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IHateSprouts tells us they once avoided getting caught up in an IRA bomb attack by missing a train. Tell us how you've dodged the Grim Reaper, or simply avoided a bit of trouble.

(, Thu 19 Aug 2010, 12:31)
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This question is now closed.

Guns and Closure
My dad was a Special Agent for the FBI. Back in those days, we weren’t allowed to tell any of our friends what he did for work, just that he worked for the government, then playing stupid like we couldn’t be bothered to figure out what part of the government.

Anyway, he grew up in northwest New Mexico, where the people are as hard as the land. Had many siblings and essentially was a tough son of a gun. He refused to use the standard issue pistol at the time because the barrel was too long and wouldn’t be good in a scuffle, so he always had a Saturday Night Special tucked into a holster behind his back. He was not a man to be messed with: though not huge, he was mean and determined. He had a doctorate degree and when he left the FBI and after his death (more later) I heard from many people what a great guy he was, how classy he was, and what a damn good agent he was - I never knew that guy.

He was involved (I have gathered) in counter espionage, counter terrorism and narco-terrorism. He is reputed to have helped a Russian general defect in the early 80s, had one of the largest drug busts in US history and worked (I have gathered) on the mysterious cattle mutilation cases that plagued the US southwest for years.

At home, he was difficult. He had been raised rough and felt no problem giving you a whack with knuckle, belt, hot wheels track (they really hurt when you’ve just stepped out of a shower), the occasional 2x4 board, or a well-deserved kicking. He also was an expert in getting a small lock of hair, lifting it and controlling whatever child into coming where he wanted them. I admit to never wanting to be around him, be like him, talk to him, see him and shamefully would often ask my mom, “why did you marry him?” It was like nothing I ever did was good enough and he told me at three years old that I was too old for hugs, so it stopped.

This story is how I almost died and how I had a moment of pride in having the dad I did.

One late summer during high school I was coming home from two-a-day football practice. In US high school football, you usually start these up a month or so before the school year starts to condition and weed out the, well the weeds. So, I had to be there at 6:30 am, practice until 10:30 am, then home, then back for 2:30 – 6:30 pm practice. Summers in New Mexico aren’t as hot as some places, but it is the desert and you lost much of your water content. Plus, it was hard work and just plain sucked. I was usually picked up after the afternoon practice by my dad, who would usually ask, “how’d you do?” and I would grunt, which would make him mad, which would result in a good yelling and occasional fist.

One evening, I was walking the two miles home because he didn’t show up. I was hot, dehydrated, had on my football pants, cleats and was carrying my helmet and shoulder pads. I was muttering epithets the whole way. Then, it happened. I suddenly heard the screeching of tires, and yelling on the road behind me. Turning around, I saw two cars, speeding up and slowing down in order to stay in line. One of the drivers held a pistol out his window at the two occupants of the other car and was really pissed off.

This frightened me because people in my city, which is the largest in New Mexico and is known for people handling disagreements with chains, bats, knives and guns. Often, after the intended target was shot, witnesses were shot as well to clear up any loose ends. I freaked, looking around for any cover or concealment, but, hello! desert! There were some knee high juniper bushes, but by this time the cars had arrived and pulled into the street right in front of me. The guy that had been waving the gun leaps out of his truck and points his gun through the window, yelling and cursing up a storm. I could hear some “sorry man” and whimpering from the car, and was almost frozen in place.

It’s at this moment that I hear another car coming, look back, and lo and behold, it’s my dad in his “Bureau” car. I run in front of him, which pisses him off, but tell him “there’s a guy over there pointing a gun at two other guys and he’s gonna kill them!” It was at this moment, that my opinion changed of my dad. He told me to stand where I was, pulled ahead and parked his car behind one of the other cars. He stood up without haste or unnecessary movement, put his hand on his pistol and walked forward to engage the man yelling through the window.

In a voice that was as authoritative as it was calm, he told the man to put down his gun. The man, startled at my dad’s proximity, looked up and said, “who the hell are you?” My dad repeated, his right hand still on his gun, but behind his back, “give me the gun and let’s talk about it.”

Unbelievably, that’s exactly what the guy did. He flipped the pistol around, gave my dad the butt end and started explaining how he had been at a stoplight on his way home from work and these two guys pull up next to him. One gets out of the car and kicks his truck for no reason, then the other pulls out his pistol, points it in his face and says, “I’m going to kill you!” So man in truck ducked down (presumably shat himself) and drove the wrong way through traffic to get away. Then he got really, really pissed off. He retrieved his own pistol, which was much bigger than the thugs’ pistol and chased them down. Not the preferred way of handling such a situation, but it happens.

My dad called in police backup because such things are really not in a federal agent’s day to day jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the two thugs’ were conversing in Spanish about having consumed large amounts of cocaine, how they still had large amounts of cocaine in their car and how they had other weapons as well. Little did they know that dad was fluent in Spanish and was slyly listening. When the police arrived, they took all men into custody, got a warrant based upon the testimony of the nearby federal agent and made a huge drug and weapons bust.

What was really funny was that with all the guns they had in their car, the one they pulled on Mr. Truck Guy was unloaded. Idiots.

