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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)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Flip-flops of DEATH
Anyone who met me around 18 months ago would be forgiven for thinking I would shuffle off this mortal coil earlier than most, due to my own stupidity/misfortune. I am still alive, however, and those unlucky times behind me. But I will share them now in the spirit of The Question.

My family hadn’t taken a holiday together in a long time – since I was about 14 – mostly due to the stress and arguing and crying that inevitably overshadowed any fun. But hey, we’d all grown up, right? My sister and I in our twenties and Daddy much mellowed by his retirement, so when he suggested a canal boat trip, we jumped at the chance – ‘free holiday- wooo!’. Well, anyone that’s been on a canal boat will understand that when it says four berth, it really means two. Or possibly one fat one. It certainly does not mean the boat can adequately house four fully grown adults for a whole week.

As a result of this confinement, tensions were frayed. It was the one hot week we had the whole summer and I couldn’t face sitting with my mum and sister, grouchy and uncomfortable, in the hot, noisy bowels of the boat... Father was taking up the outside platform while he merrily steered us along the sleepy canals of middle England – oblivious to the familial unrest. This left me with the roof. Fine with me, I’m pretty agile, and so it was that I sat up there and hopped down whenever a low bridge was encountered. On the Saturday, my sisters birthday, in fact and we had planned to moor up somewhere lovely for drinking and dinner. There were only a couple of days left to go and we intended to make the best of it.

There I am, up on the roof and Daddy says, “oop, bridge coming” so down I hop. Only, this time, I am wearing the flip-flops of DEATH. My toes don’t quite grip the top step and I plunge down into the cabin, feet first, face down, thunk thunk thunk on my ribs. I can only imagine what this looked like to my mum and sister calmly reading - it makes me chuckle. I swayed upright, waving away their concerned advances. What a hero I am! Oh wait, what’s this? I can’t breathe- try again? nope. Oh dear. This is where my conscious self leaves the story- but I am reliably informed my eyes rolled back in my head and I keeled over and hit the deck. Hard. (Can you call the inside of a boat the deck? hmmm).

Being on a canal boat in the middle of nowhere makes calling an ambulance a bit of a challenge- while Daddy steered the boat close to the bank, sis made a gallant leap into the mass of nettles, clutching all the mobiles in the hope that one might have reception if she ran up and down a bit. Meanwhile, Mummy realizes I am still not breathing and first aid refresher course ringing in her ears, goes for a bit of mouth-to-mouth. Oo-er. Odd thing was, my jaw was firmly seized shut. Ever the lateral thinker, she proceeds to blow up my nose. Unorthadox maybe, but quite effective.
The next think I remember is being mildy pissed off that they were waking me up and who the hell was tolling those bells so damned loudly?! Anyway, a short trip to hospital and some strong painkillers later, I return basically unscathed and by the evening we were laughing about it in the pub. I had been a bit concerned about my mental faculties considering how long I wasn’t breathing for (a couple of minutes I think) but a few goes on the quiz machine proved I hadn’t descended into total monginess. Hurrah! Not the best birthday present for my sister, along with the sunburn and insect bites, regular waterway hazards, she broke out in ridiculous hives from the stress of thinking I was dead. Aaaww.
I couldn’t help but think Mummy suspected a childish bid for attention on a siblings birthday, but the disaster that occurred on my birthday, but a month later, proved I was just a gimp.

Will post if I have time before the question closes…
(, Thu 19 Feb 2009, 8:52, 10 replies)
Not long for this wold
Tonight I am going to try rodeo sex.............

Take her doggy style and whisper in her ear,

"your sister is tighter than you in this position"

and see how long I can stay on for.

Obviously I will be murdered not long after.

Been nice knowing your personas

(PS Apologies for recycling and then bastardizing this very old joke)
(, Thu 19 Feb 2009, 3:24, 1 reply)
Last year, whilst at Uni, I was at a house party as the guest of one of the students living there. As there were 5 other students in this house, there were a lot of people. It being early November, someone had decided to bring some explosion-themed entertainment for us all in the form of some rockets.

