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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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I’d fallen in love with Wendolene after visiting her wool shop many times. She was beautiful, just my cup of tea. One Saturday I paid her a visit in her shop, just so I could flirt with her. After this particular visit, I went home with my trusty dog to find my house in a complete fucking mess. The culprit? A sheep who escaped from a farmers truck the previous night. I felt sorry for him and decided to clean him up, but due to the fact I was very hungover, I sheared him down a bit too much. I decided to adopt him as a way of saying sorry.

Now Wendolene also had a dog. I sensed it was jealous of my dog; he wasn’t concerned with sniffing my dog’s arse, more with trying to bite him. This agitated my dog a bit too much and he bit someone. Fortunately, he didn’t have to be put down, but he got put in a kennel for life. I still blame Wendolene’s dog for this as it wound up my dog so much. However, I missed my dog a lot so I sneaked into the kennel and cut through the bars of his cell with an electric buzz saw, setting him free. Wendolene was very upset about her dogs behaviour and took him to obedience school but to no avail. Instead, her dog rounded on her and a load of sheep whilst she was walking him through a field one day. He was so angry, Wendolene thought she might die. She rang me in tears on her mobile.

I answered, heard how worried she was and gave chase on my motorbike with my dog in the sidecar. We soon ended up separated; my dog flew off a 2000 foot drop ledge, but fortunately activated the sidecar's plane mode and carried safely on. He found the field where Wendolene was then attacked her dog. Meanwhile, I attempted to free Wendolene and the sheep from the field, but ended up trapped there myself. Wendolene’s dog was going fucking mental by this point.

My dog saw we were in trouble and attacked Wendolene’s dog head on. He was backing him into a sheep pen. Eventually we forced him into it and pushed him against an electric sheep shearer, giving Wendolene’s dog a scare and a quick haircut. By now, he was completely manic. He jumped out of the pen and advanced on me, Wendolene, and the sheep. Again, my dog pounced, this time pushing him onto a sharp peg, killing him instantly as it punctured his ribs.
What a close shave.

(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 11:36, 2 replies)
Mr Daniels tried to kill me
I had three less than favourable encounters with alcohol in my late teens.

The first was when I was an officer cadet in the merchant navy at the tender age of 18. We had been at anchor in the bay of Gibraltar for two weeks whilst waiting to offload 2k tons of scrap in Algeciras.

When we finally got alongside everyone needed to let off a little steam. The first mate, the ChEng, two ABs and the engineer cadet all jumped in a taxi to Gibralter. To cut a long story short we came across a squaddies bar serving jack and coke for a pound a throw. The last thing I can remember is sitting on the road, alone. Then I woke up in an unlit room with a door yet no door handle. I looked at my watch to try nd figure out how much time had passed. It was gone. To get from Spain into Gib I needed my passport. That was gone as well. Along with my wallet and most worryingly, my belt. I began to wonder what was happening when I heard some screams and a lot of banging. Luckily this was back in 1999. When I think back to what happened I cant help thinking about movies like Saw and Hostel. Anyhoo, amidst all the screams and banging I decided to find out who had locked me in this room so I took the bull by the horns and started signaling for attention in the only way I felt was appropriate. I firmly rapped the door whilst saying "excuse me!".

Eventually my captor grew tired of the anguished moans of my fellow detainees and came to my door. I heard the key in the lock and then there was a blinding light (courtesy of the strip lighting in the hall outside). As soon as my eyes adjusted I found mysel face to face with a Ron Jeremy look-a-like wearing a uniform. I had been found nearly passed out on the street and had been taken in as "drunk and incapable". I got all my stuff back (including the tenner I still had in my wallet) and was politely told to get the fuck out of dodge.