Epilogue: Not long after, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They gave him only weeks, but he was so mean that he lived for months longer. Seeing this hard man who I had never known to have a cold or allergy screaming in pain, losing hair and wasting away changed us. No longer did I want to return the beatings I’d received. He became considerate to my mom and attentive to the kids who were still home. We began to speak as friends rather than as master/servant. Cancer is a terrible scourge that gets far too little attention from those who could do concerts and have telethons, but for me, it gave me perspective that my dad was a lot like me, just a few more years down the road, trying to get by the best he knew how. It also gave me a dad who I love, who was able to say he loved me and rescued me from the caustic, acrimonious self I was creating in me.

Length? about 11 months.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 18:04, 7 replies)
Needed a sh*t
just now but didn't have any loo roll. Thankfully I found an old copy of Socialist Worker. Sorry proles I shat on your rag.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 16:03, 1 reply)
Lesson learned. Pay my taxis all the way home.
The other night I had to get a taxi home from work as the buses didn't go my way at that time and I can't drive. It's been about a year since I had to take one home but my god have the fares gone up! I'm only ten minutes down the road but it was rising to over a tenner by the looks of it.

Now I live at the end of a country road so thought, why not stop here and just walk back in the nice twilight? So I pay him the high high fare and set off. It's a nice night, the air is fresh and I have a sausage roll to munch. I stroll off happily, humming wee songs to myself. Only to round the corner and come face to face with a young bull. Ah crap. And two babies whose mother is standing behind the fence they'd escaped from mooing at me in a very threatening manner. And the daddy bull beside the mother who is so big he could crush the fence he's behind with his ears.

So I stop and stand. They moo at me and the bullock walks on a little bit. I rustle my bag and walk on a bit. He walks on a bit. And so on. I was making very slow and very scared progress. The farms are ahead of me and so are the cows. I phone my brother, who agrees to come and meet me on the road.

By this point it's getting dark and I should have been home already. Instead I'm terrified of getting squished and there's nowhere to run as the fields all have very big bulls in them. Watching me. Mooing, deep and low. Moooooooooh. Moooooooooh.

A corner comes and I round it. Buggery hells! No fences not covered in thick hedge and no gates but the bullock has vanished! Hooray! So I start to make my quicker way home. In the dark. A lone girl, by myself, with no houses nearby to spot me. Ah crap crap crap.

I get scared again. And there, in front of me, stands a lone man. A shadow in the night. He's stopped, watching me. Dare I pass? Shit. What do I do?

Wait, is it my brother? The man stares.

"Eh.... Is that you?"


"Why didn't you call out?!"

"I tried but my phone has no signal."

"No, shout my name! All I saw was a man watching me in the dark!"

"Oh. Sorry!"

"Why didn't you move?"

"I thought you were a cow."

So we make our way back home together, passing the little house with the two barking dogs in the garden. I mention that I'm grateful for their garden fence when my brother suddenly starts and says, "aah! One's out!"

Sure enough, heeeere it comes charging and massive, snarling and growling. Oh great. I missed being squashed by ten million bulls (and one cow) and being kidnapped in the night. Now I'm going to be eaten to death by a dog.

I start in a tizzy. "Eeeeh!" "Don't run!" shouts my brother. I freeze in a very odd position of panic, one leg in the air and my bag over my head. Am I allowed to move? Luckily it stood it's ground and under the advice of my brother we slowly carry on walking home. Where I put on my pyjamas, make myself a huuuuuge cup of tea and have a nice sit down.

All that to save two quid. Never again!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 15:55, 4 replies)
I was on a plane that crashed!
You should never get on an aeroplane with me. I was once on a plane that had engine failure fortunately on the runway but it was still enough to make everyone feel a bit uneasy. I was also on a flight that got hit by lightning (apparently more common than you think!).

Anyway, I've also been on a plane that crashed. We'd just landed at Lyon airport already to set off on a weeks skiing. Pretty uneventful until there is a huge crashing grating noise, the plane lurches to one side, the brakes slam on and a stwardess falls over carrying all the empty tea cups (ah, so *thats* why they always tell you to remain seated!). It was more confusion than panic and then we realised what had happened - the pilot had crashed into a lamppost and ripped the end of the wing off.

Reason why it's a lucky escape? A few more feet along the wing it would have hit the fuel tank....
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 14:12, 8 replies)
Domestic abuse...
For a time I lived with a woman who tried to kill me on multiple occasions.

As most of you are probably aware, when you're in that situation it's very easy to think that it's normal. Or that it's somehow your fault and that you deserve to be treated badly.

Of course, it wasn't that she was always vicious. At times she could be very caring and considerate - doing things like my laundry and cook meals for me, even offering to help me with my essays (when I was a student) and so on.

But at other times she'd do all sorts of nasty stuff to me from the insidious to the outright vindictive and vicious. Some examples include:

She once told a car full of my mates that I was better than all of them and that the person that was provably better than me academically would "burn themselves out soon". Maybe it was meant in a "supportive of me" sense, but it just came across as rude and arrogant on my behalf and made me feel so embarassed and turned them all against me. (It was actually one in a long stream of similar barbed comments she'd made and refused to accept she'd said, but this one I actually witnessed.)

She once collected up all of the belongings I had left strewn across the floor of my bedroom and told me she'd thrown them all away because I didn't deserve thigns if I couldn't keep a place tidy. I was absolutely gutted. There were all sorts of irreplacable items including a family heirloom that had been passed down to me, some Lego models I'd invented and made and was trying to write down the design for others to copy, various books and so on. I was distraught for the best part of a fortnight before finally coming to terms with what had happened. On that day I got told they'd actually not been binned but had been put in black bin bags and hidden in the garage, but because I'd made such a scene over losing the stuff she threw them out a ferw days ago - setting me off again for another week.

