It’s Friday 13th!!!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There is a lot of nonsense surrounding Friday 13th.

Many superstitious people consider it to be unlucky. So much so in fact that they spend most, if not all, of that day in their homes, afraid to venture out into the great world beyond in case something bad happens to them.

In fact it has been estimated that around a billion dollars are lost every Friday the 13th because people are scared to work and travel on this date.

The really unfortunate thing is that sometimes circumstances play right into their hands, which only serves to reinforce their superstitions.

You can find some of them below along with other facts about Friday 13th that I hope you enjoy reading.

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Friday-13th

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Every month has a 13th but no single year

has more than three Friday the 13th’s

and on average there are two.

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Months with a Friday the 13th

always begin on a Sunday.

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Folklore remedies for triskaidekaphobia

include climbing to the top of a mountain

or skyscraper and burning all the socks you own

that have holes in them.

Another is to stand on your head

and eat a piece of gristle.

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It is from the Norse goddess Frigg, or Freyja,

that we get Frigg’s Day, or Freyja’s Day

which became the English Friday.

Norse goddess Frigg

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On Friday 13 2006,

36 inches of snow fell on upstate New York.

The ensuing chaos claimed three lives

and caused $130 million worth of damage.

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On a Friday 13th in 1307.

thousands of soldier monks of the powerful

Knights Templar were massacred

by French king Louis IV.

Many people believe this is where

our fear of the date springs from.

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Friday 13 January, 1939

in Australia is known as Black Friday

because on that date bushfires

decimated 20,000 km² of land,

killing 71 people and

destroying several towns entirely.

Victoria Australia Black Friday fires 1939

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Retired bus conductor Bob Renphrey of North Wales

decided to spend every Friday 13 in bed

after a run of bad luck on the

fateful day during the early 1990s.

Among other misfortunes

he wrote off four cars,

got made redundant,

fell into a river,

crashed a motorcycle

and walked through a plate glass door.

When Bob died of cancer in 1998,

his widow Betty, who on previous Friday 13ths

had fallen downstairs,

been hit by falling guttering

and been hospitalized

after Bob hit her in the face

with a stick he was throwing to a dog,

decided to book his funeral for

Friday 13 March as a final tribute.

Alas, all Rhyl’s undertakers were too busy.

“Bob would have seen the funny side,”

said Mrs Renphrey.

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On Friday 13 July, 1951

in Kansas ‘The Great Flood’

left 2 million acres of land underwater,

causing $760 million and killing 24 people.

Kansas ‘The Great Flood’

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Friday 13 August, 1976

was particularly unlucky

for New York man Daz Baxter.

Having elected to stay in bed

to ward off bad luck,

the floor of his apartment block collapsed

and he fell six storeys to his death.

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Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album

was released in the UK on

Friday, February 13, 1970.

It wasn’t unlucky for them.

Black Sabbath’s self-titled first album

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Michelle and Gary Docherty had a

memorable wedding on Friday 13 August 2004.

First, a swarm of wasps attacked guests

at East Kilbride Registry Office, Lanarkshire,

as they waited for Michelle’s arrival.

Her aunt Mary Strachan

smashed an expensive digital camera

trying to swat one of the pests,

and when Michelle finally did turn up,

an insect flew up her dress,

triggering a panic attack.

After the ceremony,

two minibuses booked to transport guests

to the reception failed to turn up

and the couple lost their wedding video.

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On Friday November 13, 1970

a monster South Asian storm hit Bangladesh

killing 300,000 people in Chittagong

and creating floods that killed one million people

living on the Ganges Delta.

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Women drivers have a 64% increased chance

of death when driving on Friday the 13th.

Woman driver

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Friday 13 February, 1998

was simply business as usual for Manchester man,

John Sheridan, dubbed Britain’s unluckiest man

after once having his car stolen five times in one day,

making 16 trips to casualty in two years,

seeing eight TVs explode in six months

and losing out on a £4000 lottery win when he

put the ticket in the washing machine with his jeans.

John’s big day began when his Saab ran out of petrol.

He hitched a lift with a sympathetic policeman,

whose car broke down at the garage.

John returned to his car with a can of petrol,

got it started but lost a wheel as he turned a corner.

He returned home on a bus, which broke down.

Completing his journey on foot,

he realized he’d left his keys inside the car

and had to return in case in was stolen.

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Friday, October 13th, 1989,

the stock exchange suffered a serious crash,

the second most damaging in market history at the time

(this was in the pre-recession era). 

Brokers were in a state of shock,

as the Dow Jones Industrial Average

was down 190.58 points.

