my lunch and work gear. I look like a mad long haired Scandinavian back packing cyclist getting to and from work (I currently don’t drive, and taxi fares even one way cost an arm and a leg).

Annoyingly, the council are shite at their job of cleaning up. Including gritting of roads. Driving through my town is like driving through a town where the roads are made of Perspex due to a chronic lack of gritters, as noted a couple of weeks ago. This also includes clearing the footpaths that lead out of the estate of debris, in this story chunks of wood and twigs shed by trees in high winds at the time.

I exit work one winter afternoon, all lighting fully armed and charged. As they drive like idiots on the estate (which is why fold away bar end mirrors are a must), and I choose a footpath to exit the estate that is badly maintained, just to avoid the roads and keep out of the way.


I zip past a couple walking some form of Alsatian or Siberian Husky wolf type of dog, and they duly walk out of my way.

Next thing, all I hear is…..SPANG!

And my mountain bike suddenly stopping, while I catapulted forward across the ground, as if I was Superman but flying just an inch above the ground. And then, I stopped some several feet away from my mountain bike. The couple help me, and inform me that they warned me off a large block of stone, but I could not hear them. Miraculously, I didn’t break any limbs or kill myself. Or, scrape any of my clothing, including my Berghaus coat (hey, I ain’t a Chav! It’s for cycling purposes only to keep the elements out! D’ya hear?). All I had was a shredded finger that pissed blood down my hand, and I felt stiff. Had a buggered back, and felt generally sore for a week (went the doctors the following day to check checked out).

However, the following damage was done:


The mountain bike managed to clear the obstacle, but the back wheel didn’t and folded beneath me sending me flying. Annoyingly, the wheel was several weeks old only (and a quick release one too, for ease of repair in a hurry). Obviously, it was beyond repair.

Now, what I find fucking ironic was that fucking couple. It was nice of them to come to my aid as they also drove me back home with the mountain bike in the back of a works van this guy owned and made sure I was ok, but in a unique twist of irony they lured me into the fucking obstruction! Now, I know I have a fully equipped lighting rig on the mountain but it was STILL far too dark to see the obstruction on the path. You would THINK that they would have kept to the RIGHT, hence blocking the obstruction and bearing in mind I may not have heard them. Oh no…

I have broken my arm and not made a mess of my bike when I was a teenager, but never fucked a bike up like this and walked away from it. It still makes me shiver thinking about what could have happened, and I had nightmare flashbacks of falling off the bike for a couple of months.

I later find out the obstruction was a chunk of log, which we in work christened the "Log of Doom" (see first pic with pathway, on the right hand side on the grass. That was the culprit).

(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 21:03, 3 replies)
Just a quick one...
I almost killed our builder/electrician today.
Although in my defence, it was only because he'd been upstairs working, so I had ventured into the living room for a day of guitar hero. Then, using his ninja builder skills, he silently sneaked towards the fuse box, turned off the plugs and returned upstairs.

Halfway through Do it Again (by the Steely Dan), the electricity goes and oblivious to his past training with Japanese ninjas, I do the obvious thing and decide "oh, the builder has shorted something out again. I'll just turn to fuse back on." 10 seconds later I here an angry shout from upstairs, with an added dollop of blasphemy for good measure. He wasn't best pleased.

[Ninja skills may or may not be true, it might just have been the TV was on too loud for me to hear him...]
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 20:55, 1 reply)
Cycling Sillyness, Part One.
Back when I was something like 14 or so, in the very early 1990’s (probably 1992) during summer holidays from school (probably something like mid July).

Panteneman Snr’s best mate and neighbour had cobbled together a 12speed racer for me some time ago when I was smaller, but now I was tall enough to use it. He was a car mechanic and had his own garage. And also used to doodle about with cycles and bikes too. He had a early 1970s vintage Norton, with the pannier cases on the side, a big motorway munching thing, and a couple of racers cobbled together with his own hands.

Me, a friend of mine and said neighbour went out on a cycling mission as it was a nice summer’s day, zipping around the country lanes around the East Lancs and surrounding areas.