She once actually threw me down the stairs, and a few other times just pushed me down the stairs, and then blamed it on me being clumsy when questions were asked. She was so good at lying and being manipulative she even managed to turn my own father against me!

She tried to attack me with a knife on several occasions - one notable time for "reading a newspaper in a way to deliberately wind her up", luckily only managing to slash the paper to pieces leaving me relatively unscathed.

She once start to drive off whilst I was only half-way out of the car after being given a lift somewhere. I only just managed to extricate myself and managed to only get one foot run over rather than being dragged along. For a while I had such a phobia of this happening again I refused to open a car door to get out unless someone had turned the engine off and had the keys out of the ignition. Luckily I'm over this now.

There were all sorts of other minor incidents, but for some reason the above really stick out.

Of course she wasn't just like this to me - everyone she was ever close to she treated just as badly if not worse. When her father died she didn't bother going to the funeral. Heck, she didn't even bother sending flowers. When her mother, who she never got on with and had told she wanted nothing to do with in any way, died she ended up contesting the will because she hadn't been left anythying. She had a daughter who she would send into floods of tears at night on occasion by making a big scene of leaving and not answering if she would ever come back - and I did what I could to soothe the daughter, and decided I'd rather take the brunt of her hate and anger than put the poor child through that again.

The list of examples really does just go on and on.

The thing is, I'd known her all my life and she kept on telling me she loved me and I didn't know what to do about it.

The lucky escape?

Well, I managed to sort my life out enough to manage to get a place at university and left the place we were living in. (By then the daughter had grown up enough to know how to look after herself, and whilst she still cared for the mother knew not to get too hurt by her.)
Whilst I was at university I managed to meet a wonderful person who fell for my charms. We fell in love, and I decided to drop out of university to get married and start a job I'd been offered.

As I made this decision I knew, then, that I'd never again need to see the psycho-bitch that had made my life a misery.

Especially as my dad was in the process of divorcing her.
I really am a lucky son-of-a-bitch.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 13:32, 6 replies)
Mud in your eye
Back the days of yore (mum), a tiny simiankid wasn't sure what he wanted to do for his work experience, so was cast unto the lottery of 'letting the school choose'.

Rather than being selected to work in one the area's many fine retail establishments/accountants' offices/backstreet knocking-shops, I was selected as a gopher in an industrial mud lab. This was cool – not your normal mud, this stuff. When they drill for oil, it's what they push down the pipe to stop the drill-head from tearing itself to pieces.

Part of making sure this oil did its job was to test how it reacted to immense heat and pressure. So samples were duly loaded into 8-inch lengths of steel pipe, with a threaded cap and a pressure inlet on each. These were then lobbed in the testing machine to be subjected to 'mad pressure' (around 1,400 psi) and some hot hotness.

Once they had cooled, Yours Truly was given the enviable task of cleaning out the sample carriers. Each end of the sample container had eight or so allen-key screws to release the pressure cap. Even wearing the protective gear they'd given me to protect from the nasty acid cleaning fluid I had to use, the allen-keying was easy, so I set to work, while the bloke in charge tootled off to do something else.

Undo the first end -PSSSSSH - pressure released - undo the other end - clean. Simple. So simple that I raced through the first two in no time.

Just undoing the screws on the third one when a tremulous voice from the other end of the lab says, 'Simiankid, I did tell you to open the capsules from the end marked 'P', yeah?

'No, why?'

'If you open the other end first they explode in your face'.

In effect, I'd just played 50/50 Russian roulette, twice, and somehow managed not to blow my head off. Gulp.

At the end of the week, some of my other friends got hard cash for their work. I got a baseball cap with the company logo on it, presumably to remind me how lucky I was to still have a head.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 13:08, 3 replies)
One more
About 18 months ago, driving along the dual carriageway with a few of our mates, we thought it would be a good idea to see who could get to our destination the quickest. We all had shitty average cars: mine was a Clio, friends had Fiesta/Corsa etc. There were some traffic cones that edge out the 2 lanes into 1, as they were doing road works at the time. Somehow, I managed to squeeze my car through the small gap (roughly, and suitably, the size of a 1999 Renault Clio, 3 door) in between the last traffic cone and the other car behind me. No idea how I managed it.

Next one, the roundabout on the same stretch of road about 500 yards further down. I decided to take said roundabout's second exit at 40mph in 5th gear...in the outside lane, as the inside was occupied. I remember getting my car sideways around the roundabout - JUST missing the curb as I was coming off the roundabout, and I somehow managed to control it and got the car straight again. My mate was holfing on for his dear life.

Needless to say I was driving no faster than 50mph for the rest of the dual carriageway.

Then, a few months later my MOT was due. It failed on a broken coil spring. My Dad had no idea how this would've happend. Neither do I .... *looks shifty*
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 12:54, 8 replies)
After a week of thinking I've never had any close calls
I've just remembered this cheeky pea........

About 18 months ago I was helping a couple of my friends move house. Most of the gear had been shifted and I was shuttling the last of it, along with my 2 friends and another friend to their new house. We were driving along a b-road alongside a motorway, the m74 if you're trying to hunt me down, and chatting away. As I hadn't seen my friends in quite a while we were chatting and laughing away merrily when, all of a sudden, I noticed about 40 metres in front of us a car had stopped in the road indicating to turn right at a small crossroads which, in my defence, hardly ever has any cars at it, and was sitting waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before doing so.