In Britain a deadly virus crashed IBM computers,

terrifying people and deleting lots of data

that could not be recovered.

This was before backup systems were used.

stock exchange crash

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A full moon on Friday February 13 1987

drove troubled Robert Bullard, 21,

to attempt suicide by putting his head in a gas oven.

Not only was his methodology flawed,

suicide by natural gassing is virtually impossible

since Britain moved from lethal coke gas

to less dangerous natural gas,

but a flicked light switch caused an explosion

which injured his mother and a policeman

and caused £35,000 of damage.

Robert was unharmed.

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On Friday the 13th, 2012,

the cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank

killing more than 30 people.

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Friday 13 October 1972 was the date

a plane carrying Uruguayan rugby team

Montevideo Old Christians crashed

on its way from Montevideo to Santiago, Chile.

When rescuers finally found the fourteen 

survivors two months later,

it emerged that they had survived

by eating human flesh from some of the

thirty-one crew and passengers

who had perished in the crash.

In 1992, the story was filmed as

Alive, starring Ethan Hawke.

movie Alive

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On the same day, Friday October 13, 1972,

an Aeroflot Il-62 airplane carrying 176 people

took off from Paris on a commuter flight

bound for Leningrad and Moscow.

The plane landed at Leningrad

and then took off for Sheremetyevo airport,

located just outside Moscow.

The weather was bad with rain and poor visibility.

The pilots were told to descend on approach to

the airport, but for unknown reasons,

they attempted and failed to land twice.

On the third attempt to land,

the plane crashed into a large pond

about 4 miles short of the airport.

There were no survivors.

No cause of the accident was ever established.

At the time, the crash resulted in one of the worst

loss of life incidents for a single plane crash, in history.

It remains the 44th worse loss of life in

an airplane crash in aviation history.

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On Friday the 13th August, 2010

at 13 minutes after the 13th hour (1 PM),

a 13 year old boy was struck by lightning

as he was watching an air show

at Lowestoft, England.

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The Hollywood sign above Los Angeles, California,

was first unveiled by the owner

of the Los Angeles Times newspaper,

Harry Chandler,

on Friday the 13th of July, 1923.

Hollywoodland sign

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According to at least one interpretation

of the Mayan calendar the world will end

on 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.0.0.0.0

or in the Gregorian calendar,

Friday, October 13, 4772.

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But before then,

on Friday the 13th in 2029,

Asteroid 99942 Apophis

is forecast to pass earth at a

closer distance than any of our satellites.

Crikey!

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Donkey Hokey

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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No, I’m not tilting at windmills, not just yet anyhow. And despite the play on words in the title, nor am I referring to Cervantes character Don Quixote. This post actually does concern a donkey, though. In fact animals in general.

It is a little known fact that donkeys kill more people than plane crashes. And at the end of August I read about a small town Texas mayor who was killed in an attack by his own donkey. He was Bill Bohlke and he was Mayor of Hollywood Park in Atascosa County, Texas.

That unfortunate event set me thinking of a number of things.

First I asked myself how the heck you pronounced his surname.

Then I wondered if Mayor Bohlke was a Republican or Democrat and how macabre it would have been if the donkey had done away with his elephant man rival.

And then I thought about the amazing and different ways people find to leave the mortal coil. I bet, like most of us, the last thing Mayor Bohlke thought was that some day he would meet his end from an attack from a randy donkey!

And then I marveled at how so many people, for no logical reason, have a romantic fantasy notion that animals are not inherently dangerous. They are.

And this is true for people who work with them every day and should know better.

For example, when I was growing up I would spend time at my uncle’s farm. He had a herd of one hundred or more dairy cows and every evening when I was there my cousin and myself would be sent out to the fields to bring the cows in for milking.

We had a couple of great little collie dogs to help us, not that much help was needed because the cows had a routine and once they heard us calling for them they made their way to the field gate and up the lane to the milking parlor, glad no doubt that they were about to be relieved of their burden once more.

With them came the bull. A huge brute of an animal and unbelievably strong. But he was docile enough, walked up with his herd of ‘wives’ and while they made their way into the queue for the milking machines he would usually lie down in the hayshed and munch on some of the hay.

As innocent (dumb) kids we would sometimes sit down beside him, even using him as a prop to lean against. He didn’t seem to mind a bit, we thought he was glad of the company perhaps.

Then one day as the herd was being ushered back out to the fields Mr Bull totally out of the blue decided he would like to kill my uncle.