It was the first time I had ever used a racer, as I owned a mountain bike. I was quite amazed with how nimble, light, and agile this thing was compared to the brick like aerodynamics of my 18speed Raleigh (can’t remember the name, but it was black and white with BMX type handlebars, of late 1980s vintage when mass market mountain bikes first gained popularity).

Anyway, I was quite enjoying flying along at a ridiculous speed on smooth country roads, enjoying the agility and aerodynamics of this racer, zipping along country lanes with my friend and neighbour in tow.

Until…I encounter a T junction. Being a flash bastard, I paid no attention to looking to the left. I do a sharp right turn at a rate of stupid MPH (for cycling). A silver Toyota Camry behind me squeals and applies the brakes, the front of the car being a mere few inches from my rear wheel while I pedal in absolute sheer terror to outrun the car. The car comes to a stop after a stopping distance that seemed to go on for miles, turning slightly with its front wheels just off the road into a field.

I stopped, and gained my breath, and the guy in the Camry is swearing his head off at my mate, and my neighbour. I continue looking ahead while the car drives off, acutely embarrassed.

“You’ve got a fucking death wish!”, the driver screamed driving past me, through an electric window on the passenger side that was closing.

A bollocking was administered by my neighbour, while my mate was pissing himself laughing. Fortunately for my neighbour he let it go and didn’t tell my folks.

I went a lot slower on that 12speed racer from that point onwards….
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 20:05, Reply)
staples and arrows
I narrowly avoided shooting myself in the head with a hydraulic stapler while building sets for a theatre. I had the fucking thing upside down.

Also narrowly avoided being blinded by an arrow during an archery lesson.

A stranger pulled me back from the tracks a split second before a tram shot by in Amsterdam. I never found out who it was.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 19:15, 7 replies)
I visited Margate once
and nearly lost the will to live. That was a close one.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 18:32, 1 reply)
The Story of Jenny and the Overpriced Mineral Water
Inspired by Kaol's post below, I will tell you of one of my own 'little blips.'
As a teenager, I spent just under two years working as a barmaid in one of North Lancashire's finer family restaurant-stroke-bistros. Despite the job's manifold flaws and hasslements, it was a beautiful place to be: the outside of the building was nothing to look at, but the interior was decked out like a Faberge egg, all over red velvet and gold and very 'spensive furnitures. This place was, in the local vernacular, 'well posh.' Or at least, that was the reputation it desired to maintain.

Anyway. We sold mineral water at this joint - still AND sparkling, mind - in large and extremely thick glass bottles with a replaceable stopper. Punter comes in, orders water for table, gets bottle, drinks water, we recollect bottle, clean it*, and refill it with water from a huge tank in the cellar. In fairness, it was what it said it was on the tin, more or less; it just had a mark-up of roughly 800% whacked on it. And so, it fell out that part of my day's onerous duties was to refill these thick glass bottles that were kept in crates in the cellar. Thus far; thus unremarkably quotidien.

One summer day, I arrived for my day shift in ten kinds of a fluster. It was roasting outside, and I'd walked over a mile there down unpleasing suburban pavements in my horrid black-shirt-and-trousers combo. I was grumpy. I was hungry. But most of all, I was thirsty. Really bloody thirsty. And barely had my weary feet crossed the brass line in the carpet that separated the barfolk from the lowly punters than I was commanded to haul arse to the cellar and fill up the bottles for chilling. So, wearily - thirstily - I made my way downstairs.

The cellar was just what I needed. It was cool and dark, and there was nobody to annoy me. I sat briefly on an unpturned keg, revelling in the luxurious chill of the frozen metal against my legs. But I was still thirsty. It was ten o'clock in the morning; no-one had touched the mineral water taps since at least this time yesterday. (I will assert again at this juncture that the tanks were really quite big, and the hoses connecting the contents with the nozzle the water came out with hung in a long U shape behind a row of barrels.) The bottles eyed me, frostily, waiting to be replenished with the sweet, cold, slightly acidic bursts of fizzing watery blessings. I, in turn, eyed the taps.

So I did what anyone else would do in my position. Eschewing the 'dirty' - ie used - water bottles as a receptacle, I put the nozzle in my mouth and pressed the little lever.

The next thing I know, I'm flat on my back on the stone floor, about two feet away from where I started, and it hurts. A lot of places, but my chest most of all. I was gasping like a fish, and seeing stars.

