Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The times I nearly died

Location: A boating holiday in Brittany, France
Nemesis: Decapitation
Blow-by-blow: After some less-than-impressive navigation by my father, we were stuck on a sandbank. Another boat was towing us off, only the metal fixture gave way, whiplashing between my ear and shoulder
How was it? Exciting. It introduced an enticing danger into my up-till-then mundane life
Valuable life lesson learned: Stay away from ropes under tension

Location: The A1M near Scotch Corner, North Yorkshire
Nemesis: Car crash
Blow-by-blow: Our hired Ford Orion, for no obvious reason, went out of control at 70 mph. We arced our way back and forward across the motorway before hurtling into the grassy central reservation and pitching into a ditch. We ended up in Catterick Garrison Hospital with nothing worse than medium whiplash and a certain amount of shock.
How was it? Time did genuinely seem to slow down, meaning it felt like we were doing 20 mph.
Valuable life lesson learned: Plenty. Don't get in a Ford Orion. Don't take your shoes off while you're in the car. And if my life is going to end suddenly, my last words will probably be "fucking Nora".

Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Nemesis: Atypical pneumonia
Blow-by-blow: I had something like bird flu years before it became trendy. Hallucinations! Panic attacks! An armful of antibiotics! Lung damage! And all on Christmas Day.
How was it? Shitter than a shit date in Shitsville with Jimmy the Shit.
Valuable life lesson learned: It's easier to get into a foreign hospital by waving your credit card than by waving travel insurance. That'll do nicely.

Location: Koh Phangan, Thailand
Nemesis: Drowning
Blow-by-blow: I was so enjoying the head-height waves that I didn't notice I was being pulled out to sea. I just about made it back.
How was it? A fantastic, adrenaline-pumping adventure. It was only once I was lying on the beach being sick than I considered it all could have ended unhappily.
Valuable life lesson learned: Don't go swimming in a typhoon.

Location: An office in Edinburgh, Scotland
Nemesis: A cheese and lettuce sandwich
Blow-by-blow: One second I was munching my lunch, the next, a carbohydrate-fat mixture was firmly lodged in my throat and I was making a noise like a sea-lion being castrated, wondering if any of my colleagues might know the Heimlich manoeuvre.
How was it? Much, much less funny than when I heard about how Mama Cass was supposed to have died.
Valuable life lesson learned: Chew your food properly, silly.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dick said...

A great post with some further meme potential. Provided there are enough bloggers out there with as rich a selection of near-death experiences.

6:25 am  
Anonymous Paul said...

I'm about to go on my first ever vacation in thailand, and the fact that two of your near-death experiences occurred there has certainly left its mark on my young and highly impressionable (and squishy) brain.

Do you have any happy, upbeat Thailand stories to help balance the cosmic scales of travel? Any places one should definitely go/not go or things to definitely see/not see?

5:22 pm  

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