Luckily us kids had our chore done in bringing the herd in to get milked. When the time came to take them back out again we were engaged on other vital business, I can’t remember exactly what but I’m sure it involved football, playing cowboys and Indians, fending off some galactic foe who was attacking earth that day, or some such vital stuff. But we could hear the commotion in the distance.

Furious about something, only he knew what, the bull roared angrily and ran towards my uncle who had been leading the way. With his head lowered he hit my uncle between his lower back and his knees and threw him up into the air like a rag doll – and my uncle was a BIG man. Very fortunately the bull tossed him into the air with such force that he went clean over the raised fence and hedge on the right hand side of the lane and ended up in one of the fields. 

The crazy bull then tried to go after him but couldn’t get up the steep embankment on which the fence had been constructed. Another cousin, quite a bit older than us, saw the attack. He was in a tractor and he immediately had the presence of mind to use that to take the bull’s attention away from my uncle. The distraction seemed to work, because as suddenly as it had started it was over and things were back to normal.

But my uncle had learned a valuable lesson. Animals can be dangerous.

So had I, even though I wasn’t there at the time, but from then on I haven’t been a fan of bulls – not in Chicago or Wall Street either come to think of it.

Unfortunately Mayor Bohlke wasn’t so lucky with his donkey.

I wonder if it happened something like this???

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More Of Those Awkward Moments – Life’s Great Levelers, part three.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another selection of those awkward moments we all experience as we journey through life. Some make you laugh, some make you angry, but all of them make you feel a little bit stupider that you really thought you were.

Enjoy.

 

 

That awkward moment when you realize you left the rest room with your dress tucked into your undies.

(Definitely haven’t managed that one yet, but I know someone who has.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you accidentally fart doing sit-ups at the Gym.

(Hey, another gold medal possibility if they make it an Olympic sport. For ‘accidentally’ read ‘inevitably’.)


 

 

That awkward moment when you see someone coming your way after you’ve just farted.

(Why do you think people take dogs with them for walks?)

 

 

That awkward moment when your girlfriend asks you if you love her more than your car.

(There’s only one answer to this one.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you bend down and your pants rip and you’re wearing floral underwear.

(Hello sailor!!!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you get caught in the rain in a cheesecloth dress, and really big underwear.

(I told you I don’t wear dresses, but seen it happen, very funny. Really big underwear, also known to us men folk as, ‘kidney warmers’. Sorry ladies.)

 

 

That awkward moment when someone walks in while you’re changing.

(Can be just as awkward when you walk in on someone else – or not – depending.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you confidently say the wrong answer aloud in class.

(And then try to turn the whole thing into a bad joke.)

 

 

That awkward moment when someone is doing the dishes and you slowly put another dish in the sink.

(Just do it with a smile and you’ll be okay. But only do it once.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you are trying to impress someone on the dance-floor but you dance into a pole.

(Prefer to watch other people dance where there are poles.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you think the trash can is a stool.

(So why hasn’t anyone invented a trash can that doubles as a stool – or is that a crap idea?)

 

 

The awkward moment when your friends make plans right in front of you, and the plans don’t include you.

(I can take a hint.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you’re so tired from taking a nap that you feel like to have to take another nap to get over your nap.

(Oh yes, the nap recovery nap nap!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you lose your bikini top in the surf.

(Not a problem for me, but I see the point…er..points??)

 

 

That awkward moment when you are on the beach and someone has told you that your tampon string is hanging out of your bikini.

(What does one do, and where does one do it?)

 

 

That awkward moment when you don’t know where to stand to pull your wedgie out without being noticed.

(Impossible to do without being seen. Impossible to do and still look elegant.)

 

 

That awkward moment when your neighbor starts talking to you while you’re hanging out your underwear.

(Hi there, washing the smalls today?)

 

 

That awkward moment when one heel flies off your high heels on the dance floor.

(It still baffles me why women wear high heels and how they can walk in them – or not, see videos.)

 

High heels fall 1

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High heels fall 2


 

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More Awkward Moments – Life’s Great Levelers, part two

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Here are a few more examples of what I like to call awkward moments. Things that happen that are, by and large, beyond our control. Sometimes they make you laugh and sometimes they make you feel stupid.

Mostly, though, I laugh, that’s better!

Hope you do too.

Enjoy.

 

 

That awkward moment when it’s quiet and you’re eating something crunchy.

(I take pride in this one.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you can’t tell if someone is a boy or a girl.

(The older I get, the more difficult it seems to be.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you start to cross your legs during a phone call because you’re busting to go to the loo.

(Hmmmm, been there, crossed that…er, those.)

 

 

That awkward moment when she looks at you and smiles. And then her boyfriend glares at you.