I'm sure the less scientifically-retarded among you will have guessed what had happened, but for the rest of us, it turns out that inhaling a big lungful of pure CO2 -even if it is by accident - is a very bad idea indeed, and does nothing to stop you being thirsty.

So embarrassed was I by this episode that I didn't tell anyone at work, and spent the rest of the day stumbling around like a stunned calf, sporadically dribbling and going cross-eyed. Mind you, that was nowt to do with the CO2; I just had to fit in with the locals.


Hope you all have a nice evening; I've off to win the pub quiz again.

*of course, this never happened
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 17:45, Reply)
The Yodelling Kettle
In 1970 a young and fresh-faced Vambo began working in the laboratory at a cardboard mill. My duties (as well as testing cardboard and industrial effluent) included making the tea. Now the kettle in the laboratory was old and slow (a bit like our boss the curmudgeonly Dr Murdoch) and this meant that the kettle had to be filled and plugged in at 9.30 in order to get a reasonably warm cuppa.

When the kettle finally died, a suitable sum was extracted from petty cash and a new kettle purchased. The new kettle was chrome and domed - rather like the top of Dalek. The kettle had no lid and was filled via the spout that had lines on the back plate that indicated how full it was. The new kettle was a wonder to behold! It boiled in a minute or so and its chrome dome was lovingly polished by the womenfolk and it was admired by all.

Disaster struck in the form of Pete. Pete was another Laboratory Assistant and whilst getting off the lab work bench he was sitting on, managed to knock the cord of the chrome wonder. The kettle slid to the end of the workbench where it teetered for a second before landing on the concrete floor. A mortified Pete picked up the kettle and was horrified to see a large dent. Gladys and Marilyn the self appointed polishers of the chrome dome were upset and moaned and shouted at Pete for despoiling their precious!

Pete told me he was going to fix the kettle. “Great!” I said “How?” Pete replied "It’s easy I’ll use pressure to push it out from inside!”.
A few days later and we have the lab to ourselves at lunchtime. Pete measures the kettle’s spout and proceeds to carve a large cork. It was an exact fit. As mentioned the kettle had no lid and was filled via the spout so Pete figured part filling the kettle and blocking the spout would produce sufficient pressure to push out the dent when it boiled.

After filling the kettle, ramming the cork tightly home and winding a few turns of tape around the spout Pete switched on. I had a kind of bad feeling about this and retired to a safe distance, Pete however stood close by so that he could switch off when the dent popped out.

Minutes ticked by and suddenly “WHAM” and the cord shot out and snaked across the bench. A horrid “Yueeergh” kind of noise erupted from the kettle closely followed by a resounding “POP” as the cork flew out of the spout and hit the far side of the lab. A huge jet of steam shot out of the kettle, hit the ceiling, condensed and fell as rain over the workbenches. At the same time the kettle shot backwards at an amazing speed and clobbered Pete fair and square in the bollocks!!!

Apart from the sore ‘nads Pete also had a burn or two on his legs and worst of all the chrome kettle acquired another dent!!
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 17:35, Reply)
The Tale Of Kaol And The Hoover
Back when I was in my first year of university I was living in a "Luxury, Catered Hall Of Residence".

Turns out it wasn't quite as described.
The window frame was unclosably-fucked, the walls had slimy, creeping mould-problems, the food tasted like it was made of boiled abortions and the retards that lived on my corridor seemed to have no purpose in life other than setting the fire alarm off at 3am every morning.

We had fortnightly room inspections, to make sure that we didn't have any items on the "banned list*" in our possession, and to check that we hadn't shit on the floor and smeared it on the walls.

I passed the above test, with flying colours, but was told to "hoover the carpet".
Fair enough, I thought.
So, off I went to get the municiple Henry, only to find that the morons that I lived with had "killed" it in an attempt to see "how many pints of water we can feed it before it explodes. Five, apparently.
I wish it had fried them.

It was 13 days before we got a replacement.
So, the morning of the next room inspection, I crawled out of bed, the room spinning from a night that involved too much cheap vodka and not enough sleep.

I started hoovering.

I wondered how powerful the suction was.

I decided to put the pipe in my mouth.

