A REALLY BAD DAY
All of these are supposed to be true incidents.
From a posting on the Internet; source unknown.
A fierce gust of wind blew 45-year-old Vittorio Luise's car into a river near Naples, Italy in 1983. He managed to break out a window, climb out, and swim to shore. . .where a tree blew over and killed him.
Mike Stewart, 31, of Dallas was filming a public service movie in 1983 on "The Dangers of Low-Level Bridges" when the truck he was standing on passed under a low-level bridge. . .killing him.
Walter Hallas, a 26-year-old store clerk in Leeds, England was so aftrid of dentists that in 1979 he asked a fellow worker to try to cure his toothache by punching him in the jaw. The punch caused Hallas to fall down, his head struck a hard surface, and he died of a fractured skull.
George Schwartz, owner of a factory in Providence, Rhode Island narrowly escaped death when a 1983 blast flattened his factory except for one wall. After treatment for minor injuries, he returned to the scene to search for his files. The remaining wall then collapsed on him, killing him instantly.
In 1981 depressed since he couldn't find a job, 42-year-old Romolo Ribolla sat in his kitchen near Pisa, Italy with a gun in his hand, threatening to kill himself. His wife pleaded with him not to do it, and after about an hour, he burst into tears and threw the gun to the floor. The gun went off, killing his wife.
In 1983 a Mrs. Carson of Lake Kushaqua, New York was laid out in her coffin, presumed dead of heart disease. As mourners watched, she suddenly sat up. Her daughter dropped dead of fright.
A man hit by a car in New York City in 1977 got up uninjured, but lay back down in front of the car when a bystander told him to pretend he was hurt so he could collect insurance money. The car then rolled forward and crushed him to death.
Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, a thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall, dropped down, and found himself in the city prison.
In 1976 a 22-year-old Irishman, Bob Finnegan, was crossing the busy Falls Road in Belfast, when he was struck by a taxi and flung over its roof. The taxi drove away and as Finnegan lay stunned in the road, another car ran into him, rolling him into the gutter. It too drove off. As a knot of gawkers gathered to examine the poor Irishmen, a delivery van plowed through the crowd leaving in its wake three injured bystanders, and an even more battered Bob Finnegan. When a fourth vehicle came along, the crowd wisely scattered and only one person was hit: Bob Finnegan. In the space of two minutes, Finnegan suffered a fractured skull, broken pelvis, broken leg, and other assorted injuries. Hospital officials said he would recover.
Two German motorists had a head-on collision in heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh. Each was guiding his car at a snail's pace from opposite directions but both near the middle of the road. At the moment of impact, their heads were both out of the windows where they smacked together. Both men were hospitalized with severe head injuries. Their cars weren't even scratched.
Hitting on the novel idea he could end his wife's incessant nagging by giving her a good scare, Hungarian Jake Fen built an elaborate harness to make it look as if he had hanged himself. When his wife came home and saw him, she fainted. Hearing a disturbance, a neighbor came over and, finding what she thought were two corpses, siezed the opportunity to loot the place. As she was leaving the room, her arms laden, the outraged and still-suspended Mr. Fen kicked her stoutly in the backside. This so surprised the lady that she dropped dead of a heart attack. Happily, Mr. Fen was acquitted of manslaughter and he and his wife were reconciled.
A few years ago in California there was a raging, open-field brush fire. Once the fires was extinguished, the firefighters began the clean-up process. In the middle of where the fire had been burning, they found a dead man wearing a scuba tank and wet suit. At first the firefighters were baffled as to why a man would be out in th middle of the countryside wearing full scuba gear. Upon further examination, it was determined that the mad died from the impact with the ground and not as a result of the fire. As best as anyone can determine, the man was scuba diving off the coast of California and was accidentally picked up by one of the firefighting aircraft when it was refilling its water tanks offshore. Then he was dumped with the water to help put out the fire.
The following Bad Days tales were sent to me June 11, 1999 by Bill James.
Many thanks, Bill.