(Boy, the stories I could tell….)

 

 

That awkward moment when you change your Facebook status to “single” and your ex ‘Likes’ it.

(Facebook, yuk!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you type your ex’s name into your Facebook status instead of the ‘Search’ bar.

(Make that a double yuk!!)

 

 

That awkward moment when your Facebook friend tags a photo of you as a kid.

(Strike three, yuk!!!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you are in an important meeting and someone farting unexpectedly starts you to laugh.

(Most awkward if you are the culprit. )


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That awkward moment when you’ve accidentally sent a text to the friend you were gossiping about.

(Guilty as charged.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you say “I love you” and he says “Okay”.

(Not me, pal.)

 

 

That awkward moment when someone you don’t want to date asks you out.

(I’m washing my hair. Helps if you have some though.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you are introducing someone and get their name wrong.

(Never been good with names.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you are in a class where you don’t speak to anyone, and your teacher says go find a partner.

(One of the drawbacks of being a loner, I guess.)

 

 

That awkward moment when someone mistakes you for the shop assistant.

(Happened to me in Walmart, they didn’t seem to think it unusual that I was no help at all.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you step out of the shower and then realize there is no towel.

(Very difficult to put your clothes on when you’re soaking wet.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you are gossiping about someone and they walk up behind you.

(Whoops, caught out again!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you push on the toilet door thinking no one was inside.

(I feel an airport toilet story coming on.)

 

 

That awkward moment when a man walks into the ladies toilets

(Haven’t managed that one yet.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you pick up the remote control to answer the phone.

(Or worse, see video.)


 

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Awkward Moments – Life’s Great Levelers

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Have you ever had awkward moments when you feel a bit stupider than normal? Thankfully I am not as intellectually challenged as the people who feature in this blog, and, of course, neither are you. But I have had my moments!

For example I have been at serious business meetings in hotels where everybody leaves at the same time. We go outside, say our goodbyes, shake hands  –  and then we all set off walking in the same direction! FFS!!!

There are lots of others too. Here are just some of the classics.

Enjoy!

 

 

That awkward moment when someone says “Hello!” and you say “Good thanks!”

(Okay, so there are times I don’t really listen.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you don’t know whether you should tell someone they have food wedged between their teeth.

(I always leave that job to someone else.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you notice someone’s zipper is down but you don’t want to say anything because you don’t have a good excuse for why you were looking there in the first place.

(So many euphemisms for this one. The awkward bit is when you are talking to someone so dumb they can’t take the hint.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you’re trying to get over someone you weren’t even dating.

(This actually did happen to a friend of mine, the dork!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you don’t know if you should hug someone or not.

(Americans are huggers, continental Europeans are kissers on both cheeks, but the British find the whole idea repulsive and usually recoil in terror – awkward or what?)

 

 

That awkward moment when you try to exit through a closed glass door.

(I’ve posted videos about this one – very funny when it happens to other people.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you pull the push door even though it’s clearly signed.

(I’ve done this one, happens a lot if you are preoccupied with other things.)

 

 

That awkward moment when someone asks you how far along you are, and you are not pregnant.

(Whoops!)

 

 

That awkward moment when someone asks when your baby is due and you had your baby two years ago.

(Double whoops!!)

 

 

That awkward moment when you don’t know which arm rest is yours at the cinema.

(Or which cup holder to stick your drink in. Is there a rule? They haven’t told me??)

 

 

That awkward moment when you get stuck in a bean bag.

(Never a bean bag, but got stuck in a leather chair once, maybe blog about that one.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you arrive at the party and see someone else wearing the same dress.

(Personally I don’t wear dresses, but I can see how it might be awkward.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you’re singing Happy Birthday but you don’t know the name of the person so you just mumble the name part.

(Semi-pro at this one.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you’re talking to someone but you can’t remember their name, so you try to avoid introducing them to the person you’re with.

(Gold medalist if this was an Olympic sport.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you try to sneak a photo of someone but the flash goes off.

(You’d have to know how to work the camera on your phone for this one.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you realize you’ve kept talking after the call dropped out.

(Since the arrival of cell phones who hasn’t had this one happen at least once?)

 

 

That awkward moment when unexpected visitors arrive at 11am and you’re still in your PJ’s.

(Haven’t done this one yet, I just wouldn’t let them in.)

 

 

That awkward moment when you see someone that looks like someone you know, and you scream their name, and it’s not them.

(Well maybe not scream, but I have got names mixed up once or twice.)