Everyone was drinking and laughing and there was no trouble, which is always nice at a house party. It was time for the fireworks. They were planted safely in the garden, perhaps not as far away as should be but we weren't stupid and we all stood as far back as we could. They were lit and we waited for the light show to begin. The fuse was burning down and as I'm sure you all know, there is a slight gap between when the fuse stops and the rocket launches. The fuse stopped, there was a gap, the rocket went off. However, it didn't leave the ground. There was a moment of the rocket "rocketing" but not going anywhere and the beautiful sight of everyone realising, "Shit. Fuck. Errr..." BANG! There was no time to run so there were a good 50 students in the garden, each staring an exploding rocket in the face. How not one person was injured I do not know. After the everyone had recovered from the shock, there was laughter, swearing swiftly followed by more drinking.

Who says students are reckless? And as for length, the Onosecond didn't last long enough to register before the rocket blew.
(, Thu 19 Feb 2009, 1:05, Reply)
My brother and I, bright, inventive, slightly dysfunctional children - would make homemade gunpowder when we were kids.

We knew the recipe from books - charcoal, saltpeter, and sulfur - I believe in 75/15/10 percent ratios if you want to make some yourself (it's been quite a long time) - something like that anyway.

Our homemade from scratch stuff wasn't amazing, but it burned, and when we started mixing in the professional stuff from model rocket engines (if you dig out the clay end and smush the cardboard tube, you get quite a good amount) - and then it was considerably better.

We made bigger engines, we made things that just went Boom, my brother carried a container of the stuff around with him in his backpack. Mostly cause it was "cool" and it impressed his friends, I guess. I dunno - maybe he had explosive plans. I probably should have asked.

Can you imagine doing that in an american school today?

Anyway - at one point, I read in a book that musketry really improved in distance and power when they discovered that if you mix gunpowder up wet and then dry it in the sun, the mixture is better for some reason and the power goes up an huge amount.

And for the record - it seemed to work. At the very least through the subjective view of young teenagers fugging about, the booms seemed better.

All in all - it was good, the only tricky part was making all this in the back yard of our little suburban town home and getting it properly dried and stored before the parents got home.

My brother made a big batch one day and it wasn't drying fast enough, I said "Well, on a very low heat, it's an electric oven, no gas or flame anywhere... it should probably be ok... but really - lets not risk it, just wrap it up and we'll dry it tomorrow..."

Cause I was dumb enough to think out loud back then and progress through my ideas verbally, instead of just saying the last / smartest thing instead.

My brother nodded and, my mess cleaned up, I went upstairs to play videogames.

Not 5 minutes later...

I felt the explosion upstairs.

I encountered my brother on the stairs and all he could say over and over was "that wasn't smart, that wasn't smart..." - just babbling.

Smoke was billowing across the downstairs ceiling.

I left my brother on the stairs and went into the kitchen, opening windows and turning on the blower fans over the stove as I went.

I was confused, the oven (which I assumed my brother had exploded) looked just fine. In fact the smoke and soot stains on the walls didn't even come from it they came from ...


Where was the microwave?



I see.

It's in two parts, on either side of the kitchen - I didn't notice that coming in with the smoke and everything.

My brother couldn't really hear me very well when I talked to him. But he did try to explain...

He thought the microwave would be faster.

He thought putting Gunpowder in the microwave would be just fine.

He realized however, at this point, with with proper reflection, and after all evidence had come in - that it was not ok, and you shouldn't do it.

We wiped up the soot stains on the walls and ceiling, washed the whole house with lysol to hide the smoke smell as best we could, ran the fans, opened all the doors and windows, washed the microwave out, semi kinda halfway re-attached the microwave door back to the microwave so it kinda looked like it was whole again. Put it back where it normally went...

When, that night, my mom opened the microwave to cook something and the door came off in her hand... we were sure to be nowhere around.

Mom, cause I know you read B3ta sometimes ... I'm sorry about the microwave. You thought it was cheap and got old and fell apart, but really - we exploded it.

Sorry =/
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 23:04, 2 replies)
Don’t fear the Reaper
By rights when the Grim Reaper comes you are allowed to challenge him to a game to buy some extra time. Back the old days this was just Death taking the mick. Chess was only one game in town and he’d had eternity to practice. In comparison, you were just a numpty who barely remembered how the horsey moved. You had no chance.

But now things have changed. In my lifetime we’ve had the Super Nintendo, the Sega Megadrive, the Gameboy, the DS, the Playstation, PS2, Xbox and all the rest of them, each one with hundreds, nay thousands of games available. I reckon if I pick one game, just one, on one particular platform, and then I spend the next 50 years or so playing for 8 or 10 hours a day, I reckon if I do that then I’ll be ready for the Reaper when he comes. Of course I don’t need to pick a game yet, so I’ll have to do some research for now, buying games when they come out and playing them through to the end, seeing what games I have a natural aptitude for.

Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway. If this isn’t true then I’m probably just throwing my life away playing computer games every weekend.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 22:16, 6 replies)
This QOTW has inspired me to hire a Grim Reaper costume and
then go to my local chess club and ask for a game.

That should put the old duffers there off their stroke.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 21:50, 2 replies)
not an actual Darwin award...
but it is connected to Darwin... and stupidity

A guy that works in our warehouse was yesterday telling me that he owns four 1st edition books by Charles Darwin, (yes FOUR!) including a 1st edition of Origin of Species which is SIGNED BY DARWIN HIMSELF!!!

yeah, all right mate, sure you have

As David Attenborough said in his recent documentary on Darwin, a 1st edition Origin of Species is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, a signed one would be almost priceless.

And this guy aparently has four of 'em. Yet he is still pushing pallets around in a warehouse.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 19:22, 1 reply)
i live in dubai
you have no fucking idea how stupid a move that was
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 16:58, 15 replies)
Gore, blood and tumbling elephants
I set the scene: my best friend, when I was a tiny Snark of 5 years old, lived on a scrap yard. As one might imagine, it wasn’t the best place to allow one’s children to play, but my parents were sadists and I annoyed them immensely, so I was packed off to play there nearly once a week.

I have a scar that runs from ankle to knee where I cut myself on sheet metal and one on my inner thigh where I landed crotch-first on some discarded barbed wire. The gushing blood and pain wasn’t a deterrent; no – I just realised there was a better way to use this scrap metal. A small bulb of childhood ingenuity glowed above my head; I decided to use a slab of sheet metal to sled down a low roof.

In theory, this should have worked. In practice, the sheet metal caught on the roof, and thus created a chain of catastrophe. A nail on the sheet metal caught in my head and ripped the back of my scalp upwards. My bloody white skull was on show from neck to the peak of my head and I was quickly losing blood. After taking time to hide my crime of stupidity and illogical thinking (first things first when you’re that age: don’t get in trouble,) I finally got to my mommy – who fainted after seeing her lovely 5 year old daughter covered head-to-toe in blood.
In the end, an ambulance was called which transported me to the local hospital. A shaved head and over 30 stitches later, TheSnark was put together again.

Sadly, my Kindergarten Circus was but a week later and I had to hand in my coveted role of the Tumbling Elephant for fear that my stitches would explode and cover parent, teacher and children alike in sprays of my blood. Instead - what with these being the culturally sensitive early 1980s – I played the role of the snake charmer using my head bandages as a makeshift turban.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 16:45, 9 replies)
I don't know about you guys
But I'm having a wonderful time playing Mythbusters with this week's QOTW. Every time a question like this one pops up, I find the various science and pyromania related lies quite entertaining.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 15:39, 7 replies)
last saturday night
me and mrs funhappyslide are mid row. As i have a mouth full of sweet and sour pork with rice i go to finish her sentance with ''shut up''. As i inhale to put her in her place a pork ball lodges in my throat. Mrs funhappyslide then says ''i hope you fucking choke'' which i duly did. after 30 seconds of her laughing at my near death i have to perform a certain manoever on myself using the sitee. I promptly vomited all chinese, beer and wine all over her. I nearly died. She got what was coming to her. Are we even?
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 15:30, 8 replies)
I was seven and I wanted to make a bomb
can't really remember why but had decided that the best way to go about it was to the wrap a nine volt battery (the square ones that make your tongue tingle) in string soaked in petrol then light and throw , hey presto bomb.

So checklist

Battery yes
String yes
can of petrol yes
Cigarette lighter yes
Out of the way place to do the deed Yes

Having soaked the string in the petrol , mmm nice smell , I wrap it careful round the battery till it's completely covered then light the string and throw .


Other end of string still in petrol can .
Have therefore just learnt the concept of 'fuse'
Hot flames all over but mainly round the can.
Kicking the can made it fall over and spread firey water everywhere but not go out.
Out of way place to do the deed is in fact a wooden frame garage that my dad and uncle built a few years before .

Luckily the river of fire is away from the door and I am able to run and run and run to the top of the hill near the house where I can watch the garage burn down , four fire engines turning up , and my Dad's yellow car driving round and round looking for me .

I went home when it got dark and my mum put some stuff on my burned hand , and my Dad was drunk but not mad angry like I expected .