In Los Angeles Ani Saduki, 33, and his brother decided to remove a bees' nest from a shed on their property with the aid of a pineapple, an illegal firecracker which is the explosive equivalent of a half stick of dynamite. They ignited the fuse and retreated to watch from behind a window inside their home, about 10 feet from the hive. The concussion from the explosion shattered the window inwards, lacerating Ani, so much so, the brothers decided hospital treatment was needed. Walking to the car, however, Ani was stung three times by the surviving bees. Unbeknownst to either brother, he was allergic to bee venom, and died of suffocation en-route to the hospital.
In Phillipsburg, New Jersey, an unidentified 29-year-old male choked to death on a sequined pastie he had orally removed from an exotic dancer at a local establishment. "I didn't think he was going to eat it," the dancer, identified only as "Ginger," said, adding "He was really drunk."
According to police who investigated the "accident" during the winter in Windsor, Ontario, Daniel Kolta, 27, and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.
In Moscow, Russia a drunk security man asked a colleague at a bank they were guarding to stab his bulletproof vest to see if it would protect him against a knife attack. It didn't, and the 25-year-old guard died of a heart wound.
In France, Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance when he decided to commit suicide. He stood at the top of a tall cliff and tied a noose around his neck. He tied the other end of the rope to a large rock. He drank some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to shoot himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the pistol. The bullet missed him completely and cut through the rope above him. Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea. The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and made him vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water by a kind fisherman and was taken to a hospital, where he died of hypothermia.
A Renton, Washington man tried to commit a robbery. This was probably his first attempt, as suggested by the fact that he had no previous record of violent crime, and by the terminally stupid choices he made as he tried to conduct the holdup: 1) The target was H&J Leather & Firearms...a gun shop. 2) The shop was full of customers, in a state where a substantial portion of the adult population is licensed to carry concealed handguns in public places. 3) To enter the shop, he had to step around a marked Police patrol car parked at the front door. And 4) An officer in uniform was standing next to the counter, having coffee before reporting to duty. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced it was a holdup and he fired a few wild shots. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, removing him from the gene pool. Several other customers also drew their guns, but didn't fire. No one else was hurt.
In Thompson, Manatoba, Canada, telephone relay company night watchman Edward Baker, 31, was killed early Christmas morning by excessive microwave radiation exposure. He was apparently attempting to keep warm next to a telecommunications feed-horn. Baker had been suspended on a safety violation once the year before, according to Northern Manitoba Signal Relay spokesperson Tanya Cooke. She noted that Baker's earlier infraction was for defeating a safety shut-off switch and entering a restricted maintenance catwalk in order to stand in front of the microwave dish. He had told coworkers that it was the only way he could stay warm during his twelve-hour shift at the station, where winter temperatures often dip to forty below zero. Microwaves can heat water molecules within human tissue in the same way that they heat food in microwave ovens. For his Christmas shift, Baker reportedly brought a twelve pack of beer and a plastic lawn chair, which he positioned directly in line with the strongest microwave beam. Baker had not been told about a tenfold boost in microwave power planned that night to handle the anticipated increase in holiday long-distance calling traffic. The daytime watchman, John Burns, who was greeted by an odor he mistook for a Christmas roast he thought Baker must have prepared as a surprise, discovered Baker's body. Burns also reported to NMSR company officials that Baker's unfinished beers had exploded.
(15 July 1999, Alabama) A 25-year-old man died of injuries sustained from a 3-story fall, precipitated by his attempt to spit farther than his buddy. His plan was to hurl himself towards a metal guardrail while expectorating, in order to add momentum to his saliva. In a tragic miscalculation, his momentum carried him right over the railing, which he caught hold of for a few moments before his grip slipped, sending him plummeting 24 feet to the cement below. The Military specialist had a blood alcohol content of 0.14%, impairing his judgment and qualifying him for a really bad day.
11 August 1999 Germany) A 42-year-old man killed himself watching the eclipse while driving near Kaiserslautern, Germany. A witness driving behind him stated that the man was weaving back and forth as he concentrated on the partially occluded sun, when he suddenly accelerated and hit the bridge pier. He had apparently just donned his solar viewers, which are dark enough to totally obscure everything except the sun.