It's strange how time slows down. I remember hearing myself say "Oh!" and everyone else shutting up instantly. I was traveling at around 70mph and by now was worryingly close. Without thinking my foot hit the brake, but the car started gliding along on the stopped wheels. I thought for a second about pumping the brakes, but my brain kicked in and realised it was far far too late.

What happened next was weird. I felt totally calm. Still in super slo-mo, I released the brake, steered slightly to the side, mounted the grass verge, overtook the stationary car on the inside, hit a very high kerb on the other side of the crossroads and just glided over it, straightened the car up on the road and continued on as though nothing had happened.

Silence. Only the sound of the engine and the gentle crackling of me removing my hands from where they had lodged in the steering wheel could be heard. Then three of us burst into fits of laughter as we all realised we were still alive, with my other friend just sitting looking awestruck. We then realised the car I had almost hit was now in hot pursuit, but he gave up his rage induced chase after giving me a few rude hand signals.

It wasn't until a good while later that it dawned on me that had I over-steered, had the car not floated effortlessly over a six inch kerb at 50mph without me losing control, had the car skidded on the grass as I turned back onto the road, had I not somehow known not to press my foot as hard as possible to the floor on the brake,had these or any number of other probable outcomes of that crazy maneuver happened I and three of my friends would quite probably be dead or seriously injured, not to mention the driver of the other car. A few seconds lapse of concentration. I felt weird for a few days after that, it's the closest I've knowingly come to being dead.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 12:38, Reply)
taxi of death
Apologies for length but needs to be told!

Myself and my mate Liz had decided to go out to a 'school disco' night in Leicester town, both dressed in shirts, short skirts and long socks (to my shame, i used to think this was a good night out!).

But i digress. Good night had all round and at about 2am, decided to get a taxi home. Got our school girlselves outside, hailed a black cab and off we went. All fine until we got the bridge over the train tracks.

A white car was driving on the wrong side of the road, straight for us. If we hit it, its 60mph head on crash. Turn to the right, over the bridge onto the tracks, turn left, through railings down a 20 foot drop. Only me wearing a seat belt.

We went left. Smashed through iron railings, screech through the undergrowth of a 20 foot drop and smash into another lot of railings, through out this, i had grabbed my friend, and shouted like anaction hero 'Hold on to me!'

She grabs me while falling to the floor, the taxi driver is desperatly trying to keep the car in control and not flip us over. We finally stop after what seems to be an hour of falling.

I look around, we're all alive, although the taxi man is stuck to the window, my mate is on the floor, smashed knees and i feel like my neck is broken, smashed head and cut hands. Someone sees the car n the bushes and calls the police. They manage to cut us out and smash the windows to pull me out (was too fat to fit through an open window!)

This is when the near death experience really hit home. The policewomen took me to one side and said:

" We expected to find 3 dead bodies and a totalled car. I've seen car crashes not as bad as this and no one has survived. You're lucky it was a black cab,as a normal car would have flipped 4 times. You should think yourself lucky.'

I then proceeded to empty the contents of my stomach on the floor and had to have a cup ofsweet tea and made to wear a fireman's jacket. I still to this day, don't know how the hell we got out of that alive.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 12:37, 2 replies)
Email of terror
Hi all, Was the opening line of the email, which was almost to become my down fall. Some other things happened which could have lead to disaster but didn't the end.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 12:33, 2 replies)
Another narrow escape by proxy, I'm afraid...
But it's a cautionary tale that bears repetition. A chap called Kenneth Pinyan had the brilliant idea of allowing a horse to sodomise him at a farm near Enumclaw, Washington State. There's footage of this brief liaison on the internet but it's not really suitable for viewing at work. Unfortunately the union left Kenneth with a ruptured colon and peritonitis. His friends left him outside a local hospital and did a runner.

His lucky escape was to shuffle off this mortal coil before having to explain WHAT THE FUCK HE WAS THINKING. Apparently Kenneth hadn't actually broken any obvious law so might have evaded prosecution. Still, I KNOW I'd rather die than hook up with friends and family and see the disappointment and confusion in their eyes. Definitely a case of death before dishonour...

Edit* I knew a guy at uni who confessed an unhealthy interest in animals but even he would have better sense. Be safe, wear an extra-strength condom and always be the active partner in any bestial encounters!

(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 11:33, 3 replies)
Not my story, but a lucky escape for someone!
I have a mate who is a psychiatric nurse. His job has stresses that I can barely comprehend; many and various are the tales of psychotic patients doing amusing/amazing/appalling things. To compensate for this, he does of course do massive drugs at the weekends...

So, bright one Monday morning, a rather worse-for-wear Q turns up at work. He's barely conscious, with parts of his brain still asleep, and others floating somewhere around Neptune.

The entrance door opens onto a staircase leading upwards. As he opens the door, he sees movement above, and instinctively catches the object that's flying through the air toward him. I have to say that "coordinated" is not a word that I associate with this guy - he's more like a shambling pile of laundry that leaves a trail of fag papers, knocked-over mugs and broken appliances behind him - so this was a pretty lucky catch.

Especially as the flying object turns out to be a baby.

Some muppet on the night-shift had given a patient access to her child, which turned out to be one of their less impressive judgement calls. Q says that he's never sobered up quite so quickly: spangled to straight in 0.00005 of a second.

