Luckiest near misses


#1

About 3 hours ago I slipped over on a steep slope with a running chainsaw in my hands. Smashed fark out of my elbow and jarred my shoulder but after an ice pack and a teaspoon of cement I was back into it.
Could’ve been so much worse with the saw landing right beside my gut while still running.
There are more stories but thought this could get the ball rolling…


#2

Didn’t use a condom once, I mean phew, that was a lucky miss.


#3

Did you miss the target??


#4

You were worried about your Keyboard?? :smile:


#5

I once avoided the vengeance of an outraged ‘sugar daddy’ by utilising some extreme street skillz.

Fark, he was p*ssed off.


#6

Free climbing mountains when I was a kid, often.
Which could also go into the ‘stupidest thing I’ve ever done’ thread, and also the yet to be created ‘wtf were 70’s parents thinking?’ thread.


#7

Near Miss.
The Nimbin Festival.
This was around April in 1973, as l recall. I was a student as Swinburne, but l was hanging out part time with some people from RMIT. One girl wanted co-drivers for the trip, so l agreed. We loaded up an old Cortina 240 ( 2 door) with a lot of our gear being strapped to the roof. This car was a piece of crap. It was a case of pull up to a servo every major town, fill up the oil and check the petrol.
We set off and worked out a route. We wanted to avoid Sydney, in case we got pulled over by the cops. I had been to Qld via the Newell, but looking at a map we saw that a more direct route was via Grafton to Bathhurst, two of the major provincial cities of NSW which surely must have a decent highway linking them, right? Wrong. Good progress was made until we turned off at Grafton. The road was made for about 30 km. then it just became unmade and corrugated. Progress slowed to a crawl. I drove through the night, wondering if we had somehow missed a turn, but no, this was indeed the main road between those two towns. Not long after dawn we crawled in Bathhurst. We then reasoned that we needed to cut back to the Newell, and make a circuit over the mountains. There might have been more direct roads from Bathhurst to where we were going, but we weren’t confident of the condition they were in.
Progress continued to be slow, due to the dodgy engine. l ended up driving a second night. Just on dawn we swapped drivers. I sat in the front passenger seat, the only one with a functioning seat belt. The girl who owned the car, began to drive. I don’t know how far she had driven, when her screaming woke me up. I looked to see that both her hands were in the air. I reached for the steering wheel, but it was too late. Next second we went off an embankment on the wrong side of the road. I still clearly remember being upside down and looking at huge jagged rocks, that would have weighed much more than l did. I was sure that l was staring at my death, but had no time to consider the consequences We landed on the roof of the car, and bounced back onto the wheels. The car lifted to roll on its side once more, thought better of it and settled once more on its wheels. It was a good thing it had not rolled any further or it would have rolled on top of the lass driving, who had lost her door in the impact and was turned now sitting sideways in the driver’s seat, due to her malfunctioning seat belt.
There were a couple of groans from the guy and girl sitting in the back seat. She ended up with a broken collarbone, and he with a fractured ankle. He was particularly lucky. The roll, had thrown him half out the side window and he realized the car looked like it was to land on top of him and crush him. So he had used his hands to leverage himself back in the car, he had made it, all but for the last foot, ankle which the car had landed on. I was the luckiest, due to the seat belt, only sustaining a couple of scratches. The thing that had prevented us all from becoming road statistics was the fact that the car, death trap that it was had landed on the sleeping bags and tents, strapped to the roof. Some of them now laid strewn around the car. I gathered them together. A short time later a highway patrol car arrived to survey the carnage and an ambulance was duly rung. While the others were taken to hospital in Armidale, l was left with the task of waiting for a tow truck to arrive to take what was left of the now concertinaed Cortina into town. The police began an informal search of the baggage looking for drugs, there was nothing to find. In Armidale l went to check on my companions in the hospital. The girl who had been driving was unscathed, but in shock. It was only at this stage of the ill–fated trip, some two days after we had all first met and set out, that we found out that medication was involved. She had either taken medication, or failed to take it, which had affected her concentration and directly contributed to the accident. We kept that secret among ourselves.
I was a bit stiff and sore. It was decided that the other 3 could not go on and would have to take a series of trains home. The woman who had driven at the time of the accident would go with them. Since l wasn’t injured, l would go on. First l had to sell what was left of her car to a local wrecker. The $50 l got for it would pay for their train ride home, which l was later told was a slow, rattling nightmare of a trip, all the way down to the Victorian border, probably at Echuca, but l am not sure, as l never asked.
I hitched the rest of the way. At one stage the car l was in found a young joey on the side of the road. We moved it off the road and continued on. I sometimes think l should have tried to affect some sort of rescue, but had no idea where l would have left the little roo. I arrived on a Tuesday night, some 4 days after having left Melbourne, and immediately found a mate, who was raving about the festival. As l struggled with my luggage, I thought to myself: What is wrong with this picture? Then it struck me, my mate who was a strapping lad, much bigger than l, never once offered to carry anything for me. Leaving me to struggle on, all on my own.
I don’t remember all that much of the festival. I think l stayed about 3 days, and was quite unimpressed. By the end of the third day, l had had enough and decided to hitchhike back home. At the time l didn’t realize it but much of my negative feeling about the Nimbin festival experience was influenced by delayed shock. So Saturday morning l set off. While the trip home was not life threatening it was for someone in shock every bit as frightening and eventful as the trip up had been, but that is for another chapter.
I didn’t ever get checked by doctor for the accident. That was April, then in August something strange began to happen, and while l can’t be sure and have never consulted medical opinion, l am sure the car accident linked these two events. I started to get tense shoulder and neck muscles in the late afternoon. As the nights wore on, l just got tighter and tighter. In the morning l would be fine, but by about 4 PM l could feel the tightness beginning to creep into my shoulders. Why do l think it was the car accident that caused this? When l was upside down staring at those jagged rocks, my head did contact the roof of the car at an angle, and l believe to this day caused the tightness, some 4 months to appear. I went to my local GP who gave me some Valium, to relax my muscles. The Valium worked immediately, and after three or four tablets, the tightness never came back. I have never taken another Valium since then. Perhaps another time, l will recount the trip home.