Turns out that a hoover can suck all of the air out of your lungs, leaving you unable to breathe and a horrible dry feeling, deep inside.
Takes a good fifteen minutes to recover from this rapid evacuation, during which time the room inspectors will find you, on the floor, mostly naked.
It feels like years of your life have been forcibly removed.

*A list that included "Inflatable furniture", "Posters" and possibly "Livestock".
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 16:47, 20 replies)
Cider Man. Cider Man. Does whatever a Cider Man can...
A friend went away to Uni and returned with a love of cider. His ability to drink the appley nectar wasn't quite in line with his fondness for it, and he was frequently ruined within a few pints.

Our first grand reunion led to much merriment, with everyone excited to be back from our respective palaces of learning and wisdom; and Cider Man indulged his love of cider by drinking lots and lots of it. As you may expect from a man who loves cider, I suppose.

The cold November eve drew to a close and our merry band of drunks and wasters decided to wander along by the river; like in the old days, those few months before. Stood on the bank chatting, we watched Cider Man begin to make the first few tentative steps in our direction, before swiftly picking up speed and charging headlong into the icy waters below.

He refused to return immediately to his parental home, where warm clothes and relief from the on set of hypothermia awaited, instead insisting on coming with us to drink more and perhaps smoke a little. So we gave up on our protests and he squelched along in our wake.

All of a sudden he ran wildly through the middle of our little group and leapt into what I must admit looked like being a very welcoming hedge, with the intention of bouncing back onto the path, or so I assume. Reality wasn't to be kind to him, however, and he disappeared for the second time that evening with a merry "WEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee deep into the sunken garden the hedge was hiding about 10ft below.

He sheepishly climbed back through the hedge, forsaking the otherwise sensible steps and gate combination only a few meters to his side, and marched with a swerving, wobbly determination in the general direction of his parental abode.

Somehow he still drunkenly stalks the planet, his Cider sense tingling whenever he's in presence of his beloved liquor. We gave him to the Australians sometime ago, but I don't think they've helped diminish his fondness for the stuff; ensuring he remains, forever, Cider Man.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 15:51, 5 replies)
No sharp objects, or naked flames, or anything really
My dad has for years been on a one-man crusade to remove himself from the gene pool - flipping Sierra Cosworth's at 90 on the motorway ('Dad's had a bit of a prang in the car' says Mum - cue me walking outside to see a Cosworth sans passenger compartment on the drive - how the fuck he drove it home after I will never know).

My favourite came after the big storm of 87 in the UK. We lived down in Surrey which suffered the full force of the storm. In our back garden was a Eucalyptus tree - don't ask me why, we lived in Surrey for fucks sake, not New South Wales.

Anyway, during the night of the storm, the power of nature was brought to my attention as said tree was ripped out of the ground and thrown rather violently at my bedroom - thankfully Eucalyptus trees are very springy and it bounced off the house and landed in the garden.

Fast forward one week - Dad decides to get rid of the tree himself - with a chainsaw... you can imagine the scene, me and my mum watching him from the lounge, me with 999 ready on speed dial and she with the life insurance policy clutched in her hand.

Cue amazement as he doesn't cut his own head, limbs, etc off and neatly slices the 60ft tree and accompanying branches into easily moveable pieces. Which he then proceeded to put into the skip hired for this purpose.

Trouble is there were too many bits to fit into the skip. Enter stage left - dad having the idea that a skip must be like a bin, when its full you push down on the stuff in it and put more in. But how to do this? Of course, climb into the skip and start pushing stuff by hand...not working you say? Well jump on it of course.

Now as I said, Eucalyptus trees are springy, VERY springy, even when cut up into small pieces. Imagine the fun we had as my dad gave one ruddy great leap from the edge of the skip onto the pile of highly-sprung branches, only to be bounced straight back out again, over the edge of the skip to land on the concrete driveway. Luckily he only broke an arm, but I always wondered if he broke his head as well.

And don't even get me started on the time he decided to clear the long grass at the top of our hilly previous garden with a can of petrol. I can still see my grandad pissing himself laughing as my dad rolls down the garden smoking and sans eyebrows.

Its amazing he lasted long enough to have me.
(, Tue 17 Feb 2009, 15:45, 1 reply)

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