So, I don't know who you are, little baby, but you had the narrowest of escapes that morning...
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 10:58, 4 replies)
Please try not to think I'm a total fucking idiot
My ex-girlfriend and I were together for nearly 4-and-a-half years. We met when I was 18 and she 17, and as such they were some pretty austere years. I headed off to Uni in Norwich 6 weeks after we met, getting back to Nottingham whenever I could to see her. As you can imagine, living on a student budget most of my spare cash went on train fare. It got easier a year later when she went to Uni in Cambridge, half the distance from Norwich, but the lower cost meant I went twice as often. Neither of us had any money.

But, and this is where you might want some sort of wipe-clean recepticle to hand, we didn't care because we were so happy together. We were lucky enough to be possessed of the joyous naivete that comes with first love, and because we only saw each other at weekends familiarity never had chance to breed contempt. All the same, it wasn't easy; we were both doing degrees with no spare spends, and therefore not much of a social life, because it was all going on travel and phone bills (this is before inclusive minutes were invented). And she was studying Law. At Cambridge. It would've done her the world of good to be able to afford to go out and get wasted once a week to blow off some steam.

We told each other it'd all be worth it once she finished. She'd landed herself a job with DLA, one of the top law firms in the country, and after she'd done her LPC back in Nottingham we'd both move to London and live happily ever after. She even said that I could stay home and look after the kids once they were born, as she'd be earning enough to support us both. This promise kept us both going through the overdrafts and the letters from credit card companies and the boring nights in front of the telly when you can't afford to go anywhere that charges anything for entry.

I met Ms Foxtrot 4 months before my ex finished her LPC. It was all over a few weeks later. We were together throughout my fruitless tenure at Uni, her final year of 'A' levels, three years of a Cambridge Law degree and my initial, underpaid forays into the job market, and I dumped her 3 months before she took up the position of Junior Solicitor on a starting wage of £42,000.

Thank god I dodged that bullet, eh?

On the upside... I am now in a much more fulfilling, positive, invigorating and joyful relationship with the most beautiful woman I've ever met, who I am absolutely positive I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Plus, shagging my ex was a bit like having sex with a slowly deflating bouncy castle.

Length? 8 years, 6 months and 15 days at the time of writing. I think I made the right choice.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 10:58, 6 replies)
I am a Southpaw.
... so when I was first introduced to the SA80 (standard kit rifle for the British Army), I noticed the bolt retracts back quite far on the RH side.

Introduction done, it was time to fire it. "Can I fire this left-handed?" I enquire, with clearly touching naiivety.

The instructor shrugged and said casually, "If you like ... "

So I aimed, fired, and the bolt touched - TOUCHED - my front teeth, causing me to recoil violently in surprise and horror, much to the delight of the instructor and his pals.

2mm more and it would have knocked my teeth straight into the back of my throat and probably beyond.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 10:49, 14 replies)
I remember being chased by a sheep (with horns) around a field when I was younger.

Me and my friend were walking a bit behind everyone else as we were pissing about (as you do when you're about 12/13), when as we were about to approach the gate into the next field, a big fuck-off sheep with ginormous horns just stood by it, staring at us. We just decided to walk to the other end of the field and go to the other exit, in case it decided to turn the tables of the food chain and eat us.

We turned around after about 20 yards of walking in the opposite direction and it was running at us. Never ran so fast in my life. It didn't give up after about 100 yards so we had to hop a barbed wire fence into a hedge so we could live to see another day.

I then got chased by a cow the next week. I don't like farmyard animals.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 9:35, 3 replies)
So I'd been drinking and smoking with these two girls who had just been posing for the Pirelli Calendar, and we decided to go back to their hotel room which they shared.
Once there, one of them pops out the biggest bag of Charlie I've ever seen, pushes the other onto the bed, and proceeds to line up and snort enough to fly a herd of elephants.

"Let's get proper naughty!" she says, and her mate pushes her back onto the bed and does likewise.

It's decided that we play naked Twister, and, since they haven't got a Twister mat or board, we have to find other ways to entertain ourselves.

After one of the singular most amazing evenings of my life, that morning I discover that one of them had a boyfriend who was due to come and meet her that night, but couldn't because he was stuck at work!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 9:25, 12 replies)
to be honest
with the benefit of retrospect, I have had many actual close shaves with certain death, but as human nature tends to do, your mind seems to scab over the memory.

What will stay with me was a car crash I wasnt involved in, but should have been.

My estranged father had been intouch and wanted to see me over the weekend. He worked in the oil industry and for once had meetings near my home on a huge ocean going tug in Leith (thats the Peoples Republic of Leith, the waterfront bit of Edinburgh). This was, at the time, one of the largest ocean going tugs in the world. So I was invited to spend the day with him, clambering all over this massive boat. I met some of the crew, marveled at the bridge, the galley, the equipment on the deck. Later he dropped me off home and offered to pick me up tomorrow, as he had to pop back with paperwork and we could then watch it leave harbour. He would be back round early.

Of course the cnut never turned up.

In the days before universal mobile phones, you just had to imagine that he had forgotten or it got called off, but you sort of accepted that instant communication was not some sort of human right nor expectation.

Later the confused telephone call from a policeman pretty much answered my worries.

The police had found a business card with my home phone number writen on it in the debris of his massive car crash littered around the motorway. He had gone out with an uncle of mine on the beer, crashed out at his place, got up early still pissed and half way to Edinburgh, spun the car, crossed the central resevation and got t-boned by a builders merchants lorry full of bricks. The car was a right off, he was in hospital for months, and needless to say the lorry hit the passenger side where an 11 year me would have been sitting.