Luckily I had a working cash card which allowed me to get the £50 I needed for a taxi back to Algeciras. Knowing I was likely to be packed on a flight home as soon as the Captain found out (I was 6 hours late for my watch, there was no avoiding it) I thought I may as well get the taxi driver to take me to McDonalds for a shake and some fries. Happily slurping and munching these as I walk up the quayside I hear the cry "CADET OFFICER OTT, COME STRAIGHT TO THE BRIDGE". The old man had been standing on the flying bridge and had spotted me tucking into a McDonalds as if I didn’t have a care in the world. To his credit he listened to my story and told me to fuck off to my cabin for the rest of the day and didnt mention it again. It probably helped that the 1st mate had done something similar but also lost his passport and that the 2 ABs had been arrested for brawling. Happy days.

And that is how I learned to stay away from spirits........

for a while. I left the Merch after breaking my leg and then found suitable college course and a nice wee job. Things were good and I went to Germany on holiday. The people I went with turned out to be incompatible and ran home to their respective mummies. I bravely forged on and had a wonderful time. After about a month bumming around the Fatherland I returned to Frankfurt the day before my flight home. As I was now alone the youth hostel advised I would need to share an 8 bed dorm as opposed to the 4 bed room I had shared with my former companions when we arrived. It was there I met Gus. An affable yank who shared my wariness of our fellow roomies. We decided to hit he town for a few drinks. My last memory was of drinking Jack and Coke whilst playing electronic darts with Gus and a suspiciously tall South American "woman" in a Brazil themed bar. Then my memory cuts to a taxi, then a field, then darkness.

I had gone from the centre of Frankfurt to a field on the beer scooter???!!!

It didn’t help that I had been reading Len Deighton and Robert Harris novels throughout my holiday. One moment I was fine, the next I was taken over by a paranoia so strong that I ran for what seemed like miles, certain as I was that the Stasi was chasing me. I stumbled through the field until I came to a road. A narrow country road in the middle of a wood/forest.

It must have been about 2am but I decided to flag down a car. In most slurred, drunken and broken German imaginable I asked the driver for a lift whilst opening the door. I had one foot in the car when he/she? hit the peddle and accelerated away from the mad drunken potential car jacker. I was left rolling down the road, mercifully uninjured. I saw some more headlights in the distance and felt it was worth another shot. I stuck my thumb out and the van stopped. I peered in and was greeted by two mustachioed German coppers looking at me with bemused expressions. I got bundled in and taken to the local cop shop. I had sobered up somewhat and remember the desk sergeant looking me up and down and then telling my two new friends to cut m loose. And there I was. Safe and a bit more sober, back on the streets of Frankfurt city centre. That should have been the end of it. However, the Stasis re-appeared (in my mind) and I made a break for it. Running full pelt up the street as fast as I could. Sure enough, the security forces caught up with me. Not the Stasi but my two friends from local law enforcement. Luckily they took pity on me and after a lot of slurred attempts, I managed to correctly pronounce the name of the street the youth hostel was on. They took me there and I knocked on the glass door. They guy at the desk shook his head whilst motioning to the curfew sign. Again my new friends helped me out and gestured to him that I should be allowed in.

Somehow I found my room and tried to enter as quietly as possible. I failed miserably by tripping over the unconscious form of Gus the Yank where he had fallen on the floor after returning from our memorable night.

About four months after this I joined my very good friend Mark at the Local Wetherspoons. It was his leaving do and there was much to be celebrated. He and I decided to do this by consuming a few pints. Unfortunately these were in the form of pitchers…..each filled with six shots of Jack Daniels and then topped up with coke. I remember finishing my second one, then I remember standing at the main entrance to Central Station. Then things get really blurry. I was in a field. Again! Then I fell down an embankment landing up to my ankles in muddy water. I was drunk, uncoordinated and trying to get up a 45 degree incline. The only thing I had to hold on to were the stinging nettles growing up the face of the embankment. The scariest bit of all (in retrospect) was that I can vaguely remember walking down the middle of a train track. I have told a few people about this and some have said that it was fine because no services run at that time anyway. I dread to think that a freight train or a placement run could have been scheduled that night. Anyhoo, I found myself in a grass clearing in front of a giant fence. So……I climbed over it. There I was, resplendent in my baggy jeans, white long sleeve t-shirt and skate shoes, standing inside the perimeter of a naval Defence Munitions centre, 20 miles away from Central Station

