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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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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)

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