(25 May 1999, Ukraine) A fisherman in Kiev electrocuted himself while fishing in the river Tereblya. The 43-year-old man connected cables to the main power supply of his home, and trailed the end into the river. The electric shock killed the fish, which floated belly-up to the top of the water. The man waded in to collect his catch, neglecting to remove the live wire, and tragically suffered the same fate as the fish. In an ironic twist, the man was fishing for a mourning meal to commemorate the first anniversary of his mother-in-law's death.
(16 August 1999, Germany) A hunter from Bad Urach was shot dead by his own dog on Monday. The 51-year-old man was found sprawled next to his car in the Black Forest. A gun barrel was pointing out the window, and his bereaved dog was howling inside the car. The animal is presumed to have pressed the trigger with its paw. Police have ruled out foul play.
(1999, Nicosia, Cypress) Under similar circumstances, an Iranian hunter was shot to death near Tehran by a snake that coiled around his shotgun as he pinned the reptile to the ground. Another hunter reported that the victim, named Ali, tried to catch the snake alive by pressing the butt of his shotgun behind its head. The snake coiled around the butt and pulled the trigger, shooting Ali in the head.
(August 1999, Australia) Drinking oneself to death need not be a long lingering process. Allan, a 33-year-old computer technician, showed his competitive spirit by dying of competitive spirits. A Sydney, Australia hotel bar held a drinking competition, known as Feral Friday, with a 100-minute time limit and a sliding point scale ranging from 1 point for beer to 8 points for hard liquor. Allan stood and cheered his winning total of 236 (winners never quit!), which had also netted him the literally staggering blood alcohol level of 0.353, 7 times greater than Australia's legal driving limit of 0.05%. After several trips to the usual temple of overindulgence, the bathroom, Allan were helped back to his workplace to sleep it off, a condition that became permanent. A forensic pharmacologist estimated that after downing 34 beers, 4 bourbons, and 17 shots of tequila within 1 hour and 40 minutes, his blood alcohol level would have been 0.41 to 0.43, but Allan had vomited several times after the drinking stopped. The cost paid by Allan was much higher than that of the hotel, which was fined the equivalent of $13,100 US dollars for not intervening. It is not known whether Allan required any further embalming.
(28 January 1999, London) A flock of sheep charged a well-meaning British farmer's wife and pushed her over a cliff to her death. Betty Stobbs, 67, was charged by dozens of sheep as she brought them a bale of hay on the back of a power bike. The sheep rushed forward and rammed the vehicle, knocking Betty and her bike over the edge of a vacant 100' quarry near Durham, in northeastern England. "I saw the sheep surround the bike. The next thing she was tumbling down the incline," neighbor Alan Renfry told reporters.
(22 March 1999, Phnom Penh) Decades of armed strife have littered Cambodia with unexploded munitions and ordnance. Authorities warn citizens not to tamper with the devices. Three friends recently spent an evening sharing drinks and exchanging insults at a local café in the southeastern province of Svay Rieng. Their companionable arguing continued for hours, until one man pulled out a 25-year-old unexploded anti-tank mine found in his backyard. He tossed it under the table, and the three men began playing Russian roulette, each tossing down a drink and then stamping on the mine. The other villagers fled in terror. Minutes later, the explosive detonated with a tremendous boom, killing the three men in the bar. "Their wives could not even find their flesh because the blast destroyed everything," the Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper reported.
(5 September 1999, Jerusalem) The switch away from daylight savings time caused consternation among terrorist groups this year. At precisely 5:30 Israel time on Sunday, two coordinated car bombs exploded in different cities, killing three terrorists who were transporting the bombs. It was initially believed that the devices had been detonated prematurely by klutzy amateurs. A closer look revealed the truth behind the untimely explosions. Three days before, Israel had made a premature switch from Daylight Savings time to standard time in order to accommodate a week of Slihot, involving pre-sunrise prayers. Palestinians refused to "live on Zionist time." Two weeks of scheduling havoc ensued. The bombs had been prepared in a Palestine-controlled area, and set on Daylight Savings time. The Confused drivers had already switched to standard time. As a result, the cars were still en-route when the explosives detonated, delivering to the terrorists their well-deserved demise.