I was quickly spotted, huckled to a guard post and shouted at. Things went quiet and a few minutes later the cops arrived. I was handed over to them and bundled into their van for the short journey to the local town. They took my mobile, called my dad to make sure he had some cash to pay for a taxi and then bundled me in the first cab they could find. It was at worst a £30 fare. The driver relieved my dad of £80 that night. My hands were numb for about a week afterwards. When I woke up the next morning my first thoughts were for Mark. So, I called his home number to make sure he was OK. His mum answered and laughingly told me he had spent the night on a bench in the city centre. I then, in my still drunken state told her all about what had happened to me. I like to think she took a shine to me for my honesty and candor.

I didn’t drink a drop for 10 months after that and now drink cider with PLENTY of ice (half and half). I also have a bottle of Jack Daniels at home. It has 3 shots out of it at the moment, all of which were for people other than myself. Come Christmas time it will be six years old.

Narrow escapes, I’ve had a few.

PS: At over 1600 words everyone has my sincerest apologies for the length.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 10:14, Reply)
Many years ago at school
my teacher was doing that thing where they lean over you and mark your work.

That was my near Miss.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 9:54, 3 replies)
Wihle we're on the subject of other peoples' near misses,
an ancestor of mine was in the trenches in war to end all wars.
Back home he'd been a boot maker.
Some toff officer decided he wanted a new pair of riding boots, so my great great grandfather was called back from the front lines. While he was off making shoes his entire unit was killed charging German machine guns.

The night he got home to Belfast after the war his house was burnt down by Orangemen, which was nice.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 9:42, 1 reply)
Escape from the clutches of the gunge-creature from crabsville.
A few months ago, after a night of partaking in some rather heavy drinking, I found what appeared to be an abandoned, yet unopened, bottle of beer at closing time. Being a good citizen, I didn't want it to go to waste, so decided to find a home for it.

It was around this time that the planets aligned, opening a portal to hell which I almost fell through, for I found myself sitting on the steps outside with a..... no, THE local scutter. To give you an idea, a friend of mine told me the following day that he saw me outside with Keith Lemon

Never having given me a second glance before, had I been capable of sentient thought I'd probably have thought I was safe. Also, I'm usually pretty useless with the ladies (no matter how loose the term may be).

I opened the beer, only to discover someone had emptied some gin into the bottle and resealed it. This was starting to look bad.

In a smooth move Terry Thomas would be proud of, I said "D'ye like gin? I think this is gin. Here..... have some gin!" She downed half the bottle. Something in my brain stirred and I stood up to leave, then I glanced downward to see a hand appear between my legs, grab my clackers gently but firmly and drag me back to a seated position. "You're not going anywhere" she purred/growled as she clamped a claw around my head.

I could suddenly taste gin. Being pissed and evidently being snogged to within an inch of my life, I should have been happy, yet something was troubling me. Then I remembered that several of my friends had, well, "been there" so to speak. Tales of immediate and intensive courses of antibiotics, invasive investigative procedures to the winky-hole and one horrific story of green gunge which I won't even repeat suddenly came flooding back into my brain as I realised what I was doing.

I recoiled with a loud intake of breath and what I imagine must have been a look of abject horror on my face, but she was clamped on and, oddly, began making a sort of whiny noise. I only managed to wrestle myself free by repeatedly saying the words "No, you're a married woman. You're a married woman! YOU'RE A MARRIED WOMAN!" over and over until she let my head go. She briefly tried to get me to go home with her, but I spotted my friends in the distance and made a sharp exit.