Rubbish bomb top fire .
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 15:26, Reply)
1980 disco light electric shocker !
Back in the 80’s I had a liking to all things electrical – “practical electronics monthly” gave me the horn and I remember one particular project was to make your own “sound to lights” disco unit.

Now to the uninitiated a “sound to light” unit normally consisted of four mains powered coloured bulbs that flash in time to music via the built in microphone – anyway I spent hours grafting on this project and several days later ended up with the finished article – Now to test it!

I plugged it into the mains and fired up a bit of Sam Fox “Touch Me” on the record player and watched awe struck as the lights flash in time to the music - brilliant! Except the bass light didn’t work – I switched the music off and unscrewed the non working bulb – Hmmm how can I test it I thought… common sense was well and truly lacking as I decided to reach in and touch the electrical contacts for the bulb – “one” “two” I whispered into the microphone and sure enough a little bit of a tickle up the arm confirmed that I was getting a voltage but not long enough to cause me any damage.. that is until I decided to test it with “Ghost Busters” by Ray Parker Jnr

The record starts with a very treble like intro which caused the first two lights to come on and then it gets into a very bass like drum bit that sends 240 volts surging up my arm causing me to fly backwards in a whole world of pain with my body stiffer than than gary glitter reading a mother care catalogue……

That ladies and gentlemen is the day I nearly removed my genes from the pool…
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 15:08, Reply)
Not Big. Not Clever (See Dumb Things etc.... pearroast)

One sunny spring day a few year's ago I decided to burn lots of garden rubbish.

After making a nice big bonfire at the back of the garden I try to get it to light.

However I had a little bit of a problem getting it started, it was damp! So I decide to get a little help from a 1/2 gallon container of white spirit.

Result: whoosh, and we have it all burning nicely, if not a little smokily.

I put the top back onto the plastic container and for the next two hours I grab and burn anything not tied down or living.

Eventually however all good things come to an end and I find myself with practically nowt else left to burn.

Casting my eye round I eventually settled on the empty???? 1/2 gallon white spirit container, "it's plastic" thinks I, "it will burn".

So without another thought I duly drop the 4 pint pot into the glowing embers.........

First thing it does is blow up like sodding space hopper.

Clearly I did a god job when I screwed the cap back on thinks I, however I realise that all the compressed "and" flammable gas stuck inside the container is trying desperately to get out, and not in a good way. .

So I step up to the fire and swat it out of the embers, thinking result, no mini Hiroshima's here, don't want to annoy the nuns again (another fire another day).......

I then think how do I get all that gas out of there? At this point I looks at left hand and see the broken broom handle I've been using as a poker for most of the afternoon.

"That's do the trick", so I and promptly spear my baby space hopper, (even the hamster is starting to slow down at his wheel around about now)..

At this point that my brain clearly went into stand-by (the hamster must have seen what was coming and was no doubt trying to kiss it's arse goodbye) because instead of simply walking away I turned and put the "now" punctured container back into the fire.

There is the biggest fcuking bang I have ever heard in my life.

When I eventually open my eyes I see not only is the fire out but it's actually no longer there along with all the hairs on my left arm up to around elbow level, (use bigger stick next time).

Mrs Matter then got to spend about 30 mins picking little melted bits of plastic from my face, arm and hair...........

She wont let me play with matches anymore.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 15:03, 2 replies)
Stag do, absinthe, prague
Woke up the next day with nothing in my pockets (no wallet, phone, money, fags), 22 individual injuries and no idea what happened.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 14:52, 4 replies)
Not Me

But my brother - and it's not really a Darwin story as he wouldn't have been killed.

Bro was in the army in charge of a lab that repaired radio relay equipment. When he wasn't on exercise or out in the field providing comms for teh bullet-stoppers (infantry), this was his day-to-day job.

They didn't have much to do.

So, one guy brought in his, legal, pump-action shotgun to fix. It wasn't feeding rounds properly and was jamming when you tried to pump a new round.

So he took it to bits and fixed the problem. To test it he'd weighted a bunch of old shotgun shells with wax and he fed them into the gun.


Shuck-Shuck CLICK!

Shuck-Shuck CLICK!

Shuck-Shuck CLICK!

Yay! It was all working perfectly.

So my bro, the boss (ranking NCO), asks for a go.