#8

Scary sheet, dude.

In Aug 2005, I was camping at the base of Mt. Shirouma-dake. The plan was to climb the mountain via the Daisekkei Valley, a glaciated valley in the northern Japanese Alps. I woke up early raring to go, however, my climbing partner was still sleeping in the tent and couldn’t be roused. I waved towards a few Japanese climbers - who started their climb. Shortly thereafter, a massive 8000 cu. m. landslide occurred. One of the climbers died and two were injured. Sleep-ins are underrated.


#9

Grandfather followed the Dorks. Father barracks for the Filth.


#10

Yeah but why would you be worried about your hand getting pregnant


#11

Out Four Wheel Driving one night on Mt Macedon as a teenager with four of my mates. We had “borrowed” two of my mates parent’s Land Cruiser and also had a Daihatsu 4WD. The two guys in the Daihatsu were 18 and had their licences…the three of us in the Land Cruiser were still only 17 (so no licence).

We were having a great time until the fog came in around midnight and so we thought it might be time to head home.

It was a real pea soup and as we were coming down the mountain, the driver mistakenly thought that the road was going straight, when in fact it was veering to the right.

Next thing we know, we are off the road and sliding down an embankment straight into a fence (that luckily stopped us from going further). I was in the passenger seat and a very large branch smashed the passenger window and narrowly missed my head. It frightened the hell out of us all.