It didn't dawn on me until the hangover cleared the next evening that she is, in fact, not married at all. It's amazing what you'll cry out in a blind panic.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 2:53, Reply)
My Grandfather was part of the 1st Airborne Division during World War 2
If any of you have seen the film "A Bridge Too Far" you'll be familiar with this particular regiment for being the group of maroon beret wearing British lads (led by "Sean Connery") who mostly perished whilst trying to capture the bridge at Arnhem. See here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arnhem

All of my Grandfather's best friends were killed during that battle. How did he escape the same fate? Whilst in the queue to get into the glider moments before its take off for the mission, he was called back by a senior officer. Why? Somebody in the office was sick and they needed him to do his work.

The shot in the film of the regiment getting onto the gliders always makes my Mum well up when she knows that just a matter of seconds and someone having the flu separated her father from a battle that would see most of his friends die.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 1:19, 1 reply)
During the war
My grandfather got shot. In the neck.

I think he was paralysed for a while, I can't remember much of the story and he's not around to ask anymore (and neither's Dad). I did interview him on tape for a school exercise but don't know if I've still got it. He never regained full feeling on one side following the shooting, though.

Had the bullet been a fraction of an inch to the side, that'd be my dad, two uncles, sister, three cousins and me, all out of the picture.
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 0:38, Reply)
So I was driving along...
When I was a young'un, was taking driving lessons with a middle aged chap with a stern outlook on the whole process, made me go through various procedural rigmarole like clockwork for fear lack of attention to detail would make me fail the test.

Anyway, one day we were driving down a particular high street with an odd design, the street was partitioned into two lanes (one for each direction) separated with a small metal barrier and littered with parked cars occupying bays further reducing the width (and visibility of the pavement)

So we were driving along, I think I was doing around 25/30mph, and in the road ahead I spotted a ball starting to peep out from behind one of the parked cars.

I instantly hit the brake and the instructor was wrenched forward knocking his head against the windscreen (he wasn't wearing his belt, how silly), the ball was of course followed microseconds later by the obligatory small child running after it who now stood about a millimeter from my bumper and stared up at me in bewilderment.

I often wonder what would have happened if there had been less concentration involved and I would have hit the boy, however I firmly believe the narrow escape was his, and not mine.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 23:45, 3 replies)
thank god it wasnt thursday
So there i was minding my own business, mooching around the garden.
When this woman starts to give me a fuss, tickles my chin etc.
I'm loving the attention when she suddenly picks me up and drops me into the wheelie bin and buggers off
Thankfully the next morning my pathetic cries are heard and I'm rescued.
I'm hungry, thirsty and covered in my own effluent, but at least it wasnt thursday, bin day.

Sorry, havnt looked on here for a while and probably bindun
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 23:42, 3 replies)
My job
No funnies I,m afraid,but I got sacked last Friday,got an appeal tommorow,hope its gonna be a narrow escape and get my job back.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 23:40, 3 replies)
Not clumsy - just idiotic...
As previously mentioned sometimes not the sharpest biscuit in the sky.

Mid-teens I had a falling out with my so called friends, bad but no biggy get any room of hormonal sexually deprived 17 year olds and trouble will always loom.

The worst part of falling out with mates was the 5 mile walk home in the dark, in the drunk, and through countryside. My issue with walking is that it's boring - my issue with being bored (and drunk) is that I start to do things. So 10 minutes into my short cut (invented that day didn't really know the area too well) through delightful fields I encounter a lovely pylon, brilliant says my addled brain, it's just like a large climbing frame, I can be up that in a jiffy - so I did... I climbed, climbed until I reached the top... the cables make a lovely relaxing hum. It was then that I realised quite how stupid I was, so decided to take a walk on the motorway!

Yip, I climbed down and crossed the motorway, got lost but knew where the motorway went so walked down the hard shoulder.

Truly truly idiotic, I love watching these cops with cameras and cctv programs and flinch when I hear one of the dead kid on motorway stories.