Ann Arbor Idiot. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 8:50 AM, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.
Kentucky Idiots. Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.
Louisiana Idiot. A man walked into a Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]
Arkansas Idiot. Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
New York Idiot. As a female shopper exited a convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police had apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied "Yes, Officer...that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from ."
Seattle Idiot. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home near some spilled sewage. A police spokesman said the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.
The death of ATTILA THE HUN. One of the most notorious villains in history, Attila's army had conquered all of Asia by 450 AD--from Mongolia to the edge of the Russian Empire--by destroying villages and pillaging the countryside. How did he die? He got a nosebleed on his wedding night
In 453 AD, Attila married a young girl named Ildico. Despite his reputation for ferocity on the battlefield, he tended to eat and drink lightly during large banquets. On his wedding night, however, he really cut loose, gorging himself on food and drink. Sometime during the night he suffered a nosebleed, but was too drunk to notice. He drowned in his own blood and was found dead the next morning.
The death of TYCHO BRAHE. An important Danish astronomer of the 16th century, Brahe's ground-breaking research allowed Sir Isaac Newton to come up with the theory of gravity. How did he die? He didn't get to the bathroom in time.
In the 16th century, it was considered an insult to leave a banquet table before the meal was over. Brahe, known to drink excessively, had a bladder condition, but failed to relieve himself before the banquet started. He made matters worse by drinking too much at dinner and was too polite to ask to be excused. His bladder finally burst, killing him slowly and painfully over the next 11 days.
The death of HORACE WELLS. Wells pioneered the use of anesthesia in the 1840s. How did he die? He used anesthetics to commit suicide.
While experimenting with various gases during his anesthesia research, Wells became addicted to chloroform. In 1848 he was arrested for spraying two women with sulfuric acid. In a letter he wrote from jail, he blamed chloroform for his problems, claiming that he'd gotten high before the attack. Four days later he was found dead in his cell. He'd anaesthetized himself with chloroform and slashed open his thigh with a razor.
The death of FRANCIS BACON. One of the most influential minds of the late 16th century, Bacon was a statesman, philosopher, writer, and scientist. He was even rumored to have written some of Shakespeare's plays. How did he die? By stuffing snow into a chicken.
One afternoon in 1625, Bacon was watching a snowstorm and was struck by the wondrous notion that maybe snow could be used to preserve meat in the same way that salt was used. Determined to find out, he purchased a chicken from a nearby village, killed it, and then, standing outside in the snow, attempted to stuff the chicken full of snow to freeze it. The chicken never froze, but Bacon did.
The death of JEROME IRVING RODALE. Rodale was a founding father of the organic food movement, creator of "Organic Farming and Gardening" magazine, and founder of Rodale Press, a major publishing corporation. How did he die? He died on the "Dick Cavett Show", while discussing the benefits of organic foods.
Rodale, who bragged "I'm going to live to be 100 unless I'm run down by a sugar-crazed taxi driver," was only 72 when he appeared on the "Dick Cavett Show" in January 1971. Part way through the interview, he dropped dead in his chair. Cause of death: heart attack. The show was never aired.
The death of AESCHYLUS. Aeschylus was a Greek playwright back in 500 BC. Many historians consider him the father of Greek tragedies. How did he die? An eagle dropped a tortoise on his head.
According to legend, eagles picked up tortoises and attempted to crack them open by dropping them on rocks. An eagle mistook Aeschylus' head for a rock (he was bald) and dropped it on him instead.
The death of JIM FIXX. Fixx was author of the best selling "Complete Book of Running," which started the jogging craze of the 1970s. How did he die? By heart attack....while jogging, of course.
Fixx was visiting Greensboro, Vermont when he walked out of his house and began jogging. He'd only gone a short distance when he had a massive coronary. His autopsy revealed that one of his coronary arteries was 99% clogged, another was 80% obstructed, and a third was 70% blocked....and that Fixx had had three other attacks in the weeks prior to his death.
The death of LULLY. One of our favorite 16th- century composers, Lully wote music for the king of France. How did he die? Beating time.
While rehearsing the musicians, Lully got a too serious beating time with his staff, and drove it right through his foot. He died of infection.