#12

I was 18 and had just gotten my P’s that day. Picked a mate up and was driving on a winding street in Wonga Park. A young girl came flying down her driveway on her bike across the road in front of me. I braked and just clipped her.
She got a bit of gravelrash, but fortunately nothing much more. I was beside myself!
Being so new to driving, I was doing maybe 40 kmh at the time. She and I were both lucky - these days I’d be doing 60+ in that same spot.
As fate would have it, a jogger saw the whole thing and would’ve acted as witness if it had come down to it…


#13

When I was in prep, my friend’s mum was a diehard Fark Carlton supporter and tried everything to convert me and get me to support them. Luckily her daughter and all my friends then went for the Bombers. Sliding doors moment.


#14

About 20 years ago I was working on the Mackenzie Falls walking track in the Grampians. I was driving a kubota tractor with a bucket on the front, moving gravel.
While I was driving around a right hand corner on a downhill stretch the front wheel hit a larger rock and pushed the tractor sideways to the edge.
Only thing that stopped me cartwheeling to the bottom was the roll over bar catching a tree branch.


#15

In one of my interludes between Wives, I dated a seeming very serious young police constable who looked a lot like Pepper Anderson. She was really good company and lots of fun, but probably I should have heard the alarm bells when she opened the door at her flat one even only wearing her service revolver. She also insisted on wearing it to bed; talk about performance anxiety.

I left that night never to return; she went on to have a very distinguished career with VicPol rising to very senior management. Fortunately our paths never crossed again.


#16

My Grand Father followed the Colliwobbles.
My Father followed the Saints.


#17

It wasn’t pregnancy he was worried about. I’m guessing it was STD’s that was the issue.


#18

I thought you caught STDs from long-distance dirty phone calls.


#19

Jeez, showing your age there Baccus!


#20

Near Miss – Part 2 Nimbin continued, the trip home.

By the Saturday morning, l knew l had had enough of the Nimbin festival experience. At the age of 23 l was something of a veteran of festivals, having been to 6 already. While l didn’t know what ailed me, l just wanted to go home. l would take any route to go home, l just wanted to be out of there. The first few rides took me as far as Tamworth, where l got stuck for a few hours. Just before sundown l got a ride with a guy, who could have been a character out of Vanishing Point. An ex – Vietnam vet, l am now convinced he had something like a death with.

He had lost his left arm below the elbow and was driving a manual Valiant ute, with a three speed column shift. To change gears he had to stick his right hand through the steering wheel, and ten make the change. He had driven nonstop from Cairns, in 33 hours, or so he said, and l have no reason to doubt him. He was driving to Sydney to pick up an HQ Premier, stick it on a trailer, and stick a V8 in the back of the ute. He had to be back in Cairns by Tuesday morning, as he worked as a camera operator for the ABC and he was part of crew flying out to Ayers Rock. He had made it this far on a mixture of adrenaline and speed, a deadly combination, and he was far from finished, hell, he wasn’t even half way there. He had also kept also kept all windows and vents open to channel in cold air, to help keep himself awake. It seemed to work, l was too cold to snooze. He agreed to drop me off somewhere in Newcastle. Approaching the Cahill Expressway we agreed to swap places and l would drive us into Newcastle. I can’t recall why l didn’t decide to go all the way to Sydney with him. The steering on the ute was sloppy, it took a quarter of a turn before the front wheels began to change direction. The steering was also what l would call nervous. The least little bump sent the steering wheel into shuddering and the front wheels sliding off to one side. How he managed to get this other death trap this far, l will never know, but l was seriously concerned about his, or anyone else’s ability to get this back to Cairns in one piece. l was happy to get out, when the time came.