Muchly lucky!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 22:27, 4 replies)
I've had way too many...
I wouldn't call me clumsy, but I would say I'm stupid. I get into situations all the time that reflect my trust of people, my huge knowledge of Judo (yellow belt) and my complete and utter drunkenness!

But this story goes back many many moons and still makes me shudder. About 10 years of age on holiday with the folks in lovely rural somewhere. I decided walking at parent pace was way too boring and the low wall way too inviting to not be jumped on. So run and a leap I did, due to the curve of the road and my very small height I was unable to get whim of what was the other side. Just imaging a nice rock wall, alongside a country road protecting all and sundry from a huge gorge. The drop was to a river racing from recent rain, with big big scary boulders. So I was technically less that 2 foot from death!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 22:12, Reply)
A funny one...
maybe a pearoast, can't remember.. the bull story below has reminded me..

I was on a TrekAmerica holiday.. we'd gone camping in Big Sur in the States, and been warned about bears.. basically you don't ever run from one as they can outrun and kill you..

I had a tent on my tod, odd number of campers and they all knew each other. woke up in the night, needing the loo, couldn't find glasses, contact lenses out. Set off for loo block with Maglite, so I can see perfectly in a patch a foot in diameter and fuck all beyond it.

Approach the toilet block. Hear a snorting snuffling. See a black shape to my left in the bushes. Shit it. Race for the loos. Get in, slam door, start to cry. Someone showering (at silly fucking night oclock ) says WTF is going on. I say oh my God a bear nearly killed me...

"Was it black and just outside?"


It was her dog.

Narrowly escaped peppering my undercrackers and being roughly licked to pieces by a lab cross.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 22:07, Reply)
No detail...
in case someone who knows me of old / knows him reads this.

I narrowly avoided marrying a domestic abuser. I don't doubt for one minute he'd have killed me, not physically perhaps, but he'd have sucked the joy out of my life and my self esteem out of my soul to the extent I'd have been better off dead.

The escape was as narrow as I know how to have one. It's as miraculous as a WW1 soldier finding that his Bible/cigarette tin stopped the bullet that was aiming for his heart, or the person that nearly steps into an empty elevator shaft but looks at the last minute.

He never beat me. He didn't need to. I still beat myself up over how dumb I was. I google his name to see if he's married and if he is I'll have to find a way to warn her. God forbid he breeds and she thinks she has to stay with him for the sake of the kid.

