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» Bad Smells

Not so much a smell...
The dog we had when I was a kid had the usual ability to emit deleterious dogfarts but also came with a secondary fire mode; farts which you could only just smell (though what you could smell of them was horrendous) but which gave you a headache and slight nausea. I vaguely remember them giving me a migraine on more than one occasion.
We never worked out what he was eating that caused this and, for bonus points, he almost always farted silently so the only warning we got was when he got up and left the room unexpectedly.
(Mon 20th Jan 2014, 17:50, More)

» Lucky Escapes

As a motorcyclist...
...somet' like this happens every winter. Here's 2 of them.

1. tl;dr: got cut up on an A road. Brain saves the day.
Travelling around my town's bypass (I live on the opposite side to the city where I work) on the way home I reached the super dodgy junction where a 60 zone tees with another 60 zone but there's a 90 degree bend (blind but you can take it at 60) so cars on the joining road can't see that they're approaching a junction until they're 100yds from it. This leads to a lot of cars overshooting the junction and stopping in the road. I expect this to happen and I always spot potential numpties, albeit with a high false-positive rate.
This time the car overshot the junction when I was less than 100yds away. I'd seen it coming and hit the brakes before it even got into my path but the onboard fogey had timed it perfectly so that I had the minimum possible braking distance. The car stopped halfway out into the road so not completely blocking it but just far enough so that I was heading straight for the tip of their right front wing, I was about 40ft from it at this point. Fortunately, I subconsciously realised that a. I couldn't stop before hitting the car and b. that half the road was still available; without thinking about it I let off the brakes about 20ft from the car and swerved around it, missing by a few inches.
Danger passed, I checked my speedo; after dropping the anchors I was still doing 40mph. If I'd clipped the car bumper I'd've lost my left foot and hitting it straight on would've at least put me in hospital.
I was tense for about 36 hours after that one.
This was my 2nd and worst near miss at that junction.

2. tl;dr: an actual prang but fortuitous bodily arrangement prevents serious injury.
Eventually, my high false-positive rate on numpty spotting caught up with me. Again, on the way home, I approach a T junction (this time in town) on a busy road where there's often a queue both to get into and out of it. People often zoom through minute gaps in the traffic at this junction but that's not a problem as they can actually gauge the gaps well. The prang began with a pair of drivers NOT zooming though a fairly large gap in the traffic...
As I approached the junction, there was the usual cars waiting both to get in and out of it but, cryptically, neither car was moving even though the gap in front of me was big enough for 1 and probably both of them to turn. Perplexed by this, I noticed one of them inch forward, and then the other... then I realised they were having a Mexican Standoff at the junction. This is the perfect situation for them to misjudge the approaching traffic as both drivers are paying more attention to each other than anything else. Expecting that one of them would cut me up as I approached, I decided to near-stop (slowing to a walking pace, actually stopping and setting off on a bike is hard work) and let them both make the turn, thus defusing the situation. The car behind me worked this out when he was about 10ft away from me.
All I heard was 'screeeDOOFeeeeeeeech' as the car locked up before shunting me and then actually coming to a stop. The entire force of the impact was transmitted through my arse, later leaving me with a rather sore bruise in my arsecrack.
Usually, when a bike gets shunted, the bike is knocked out from under the rider and you get slammed onto the bonnet of the car. Not this time. The impact to my arse bent me double and flung my legs out infront of me, my right foot hooked under the right grip and I was yanked along by the bike, springing me back into shape. All this happened while the bike and me were airborne. The bike landed back on its wheels, still upright, and a split second later I landed on it laid flat out on my back. The bike rolled along for a moment and I thought "I can save it", except as my internal monologue got to 'save', the bike tipped over onto its right side and scraped along the ground, dragging me down with it as my foot was still hooked under the bars. The bike scraped to a halt and I slid off it onto the ground.
My first thought was to turn off the ignition so I sat up to do this. Then, I noticed that my right leg wasn't going anywhere; it was no clamped between the right grip, the road and the side of my bike which conveniently formed a triangle that was almost as big as the cross section of my leg. Almost. The guy who hit me and the 2 drivers that I thought were going to cut me up leapt from their cars and lifted the bike off me, presumably expecting me to come apart like a Crash Dummies doll. I don't know if seeing me get up straight away and hobble to the side of the road was a relief or a disappointment.
On the plus side, the guy that hit me had insurance and was super apologetic, he was also surprised as fuck by the V-shaped dent that a 400lb bike had left in the front of his car. For bonus points, because I'd landed back on the bike my gear didn't have a mark on it, except a small scuff where my leg had been clamped. On the minus side, my entire right leg was sprained, weird bruises appeared on my shin and I got mild whiplash in the entire bottom half of my spine. I still get more back pain than I had before but it's tolerable. The bike was a cat. C write off but the payout was a few hundred quid more than it cost me to fix it.

To round it off, I had another near miss at the junction from story 1 while riding the courtesy bike from the insurance, involving the exact near miss that I was trying to avoid when I had story 2. That being the 3rd near miss I've had at that junction in 4 years, I've actually changed my route home to avoid it.

Usually, I have a near miss every winter. I don't wear a Leatt brace 'cos I think it looks cool.

Other minor two-wheeled lucky escapes: doing a small powerslide off a roundabout when I opened the throttle too early and, on a different occasion, doing a rolling burnout instead of accelerating away from a different roundabout.

Length? Bitches don't know 'bout it.
(Fri 5th Jul 2013, 13:40, More)

» Brits Abroad

"The English Pub"
Is it's actual name, in Reykjavik. I made the mistake of agreeing to have ice in my cider and was rewarded with a half and half; half a pint of ice and half a pint of cider. This was draught as well.

On the up side it was ok cider (Kopparberg, I think) and not some Special Brew equivalent.

tl;dr never let an Icelander put ice in your drink if it's on draught. This probably applies more generally as well.

As for encounters with Brits, they mostly consisted of English tourists on Spanish beaches struggling to ask me things in stuttering, phrasebook Spanish before I interrupted them with the 'Actually, I'm not Spanish...' spiel.
(Thu 24th Apr 2014, 16:58, More)

» Hidden talents

I have an inborn talent for killing
conversations. No idea how I do it but I can stop one dead with a single, innocuous sentence. No, the innocuous sentence is not about raping babies that are on fire while rocking out to Lostprophets. In my head, the sentence is a logical continuation of the conversation but I somehow either finish whatever train of logic was in progress or fail to leave something for everyone else to respond to.

tl;dr I'm shit at talking.
(Tue 22nd Apr 2014, 10:13, More)

» Black sheep of the family II

sutin sutin sutin meem

(Wed 26th Feb 2014, 16:33, More)
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