Loading the gun with a bunch of shells he pulled it to his shoulder and:

Shuck-Shuck CLICK!

and an empty shell spins across the floor

Shuck-Shuck CLICK!

and an empty shell spins across the floor

Shuck-Shuck BOOM!

And a fucking huge hole appears in the wall as an empty shell case spins, smoking, across the floor.

One of the guys in the lab next door poked his head through the hole and said:

"You're fucked"

And he was. 2k fine and a drop in rank.

(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 13:13, 2 replies)
I'm amazed I'm still alive...
Things I have done that seem ill advised, but were usually "a good idea at the time":

1) On a school trip, I went pot-holing, during which time I saved a classmates life when he slipped off a ledge and I grabbed his belt as he shot over my head. Tore both shoulders and had to be dragged to the surface by rope (he was about twice my size and I felt every joint in both arms go "pop" as I took his weight in one hand and gripped a handhold with the other. That was bad enough, but the day before we'd done rock-climbing up to a boulder sat atop an outcrop - it wobbled. I took the chance to see if the coment "it moves, but it'll never fall" by the ill-advised instructor were true by bouncing up and down on the rock to see if i could shift it. With four of us and the instructor sat on it. 200+ feet up a cliff, with rocks below. It didn't fall off.

2) Created a corrgated iron fort in the woods at school at the top of a tree leaning at 45 degrees after the '87 hurricaine, as running up the trunk made for a good secure entrance path against "enemies". My friend and I then stripped the bark off the trunk, making it extra slippy. The camp was 30 foot in the air, above broken saplings, nettles and the remains of the pig sty we'd nicked the steel from. All metal was nicely rusty and sharply edged. I slipped off the trunk halfway up, ploughed through the bushes and landed on my rucksack amid brambles and nettles. I was unsatched, as my impact flattened the nettles. I lead a charmed life.

3) got a bit lost on a School ski trip, saw the main piste/chair lifts off to my left and decided to take a short cut between the trees and wait for the party at the lifts - genius! I pushed past the screen of firs, then suddenly dropped something like 10 feet into a smaller fir tree/shrub, then clawed my way out of gulley and on to the piste...if I'd been a few yards later on, I'd have dropped 40 foot onto a boulder. eek. Again, a minor cut to my hand and a bruised knee were the worst injuries sustained.

There are more - I should be dead.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 13:07, Reply)
Drunkenly walking straight into the middle of Thornton Road (known prostitute area of Bradford)….
….at 6am after a night on the tiles wasn’t my brightest idea.

I was incredibly lucky and was picked up by a cab and taken home but I shudder to think what might have happened if that cab hadn't have been there at that moment in time.

I was 18 and about 6 stone and couldn’t have fought anyone in that state.

We live and learn eh? Well not always, but at least I lived!
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 12:26, 9 replies)
Don't try this at home....
...oh if you must.

1. Melt Candles in a saucepan until wax is boiling viciously

2. Carry saucepan of boiling wax outside

3. Place on ground and throw bucket of water over it.

4. Regrow eyebrows/hair/skin
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 12:21, 2 replies)
Oh deary, deary me.

The millennium, everyone is out in the street, partying. There is no traffic except for the emergency vehicles hurtling past every so often. My mate J has some fireworks, but instead on sticking them in the grass verge, he jams them into a drain cover, lights one, and backs away. Just then an ambulance pulls into the street, and misses the firework's explosion by inches. Stunned, we cluster around the drain cover, only to realise that it was a 2-shot firework. The first had forced it into the drain. The second exploded the contents of the drain about 15 feet into the air. Oh, how we laughed afterwards.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 12:03, Reply)
starting smoking at the grand old age
of 22, is probably the stupidest thing i've ever done, however.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 11:42, 3 replies)
'sno point cycling, mate...
I witness monumental stupidity almost daily on my journey to and from work. It would appear that our roads are populated by the terminally stupid, the ones I travel on seem to be anyway (I don't necessarily completely exclude myself from that statement, either).

However, during the recent display of Great Britain's spectacular inability to cope with a change in weather, it would seem as though the brainless hit the road en mass. It only amazes me that the country wasn't a veritable bloodbath afterwards.

I walked to work on the Monday of snow. It was a very pleasant two hours of trudging manfully along the snowy pathways; pausing only to take snaps of the wintry scene or to marvel at the ridiculousness of the people that adorned the route.