I don’t recall how long l waited for the next ride, probably not too long. A couple of young guys in a new Holden panel van picked me up. They were already stoned, but we stopped somewhere in the hills above Newcastle and had a joint. It was good ■■■■, and l was able to relax, almost as much as these two guys. A fog had begun to roll in from even higher in the hills as we began a climb over some pass. Visibility dropped to about 20 mt. We were going uphill when a petrol tanker crested a rise right in front of us. I was convinced we were about to have a head on smash. There was no way l could see us avoiding such an accident. I closed my eyes, ready to accept my death and waited for the sound of the crash. Only the sound never came. A few seconds later l opened my eyes and looked at the two guys. They were relaxed to the point of being serene and still wore the slightly silly, red eyed smiles of the habitually stoned. Of the petrol tanker there was no sign. Where had it gone, had it driven completely over the top of us, withot even touching us? It didn’t seem possible that there had been enough space for the truck and car to pass without incident, but apparently the drama had all been in mind. Sometime later they or someone else dropped me off at the main crossroad in Liverpool. Some people will know this intersection well, for the traffic lights which overhang the intersection.

By now it was quite late, well after midnight, but l just had to keep going. I didn’t have much money, enough for food, but not so much l could splurge on accommodation. Besides, l was far from any hotel or motel, so l just had to wait it out, there and then until l got a ride. It took me hours of waiting to get the next ride, during which it got colder and my tired mind began to play desperate tricks on my conscious self. I had to do that in order to keep going. If l could have found a place to sleep for a couple of hours, l would have, but there was nowhere, so l just had to wait it out. There was little traffic going my way. Then just as the sun began to get a ride, l got a lift, then another, and another. The best lift l got was from a guy on a bright red 1947 Indian. This thing was long, it felt like it was about 3 m. in length and there was plenty of pillion room on the thing. By now the sun was up and l had left Sydney and that horrible crossroad in Liverpool where l had been stranded for 4 – 5 hours, well behind me.

The biker was restored the bike himself, and had a red beard. The old bike ca–thunked down the Hulme at a leisurely pace, quite the most memorable motorbike and bike ride l have ever been on, all 70 or so miles of it. He was headed to the ACT and dropped me off at the turn off. l walked a few hundred metres to past where the road from Canberra to Melbourne joins the Hulme, and there l was stranded again for some 3 – 4 hours. There was no point in walking, as l was in the middle of nowhere. After about 3 hours another hitchhiker arrived. He stayed on the Sydney side of the Canberra to Melbourne road. This meant the late comer stood a better chance of getting a lift than me, as any car that stopped was more likely to only pick up one hitchhiker, than two. I silently cursed his arrival. About 2 o’clock in the afternoon, my one hitchhiker theory looked like it was going to come true, when a dark blue EJ panel van slowed down, then stopped and picked him up.

As they pulled back onto the highway, l dropped to my knees and raised my hands in mock prayer, and my prayers were answered. The panel van slowed down and picked me up also, it turned out my single hitchhiker theory was wrong after all. The van was headed to somewhere in Melbourne, l can’t recall exactly where. Staying up all night trying to get a ride out of Liverpool caught up with me. I crashed out on the floor of the back of the panel van, and slept most of the way from Canberra to Coburg. I was awoken at one stage by a nudge in the back from the couple also in the back who were coupling, and proving the ‘■■■■■■■’ wagon’, was indeed well named.

Sydney Road in Coburg never looked so good to me, as on that night. It had begun to rain, and the old EJ slipped a little on the tram tracks, but l didn’t care. After a horror week or even longer, l was almost home, and l felt better knowing that my sojourn was almost over. True to their word, they dropped me off at the bottom end of Elizabeth St, right at the station. It was after midnight on a Sunday night, and the trains had all been put to sleep for the night.

I fished around in a hole in my jeans and pulled out the last of my cash. There was nothing for it but to take a taxi home. l had hitched all l was going to on this trip, l wasn’t prepared to wait any longer for another ride. I was suddenly tired, and dirty and wanted to be home and asleep in my own bed, just as soon as l could be. I slept in late the next morning, then told mum a little of my trip. There was no way l could have told her all of the above then, and l have never retold this story in any great detail, until now. Nimbin? Pffft!

Epilogue. I hooked up with one of the girls in the car, the one who had broken her collarbone. They had endured a nightmare train trip home that had taken them almost 2 full days to endure, with plenty of delays and slow rattlers, for carriages. She and l lasted together 3 months.