 

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Inflate Your Tires By All Means, But Then Hide Your Bicycle Pump Where It Cannot Tempt You!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yesterday’s post was about how a few idiots had met their demise, or failed to, when they attempted to kill themselves. Today the theme is continued with another curious case, but one of the accidental variety.

I must say this was a new one to me. Just when you think you’ve heard of everything something new and unexpected turns up. This time it turned up in Thailand.

Danger: Compressed Air
Danger: Compressed Air

“The government must crack down on this disgusting craze of ‘Pumping'”, a spokesman for the Nakhon Ratchasima hospital told reporters. “If this perversion catches on, it will destroy the cream of Thailand’s manhood.”

He was speaking after the remains of 13 year-old Charnchai Puanmuangpak had been rushed into the hospital’s emergency room.

“Most ‘Pumpers’ use a standard bicycle pump,” he explained, “inserting the nozzle far up their rectum, giving themselves a rush of air, creating a momentary high. This act is a sin against God.”

It appears that the young Charnchai took it further still.

He started using a two-cylinder foot pump, but even that wasn’t exciting enough for him, so he boasted to friends that he was going to try the compressed air hose at a nearby gasoline station.

They dared him to do it, so, under cover of darkness, he snuck in.

Not realizing how powerful the machine was, he inserted the tube deep into his rectum, and placed a coin in the slot (of the machine, I think).

As a result, he died virtually instantly, leaving passers-by still in shock.

One woman thought she was watching a twilight fireworks display, and started clapping.

“We still haven’t located all of him”, say the police authorities. “When that quantity of air interacted with the gas in his system, he nearly exploded. It was like an atom bomb went off or something.”

“Pumping is the devil’s pastime, and we must all say no to Satan,” Ratchasima concluded. “Inflate your tires by all means, but then hide your bicycle pump where it cannot tempt you.”

 

A Lot Of Idiots Kill Themselves….But….

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A lot of idiots kill themselves accidently. I’ve highlighted a few examples on this blog of people whose stupidity led to their demise.

But some do it on purpose.

If they are really dumb, however, they don’t quite manage to do it the way they had planned.

Here are some examples.

 

1. Objective Attained – Method Unexpected

Frenchman 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 then drank some poison.

Then he set fire to his clothes.

He even tried to shoot himself at the last moment.

The plan seemed foolproof. Alas it was not.

As he jumped he fired the pistol.

However, the bullet missed him completely and instead cut through the rope above him.

Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea.

The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and the salty water he ingested made him vomit the poison.

He was dragged out of the water by a kind fisherman and was taken to a hospital, where he subsequently died of hypothermia.

There must have been an easier way. 

Jacques LeFevrier
Jacques LeFevrier

 

2. Strike another one Elvita!

One Sunday while on a visit to the Empire State Building in New York City, Elvita Adams clambered over an 8 foot high iron fence surrounding the observation deck at about 8.25pm.

She jumped off the building and plummeted earthwards.

But only for a few feet.

A strong gust of wind, possibly as high as 30mph, pushed her back towards the building and she landed on a balcony on the 85th floor, with nothing more than a broken leg.

Asked why she had wanted to commit suicide she said it was because she had been a failure at everything she tried.

Strike another one Elvita!

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

 

 

3. She Fell For Him Big Time

Back in France again, suicides at the Eiffel Tower are apparently quite common. In fact France has one of the highest suicide rates at 17.5 suicides per 1000 people!

Killing yourself with the 1,063 foot “Iron Lady” is the third most popular French suicide method behind poisoning and hanging (both of which the guy in the first incident tried unsuccessfully).

A few times, people have attempted to kill themselves but failed to do so. One man was blown onto a rafter by the wind and he was spared. But the most curious case was one in which a woman who jumped, landed on the roof of a car and later married the man who owned it!

Boy did she fall for him!!!

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

  

4. Taxi!

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, a woman threw herself off the 23rd floor balcony of the Hotel Crown Plaza Panamericano in an apparent suicide bid. However her attempt failed when a taxi caught in traffic below cushioned her fall.

Although the impact of her landing on the car shattered its windscreen and made a huge dent in its roof, the impact was not hard enough to end her life.

Instead, the 30-year-old woman was left with broken hips, ribs and significant internal bleeding.

The driver of the taxi, Miguel Cajal, told a local TV station that he noticed policemen stopping traffic and were looking upward. This made him instinctively jump out of his car.

“I got out of the car a second before. If I had not got out, I would have been killed,” the BBC quoted him as saying. The impact, he added, “made a terrible noise.”

The aftermath of a suicidal woman landing on a taxi
The aftermath of a suicidal woman landing on a taxi

 

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