The worst example of head-slapping idiocy was the young fella who, in his wisdom, decided a racing bike would be a suitable form of transport when the roads were at their least grippy. It was as I overtook him (on foot, may I remind you) that gravity and the slipperiness of the road conspired to send him groundwards. It was also at this moment that the woman following very closely in the car behind him realised that braking hard on a snowy road isn't going to make you stop very quickly.

If I believed in such a thing, I'd suggest that a benign intervention had occurred before my very eyes, and that God Himself had reached down to nudge the car away from the sprawling muppet. Truth is, he was just a very lucky boy. A very lucky boy who really didn't appreciate me muttering "you fucking cock" at him as I helped him out of the gutter.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 11:37, 8 replies)
Intrinsically stupid
It was a good few years ago now; I'd just fixed my girlfriend's broken watch for her after some fat get had trodden on it. We'd been down at the seaside. Got a nice photo of us to commemorate it. We were back at work and I'd been checking out some new equipment in the laboratory. We met up for lunch, and I went to take it out of my pocket - would you credit it?? I'd only gone and left it down in the lab! So off I go to get it.

Of course, me being a bit of a dickhead, I only go and get locked into the intrinsic field removal chamber, don't I? The last thing I remember is the air getting warmer, Janey fucking off because she's a blatant shithouse and every atom of me screaming out of existence. Typical.

Still, mustn't grumble, I suppose. They were all calling me a dickhead and a stupid get for getting locked in there, but I bet they ate their fucking words when I managed to reform myself. Of course, I glow a bit, don't really have any emotions and can blow people up with my mind; but at least I'm not old and cancer ridden like all the knobheads that took the piss out of me. Eat that.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 11:28, 9 replies)
Moving House
My Grandad was moving house and we decided to light a bonfire in his garden to get rid of all of the crap he didn't want. So we filled up an old oil barrel and once it was full covered it in petrol and white spirit.

My Grandad then handed me a lighter (one of those ones with a long end), stood back and told me to light it. I just lit it, within a split second I could see fire coming towards my face and ducked. But it was too late, all my arm, nose, facial and head hair had either been singed or burnt off and my t-shirt was on fire.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 11:26, Reply)
Too late, she cried.. slightly off topic
Kaol's post reminded me of this..

One of my old mates, we should call Stu, (because it's his name, and I don't think he's in here)Who was happily working in a sheet-metal factory, making air conditioning tube thingies. This involved bending the sheets of sheet steel into interesting shapes.

One morning, Stu had arrived early, since there was overtime to be had. After an hour, other colleagues began to arrive, with a light dusting of snow. This set our hero thinking.. He slunk off with a small piece of sheet steel and set about making a sledge, of sorts. He bent up one of the narrow sides and punched two holes in it.He attached a bungie cord (sp?) by the hooks to the holes and set off through the snow onto the car park. Stu noticed then, that the factory was built on old railway sidings, and there was a tall embankment with the still running railway atop it at the far end of the car park. Stu took a heroic deep breath climbed the fence and scaled the embankment, where he positioned his shiny sledge, leaped aboard and hurtled down the near vertical slope.

The next thing he knew he was in the trauma ward at the infirmary, plastered from hip to toe, badly concussed, and being alternately harangued and laughed at by his wife and friends, me included..

He was back at work three months later, and getting on as badly with the boss as ever. I was staying at their house for a while and so, when his colleague pulled up on the front I called his wife to let him in, with an assortment of tools etc. We then found out, that Stu, three days into his comeback had punched the boss's lights out, and was currently under arrest at the city's police station. He ended up with a moderately sized fine, Stu later worked this out at £15 a punch and was therefore happy..

He then chucked in work and went to college, then University. He now has a Phd. In Nuclear Physics...

*edited for crap bits, and how I was reminded in the first place..
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 11:05, Reply)
Brakes? What brakes?
Being a boy on a bike, the faster the better. Of course, boring stuff like maintenance only happens when something actually breaks. And then only if you really need it. So when one of the brake cables snapped, I just tied it out of the way and kept riding. After all, I still had one brake left.

So here I was, belting down the longest hill in the area, the one which the council had to resurface every couple of years because being a major road that steep, the road surface used to crack and slide down the hill. At the bottom, the road levelled off for a bit, past some of the shops, climbed up and over a level crossing, then into a roundabout with the major road that ran alongside the railway line. I pedalled like mad down the hill, in top gear, the wind going through my helmetless hair, and then, as I reached the shops, gently touched the brake to prepare for the railway crossing.

The handle just sagged. No braking happened. The other cable had snapped.