Sometimes getting away from it isn't enough. It's like a perverse version of Final Destination. I might have escaped but I've inflicted it on someone else.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 21:56, 1 reply)
In my more reckless youth...
....and in the days when abandoned cars were the scourge of most streets (early Ninties) we used to find cars with the '7 day' sticker on it - the council ones that they used to put on abandoned cars telling the owner that they had 7 days to move it or they would scrap it. Usually, it was a bluff and the car would stay there for months, before they eventually scrapped it.
...as was the case with a Ford Transit van that had been left in the local carpark in our village. Usually, the scrappy would give us between 10 and 20 quid depending on the state or size of the car. We figured we were doing the environment, the council and probably the owner a favour by getting rid of them, and pocketing a few quid in the process for our hard 'work'.
Anyway, we say this Transit with 'the sticker' on it, and figured that Mick from the scrappy would have to give us at least 30 quid for this, so we set about opening it up with a big bunch of keys that my dad had acquired over many years of owning a car sales dealership. The Transit was unlocked, as were most that were abandoned to be honest, and the first key went in the ignition and with a bit of 'jiggling' we were turning over the starter motor.
Sadly, it was diesel and we had no idea about glow-plugs or allowing them to warm up first etc... and so we figured that as it wouldn't start, this was the reason it was left there.
A mate of mine went and got his van, and we attached a tow-rope and began towing it to the scrapyard.
This particular chap had been living in his van for a few months over the summer - it was an old GPO Commer(sp?) van and had a push-up roof with a drop down hammock style bed.
He'd painted the inside himself ;-) There were strange words painted on the inside like "ACAB" and "Coke is it!" etc...
In the back of the van being towed was me and my friend Sean.
We'd got no further than about 100 yards when we looked out of the back window to see about 50 coppers - seriously about 50 of them.
I shouted, "Fuck, there's coppers everywhere...." to replies of "Yeah, of course there is; shut up.", then Sean and myself leaped from the van and ran - fast. A quick glance up the road showed about anothe 30 coppers all running in our direction - WTF was going on?
Unknown to us, the bloke who was towing the car had run in a different direction, and had in fact run to Sean's sister's house, where, in a fit of panic over the apparent over-reaction to an abandoned car being towed away, he phoned the police......and reported HIS van as stolen!
About an hour later, he walks back past where his van and the Transit are parked - coppers are all over it, taking prints, removing everything from both cars etc... and he walks straight up and says "So you're the bastards who have my van then?"
"Is this your van Sir?" asks one of the coppers,
"Yes, what are you doing with it?"
No answer, just cuffed and shoved in the back of a panda.
Meanwhile, Sean and I were sitting behind a large grass roller in the local park wondering what had caused the multitude of police to attend an old banger being towed to the scrappy.
Eventually, we figured it was safe to return to the village and started walking back. As we hit the road we saw yet more coppers, knocking on doors, driving around slowly as if looking for someone. Probably us.
We met another friend who was in the first van, he told us that he'd hidden in my dad's garage for some reason until the coppers went away, he also told us of a place where no-one would find us....a disused old smugglers tunnel in a friend of his' house. We went there, and hid in the tunnel, but not before first seeing more coppers driving up to the beach with dogs looking for, presumably, us.
The next day, after the police had found the bloke who was being towed, and having held the chap doing the towing, we found what had happened.
Apparently, around two months before the van had been used in an armed robbery in the next village along from ours, the robbers got away with around 70 quid. The Transit in which the robbers committed the robbery then swapped vehicles from in our local car park, with a years MOT on it was probably worth at the very least ten times that, and as such, the police were staking the van out from the local old people's flats in the hope that they would realise their folly and return for the van.
Of course, us twats walk calmly up to the thing, jump in and tow it away.
My mate who was driving was grilled for hours, 'accidently' walked into a cell door, had his van confiscated and had his parents house ripped to shreds in a 'routine' search, as did the bloke being towed (minus the accidental cell door walking routine).
Indeed, had we not hidden behind a large grass roller, I imagine we too would have had a night in the cells as suspected armed robbers.
So, in all, a narrow escape for most of us, if not the two that actually managed to get themselves caught!
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 20:43, Reply)
I have two.
And in both of them the phrase "It seemed like a good idea at the time" is appropriate.
1. Aged 5-ish, and pottering around some town that happened to have a big river in the middle of the town centre, I leaned over the railing and spotted a big fish. "Ooh. Let's try and catch it."
Not entirely sure what happened next but next thing I remember is being several feet underwater, desperately trying to get back to get back to an environment I could breathe and failing miserably. I remember looking down at one point and I swear that fucking fish was right underneath me and laughing his gills off. Luckily a passing troop of Boy scouts had all done lifesaving training and they pulled me out.
2. I suck at cooking which is why my preferred technique tends to be to throw something in the oven and wander off for twenty minutes. In this particular case I did two very,very dumb things. The first was to switch the oven to "Grill" instead. The second was to nip round the corner to get a paper...
I know. I'm going to pause here so I can slap myself for stupidity.
When I came back the smoke stretched from the ceiling all the way down to chest height and flames were coming out of the oven door.
After I'd frantically switched off the oven, dumped the blazing grillsteaks into a sinkful of water and opened every single window I had, I finally finished shouting "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck" then started wondering why the smoke alarm hadn't gone off.
I have books that still smell of smoke.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 19:58, 1 reply)

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