Thank God for drunk driving!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 8:57, 1 reply)
Not me, my Dad
I love my dad. Infact when I grow up I want to be just like him, but not with the diabetes.

Anyho....one evening my dad had been out on the fizzy pop and had got himself a little worse for wear before coming home. Just before bed he's meant to inject himself with 10mg of slow acting insulin. However, being a little merry, he picks up the fast acting insulin (which you are meant to use 2mgs of) and jacks himself up with 10mg of daytime juice.

An hour later my mum gets worried, she can hear a knocking in the bathroom. Assuming it's my dad pottering around in his drunken state she shouts at him to come to bed. No answer, so she gets up to give him a piece of her mind, only to find him sat on the toilet, pyjamas round his ankles thrashing his hand in a bin. She calls him, prods him, waves a hand in front of his eyes but, but to all intents and purposes he's unconcious.

In a panic, my brother is got out of bed, the paramedics are called while my mum and brother try to get some sugar into dad. They don't know where he's put his glucose gel, they're shitting it knowing that he's getting worse by the minute, so grab a banana and mash it up into his mouth, trying to rub it onto his gums so that he'll get some sugar in his system.

The paramedics arrive and test for blood sugar whilst trying to communicate with dad. They cannot find a trace sugar reading, which is bad. Luckily they have the right kit, inject him and slowly he comes round. If they hadn't have turned up dad would have been in a coma most likely with permanent consequences. However, this is not the only lucky escape, as the paramedics said if that happened again, the quickest way to get sugar in his system would be to shove a Mars bar up his arse.

My Dad, horrified at this prospect, says "It's bad enough coming round on the toilet with your pants round your ankles, your mother rubbing banana all over my face and 2 green men staring into my eyes shouting "MonkeyDaddy! MonkeyDaddy!", without having a banan shoved in my fundament"

To which my mum replies, "You do that again and it'll be a bloody toblerone!"
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 8:19, 10 replies)
I could have been born in Norfolk!!!
Thank fuck I was born Jewish in the 1930s, I couldn't imagine the kind of shit I'd have put up with if I was born in Norfolk..... my diary would have simply consisted of:

Monday - shagged my brother
Tuesday - shagged my brother
Wednesday - handjob to my dad whilst snagging my brother

Jesus..... bring on the Gerries!!!!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 7:54, 1 reply)
i shot my first pistol a few years ago
guns are stupid, yet it was still quite fun at the time. It was a day later when it dawned on me that IF i had accidently held the gun just 180 degrees to the right, i easily could have shot myself in the face- and suffered serious injury or death.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 6:43, 4 replies)
Well I wasn't that close to death...
But Geese are scary buggers. Especially when they chase you across a field, whilst waving their 'arms' and shouting something along the lines of: 'I'll bite your face off if I catch you'.

Vicious buggers.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 1:51, 1 reply)
I remember coming into work one morning and opening a door to a room only to find an owl flying towards me. Basically it was a room with a inner door, going into another room with an outer door to outside that stays open. Someone had already opened these doors as they had come into work early without my knowledge. The first door was an automatic door, so I walk towards the first automatic door with the intention of opening it, only to find it open automatically followed by something large flying towards me, I ducked as quick as I could as it flew about an inch over the top of my head!

Took about an hour to eventually catch the owl with a rather large fishing net.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 1:40, Reply)
The disappearing WC sample
Not me but a work collegue. I don't really have much myself yet but considering I am an experimental scientist I will do at some point.
Anyway lets go back to the 1970s when Health and Safety was a bit more lax and our hero was performing some compression tests on various WC (tungsten carbide) samples to see what stress they could withstand.

This involved placing a fist-sized slug of WC into an hydraulic press and ramping the pressure up while recording the deformation as pressure increases. Now WC is a very hard material and thus pressures involved are considerable.

The rig was in the centre of the room which was about 10 x 10 meters. The sample was placed in the centre of the press. There were no guards so the operator could see the sample as the pressure mounted.

So our hero mounts a sample into the press as he has done so many times before and sets it going and retires to a few metres away to monitor the specimen.

The pressure mounts and all seems normal. Until there is an almighty KRUMMMPP and the sample disappears. No trace of the sample remains. Whats going on?

However our hero notices that there are two holes in the walls on either side of the room at head height in exactly the same line as the sample mount. The sample has catastrophically failed and in doing so had split in two and punched holes in the wall.

At this point our protagonist turns green when he realised that if that fracture in the WC had been 90 degrees round he would be missing a head.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 20:27, 3 replies)
Back in the teenage years
I was walking through a dark, deserted park with my bf at about midnight, talking about nihilism or some such. I was walking a little ahead and we came around a bend and there were two giant, muscular dobermans, no people in sight, coming straight at my face in a fury. I remember bracing my feet and wondering if I would have enough time to kick the first one in the jaw before he got my throat. What I didn't expect was to be bodily lifted from behind and thrown backwards by my bf as he charged forward bellowing in a voice several octaves deeper than I'd ever heard from him and bringing them to a dead stop. Just then the owner, a big black guy, came around the corner and called off the dogs. That was ten years ago and I kept the bf. Also he introduced me to B3ta.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 20:01, 1 reply)
Guns and dogs
2006. Me and my then girlfriend in India.
Our first three weeks bacpacking across India were quite possibly the most intense experiences of my life.

I could tell you about the road accidents, the suicidal bus drivers, the nutters high on crack trying to sell me dodgy drugs or the coconut that nearly killed me as it dropped a few feet in front of my head. But no... I'll tell you about one night in Gokarna.