Fuck. I'm now blasting past cars which are slowing down for the roundabout on the other side of the crossing.

Fuck, fuck, fuck! I may have screamed a bit at this point.

First, the level crossing. Slabs of concrete that don't quite line up with each other, with two sets of rails in between the gaps. Rough as guts to go over slowly, at this speed, I am well and truly fucked.
Except, the road goes up a bit to meet the concrete slabs. I'm going fast enough that I launch into the air, sail not quite gracefully over the first set of rails, and hit the ground between the second set with a mighty cry of "Oooooohhhhh shiiiit!" Bounced over the last rail, and back onto tarmac, still upright, and having lost a little bit of speed.

But now I'm about ten feet from a crowded roundabout, full of cars crawling at walking pace around each other. I can see one small gap between the cars immediately ahead of me, and manage to dive through that before the drivers have time to react, cross the inside of the roundabout, swerve like mad, and pick another gap that lets me out the other side, while behind me I can hear brakes screeching as the drivers notice me after I'm already through.

Coast down to a stop over the next block, get off the bike, and collapse on the grass shaking.

When I could stand up and grab the bike, I walked the bastard home.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 10:58, 1 reply)
Just the other day....
So it was snowing, and everyone went out to play in it, I always liked the film Cool Runnings and in the fashion of Blue Peter, made my own bobsleigh using spare car parts and some sticky back plastic (aka Sellotape) and dragged my sledging beast up the hill for it's virgin run.

Next thing I know, St Peter pulls outs his mobile (they're on Hal-O2 up there) and starts reading off jokes about gingers and sledging... bastard!
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 10:42, 3 replies)
Just remembered (too late to win but hey)
The "Railgun incident" as it became known at my old alma mater.

I was a sciency type at school, I pestered our physics teacher to allow us to make a railgun "to demonstrate the power of electricity/magnetism" or some such bollocks. In truth we were teenage boys so any projectile hurling gizmo was ok by us (and after the "School pond incident" I was not allowed near any burny explody things) so we built one!

A railgun is a way of throwing ferrous projectiles using the power of electromagnets. Basically you get a series of magnets arranged along and around a tube, each switched by the previous one, to drag the projectile down to the end where it flies out at amazing speed. No propellant, no chemicals, just magnetism.

We decided to power it with mains electricity. Bad move.

The switching was simple, as the projectile reached a magnet it made a circuit to the next one and switched off the one it had just left and so on.

In hindsight perhaps we shouldn't have made so many magnets (25) or made them quite so strong. Perhaps a 50mm steel ballbearing was a bit big for our first projectile. Probably we should have taken heed of the law of motion " for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".

However, we took some precautions. We placed the railgun, all 2 metres of it, outside on to the school playing field and set it up on a workmate. We neglected to strap it down.

Once the power was hooked up, we put the projectile in the breech end and took up our stations behind it, I mean, we were well behind the line of fire so what's the worst that could happen?

Imagine if you will our surprise when the switch was pressed. There was no noise as the railgun threw itself backwards at some speed into the throng of eagerly watching schoolboys. luckily it missed everyone but caught my blazer and tore it off me like a hen night strippers uniform.

Had it hit me it would have punched a hole through me big enough to put your head in. As it was, it only buried itself in the brick wall of the swimming pool.

50 yards away.

We never found the projectile.

I was banned from suggesting any science experiments after that.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 10:24, 15 replies)
Electric Bomb
Just remembered, although I try to blank it.

A year or two ago I was having a few amber nectars in a city pub near Liverpool St.

It was dark, cold so I was wrapped up nice and warm as I waved goodbye to my friends. If you know the area, it has lots of narrow roads, some of them still cobbled, with old 4/5 story buildings on either side. It was late so the offices were well closed and the workers spread liberally in the local boozers.

I was walking quickly to the side entrance to the station up aforesaid road when not 3ft in front of me an electrical manhole cover thingy took off with fire and brimstone erupting from the gash in the ground. The force of the explosion put me flat on my arse as I watched the cover fly 6ft in the air, hover and fall straight back down into the hole it had just left.

I was sat there on a wet floor, my ears ringing from the shock wave with no one to witness what had happened.

I couldn't believe it. No trace of explosion, no fire, and me with nothing more than a wet bum and sore ears.

One cheary goodbye and a wave to my mates saved me being taken down to Hades by a demented London Electric Co manhole.

(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 9:04, Reply)

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