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This is a question Terrified!

Bathory asks: What was the most scared you've ever been? How brown were your pants?

(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 13:32)
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A moment of stupidity
There are already more than a reasonable amount of car-based terror stories, so I apologise for adding to them, but this is probably the most concentrated sixty seconds of terror I've ever experienced.

It took place during a hungover trip back from an excellent weekend visiting friends in Bristol - it was the sort of hangover that you can grudgingly accept as reasonable payment for the fantastic night before. I felt awful, but also happy. It was Sunday morning, Lemon Jelly was playing on the car stereo, and there were, mercifully as it turned out, few other cars on the M4. My girlfriend was driving, and I was heroically trying to stay awake in the passenger seat so as to make the trip less of a chore for her. Halfway home we stopped into a service station to fill up on water. Not an urgent requirement, but it was a lazy day and it needed to be done.

This was when things went wrong, although we didn't realise it at the time. We pulled up next to the water and air machine and I jumped out. My girlfriend popped the bonnet and I staggered over to the machine. Only to find that it wanted money. And not just a token 20p, it wanted a whole quid for a bit of water. "Fuck that," we both agreed. I climbed back into the car, and we pulled out back onto the motorway.

Careful readers might have spotted our mistake here. We didn't. We sped off, eager to get back home to a cup of tea and a lazy afternoon in the sun, and I drifted back into a semi-conscious haze. It wasn't for another ten minutes that everything went wrong.

I was staring listlessly ahead, my mind empty of thoughts, when suddenly the world went insane. There was an ear-shattering crash, and everything went dark. There were a couple of seconds of blind panic, and I first thought we'd crashed, but somehow we were still moving forwards. Then I realised what had happened - the bonnet had lifted, slamming back against the windscreen at 70 miles per hour. The force of the blow punted the rear-view mirror into our laps, and the windscreen shattered. I shouted: as I remember, my carefully chosen words were "SHIT! JESUS FUCK!" My initial relief that we hadn't crashed was replaced by terror: We were still hurtling along at 70mph, but now we were blind. Luckily, the curvature of the top edge of the bonnet meant that there was a three-inch gap at the bottom of the windscreen, and by leaning across we could just about see ahead. I carried on swearing as hard as I could, but when I looked over to my girlfriend, now in charge of a near-blind ton of metal hurtling through space, she wasn't panicking at all. In fact there was no visible emotion at all on her face - just a pale, overwhelming concentration.

She eventually got us over to the hard shoulder and we got out, waiting, shaking, for the RAC to turn up and take us home. You never know how you're going to react in a sudden life-or-death situation, but that day I learned two things: 1) My girlfriend is pretty good at panic, and 2) I'd have fucking killed us both.

Oh, and 3) - For the love of Christ, if you pop the bonnet, fucking well make sure you push it closed again before heading out onto a motorway.
(, Sat 7 Apr 2012, 1:43, 4 replies)
Happened to me years ago after I had bent the back up catch without realising it the previous weekend.
Luckily I was on the straight section of a major road with no other cars nearby. I braked to a halt and got over to the side. The screen did not break, and I managed to push the bonnet down again far enough for the back up catch to work.
(, Sat 7 Apr 2012, 6:39, closed)
Good Story
Well told.
(, Sat 7 Apr 2012, 8:40, closed)
Me too
I've also done this, fortunately only at 30mph on a quiet road. The shock when the bonnet hits the widscreen is indescribable!
(, Tue 10 Apr 2012, 13:22, closed)
Nicely told.
Bloody scary. Click.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 16:54, closed)

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