Gokarna is a hindu town, very religious and generally peaceful if not a little poor. It has a beach and many temples aswell as a main street full of shops and guest houses.

We were there for a few days, exploring as you do, when we befriended a local shopkeeper called Latif. Latif seemed a very nice bloke, quite chatty, clever, funny and world-wise. We hung out with him a few times before accepting his offer to come to his house and eat with his family. Great we thought... This will be nice, a little cultural taste.

So we followed him as he shut shop and he took us down a maze of alleyways, past scruffy looking dogs sleeping in gutters, past beggars and eventually took his to his home.

We walked inside and noticed it had very little furniture, but this was just the way things were, and we tried to relax. He introduced me to his brother and his cousin and they both STARED at my girlfriend... They barely acknowledged me. This is where i should have realised something was wrong, but in the spirit of trying not to offend my host, i kept quiet...

Latif offered to make a joint for us to smoke, and he had a few tokes and passed it our way, and by god it was the strongest cannabis i had ever smoked in my life. It was Afghanistan Charas, and blew my socks off... I could hardly think straight and became instantly paranoid / wary, as i noticed the three guys were still staring at my girlfriend.

Eventually we made our excuses to leave, but he locked the door and urged us to stay longer. The brother and the cousin went into a different room and we were left with latif. He kept telling me how he had prepared for this moment, how he 'knew' that we would arrive at his shop and he kept mentioning how beautiful my girlfriend was...

My paranoid head was buzzing with thoughts, but i just tried to stay alert. He started acting weird, creepy and kept trying to touch her hair... and when i showed discomfort, he smiled at me... a genuinely creepy smile... i asked him to open the door, but he ignored me.

The next thing i know he tells me to come into the kitchen where he will show me how to make 'tea', so i comply, if nothing else but to be a barrier between him and my girl. Although i was constantly wary of the other two guys, i suspected he was 'up to something'... he walked towards a drawer in the kitchen and retrieved a metal object from the drawer whilst he had his back to me...

'Shit' i thought, 'he's gonna stab me'..

But it wasn't a knife, he pointed at me... A metallic, tubular object with a grip... a gun!

They say that your life flashes before your eyes when confronting death, but that's bullshit... the only thing that went through my head was... 'oh fuck!'

and then... then i realised something... I looked closely at the 'gun' and realised it wasn't a gun. It was a tubular oven lighter. He was trying to trick me! The bastard.

He had taken advantage of our cultural politeness and had harassed us after getting us out of our comfort zone, he had drugged us up and was just trying to scare me.

That was it. I stared him in the eyes and demanded he let us out of his house. Strangely he complied, he pulled the key out of his pocket and opened the door. He was laughing, but not in a jokey way... more in a manipulative way, still very creepy but i was no longer scared of him. Before we left, he grabbed my girlfriend and grabbed her in a BIG hug and she forced herself away from him, just before i could grab him and we ran out of the door into the now dark alleyways.

We ran around the corner and double checked that nobody was following us... and the we laughed and nearly cried. It was a horrible experience, but the relief was amazing, nervous, shaking relief...

I told her about my experience in the kitchen and how i called his bluff and we were just delighted to be out of his house.

Then we realised we had NO fucking idea as to how we would get back to the guesthouse. We were lost in a maze of alleyways in the bloody dark. So we walked and walked and walked and eventually made it back into the dimly lit main road and we found our barings.

We continued onwards, alone down the empty Indian road, roughly 2am, hardly any streetlights and just the pair of us.

After a while we realised we WERE being followed. But not by Latif or his family, but by a pack of about ten wild street dogs. Hungry looking street dogs!

Now the thing about Indian street dogs is that they are considered pests during the day, and predators during the night. Many stories can be heard about young children and luckless travellers getting torn to bits by slum dogs. And we had ten of the fuckers slowly snapping at our heels, feeding on our fear.

I told my girlfriend to keep walking and to look for a rock or a stick or anything we could use as an improvised weapon, but we were in the only street in India that had neither stick nor stone.

As we walked onwards, the pack got braver, literally inches behidn us, sniffing us, snarling their rabid snarls and generally scaring the fuck out of us. We figured at least with Latif and his family we could have reasoned with them. But there's not reasoning with dogs.

Anyway to cut a long story short, we walked and walked and the dogs got braver and braver and we thought we were going to die. When suddenly a flash of white light and a loud shattering crack interrupted our thoughts and the pack scattered.

Dumstruck, we looked to the source of the light and noticed a concerned looking Indian fellah staring at us, he had spotted us by chance from his window and had flicked on the security lights and thrown a wooden chair at the bastards and scared them off.

I have NEVER been so grateful in all my life. He had saved our lives. A few more minutes and we would have been dog food.

Good days.

Sorry for the length
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 18:40, 11 replies)
I was in a terrible way. It would seem that the Ebola and Aids viruses had mated and their bastard love child was making extortionate demands on my immune system. I was sweating profusely while simultaneously feeling as though I was being blasted with air from the arctic tundra. I was hot and cold with little solace from my thick duvet or a cold shower. As the day drew to a close on the first day of my personal hell I slide further into the abyss of despair. There seemed no end in sight and death seemed like a realistic option. This was only day one and it was that bad already.

I completely lost track of time. I slid into a cycle of paranoia that was only broken by brief hallucinations. I recall stumbling around my flat in an aimless state trying to maintain sanity by performing the most mundane tasks. I made vague attempts at making my bed, washing the dishes and changing my clothes, but it was so difficult - I had no strength.

My phone would ring, but to me it sounded like the most foreign noise in the world. I remember picking it up and just staring at it for ages as it bleeped at me. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore. Things were really bad now. Luckily my lack of contact with the outside world was finally noticed and my friend Dave came round to see why I wasn't answering his calls. What he found truly shocked him. He said he's never seen someone looking so close to death. My face was white and gaunt. I could barely walk unassisted and I had lost a lot of weight. The acrid smell of sweat and other bodily fluids hung in the air with weighty presence.

I was rushed to see a doctor and had the only lucid moment I had had in days. It was the moment the Doctor saw my face. This was a man who had seen death a thousand times and yet when he looked at me there was a genuine look of terror in his eyes. It felt like the Doctor had opened the door to my imminent death and all I needed to do was step through. I sat there like a vegetable as the incoherent mumblings of Dave and the doctor resonated around the room.

The recovery from my illness was slow and painful, but with the support of my friends I was fit again in a few weeks.It wasn't something I would wish on even my worst enemies. The memory of that fateful time will live with me forever. I smelt death and it wasn't a pleasant smell. Not unlike sick mixed with dirty washing and sweat is how I think Dave so eloquently described it.

So anyway, that is how I had a narrow escape from death. Man Flu. It's a killer, but I survived....just....
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 18:10, 1 reply)
Almost lost my right eye
Many years ago in a land far far away... wait... wrong story.

Twas the night before Christmas.... no, not that one either.

[Accessing memory files......... memory file found]

Ah, here it is.

When I was a kid I had a bike, not a very good one but it was usable. It had the bmx style handlebars but without the supporting strut that went along the top (a v shaped bar with the grips at the top)

At the time in question I was at one end of the street I lived on where the pavement on one side of the road is several feet higher then the other. There were several places where people have converted their front gardens to parking spaces and it was outside one of these houses the incident occured.

Details are vague but the house in question must have been doing some sort of renovation as there was leftover sand on the slope leading up from the street to their front garden. It was here that for some reason long since lost in the midst of time I got off my bike and pushed it up the incline. Quite why I didn't cycle up is long forgotten but half way up the sand betrayed me and I lost my footing and I fell forward smacking my head against my handlebars.

This wouldn't be a problem really if it wasn't for the fact that the right hand brake on the bars was loose and kept slliding down the U shaped bars, something I always kept meaning to fix. This meant the end of the brake handle was pointing straight up and it connected with the area of my eye where the tear duct is located.

Yup, I did a very good job of trying to gouge my eye out.

Thankfully, that didn't happen as I quickly pulled back thinking what a knob I was and put my hand up to my eye to rub the pain. It was a few seconds later when I pulled my hand away and I saw the blood was when the panic set in.

Rather crazily, I hopped on the bike and cycled one handed about a 1/4 of a mile down the road to my house with blood pouring from my eye.

Thankfully I only opened up a cut on the side of my nose in the eye duct area but just a millimetre or two more to the right and it would've been my eyeball taking the damage.

My mother took it all rather calmly and got me to put a towel over the eye until the bleeding stopped (and I distinctly remember The Sound of Music was on telly). A couple of days later when visiting the GP about the cut he said I should've had a least 5 stitches put in as it was a fairly decent sized wound (this wouldn't be the last occassion when I should've had stiches for an injury with family members shrugging them off with a bit of bandaging).

Just typing this is sending a shiver down my spine about how close I came to losing sight in one eye.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 17:34, 3 replies)
I grew up in Hull
I'm neither the father of fifteen bastards, nor addicted to heroin.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 17:05, 4 replies)
I'm on fire!
Thanks to some brazen click whoring*, I now bring you my (almost) Darwin award winning attempt at throwing a seven... Not quite as potentially deadly as my previous post, but ends in embarrasment for me, which is always a winner on b3ta.

Many years ago while still living at home, I managed to get away with smoking in my bedroom - parents dead against it but you know how it is when you start, you think nobody can smell it as long as you puff towards an open window occaisionally.

Anyway I'd crawled out of bed after a few ciders and threw on my dressing gown, then went hunting for the first ciggie of the day. Didn't take long to find, but a light? Hmm, matchbox sogging and wet from the rain the night before on the stumble home. Matches dry, but nothing to strike them on, well not least without making some effort - and I was a teenager with a hangover.

An idea started to form in my addled brain...

This was the late 80's, and I had some wallpaper that, in the style of the time, can best be described as 'ribbed'. Great! Why don't I use this to strike a match on? Eureka!

First strike - nothing.

Second strike, more force - nothing but a slight brown mark on the wallpaper.

Wanton vandalism wasn't really my thing (killing the family with second hand smoke was my first passion), so the third stroke was to be the last.


Exasperated I dropped my hands to the side of me and peer around in the gloom to see if the magical lighter fairy had made a special delivery.


The whole of the right side of me, from top to bottom had gone up in flames.


I have never taken off any clothing more quickly (thinking about it now it was lucky that I had something so easy to get off quickly like a dressing gown but it would have been better if I had not worn something so flammable in the first place). It was on the floor in a (literal) flash, with a naked, wide eyed, swearing DeadEye jumping up and down to put the final licking flames out. Just as my mum ran in to see what I was yelling about.

It must have been a mindbleach moment for her anyway.

* Thanks to those with a sense of humour who replied - I only wanted a couple!
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 16:56, Reply)

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