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This is a question Darwin Awards

Bluffboy says: My mate cheated death and burned his eyebrows off looking down the barrel of a potato gun. Tell us about your brushes with the Grim Reaper through stupidity.

(, Thu 12 Feb 2009, 20:01)
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My social life was somewhat more exciting when I was fourteen than it is now i'm turning twenty
Owing in large part to my best friend at the time, M, who was something of the party animal. (Operative word "was" - she's since sworn off all drugs and whatnot and last I heard was studying law and considering a move to New Zealand. *shrug*)

We made friends at the Saturday school where our respective parents sent us to learn Russian - and learn it we did, to this day I do not know what the word "conjugate" means (unless it has to do with marital relations) but I can recite the mnemonic for a list of terms in a grammatical category that just plain does not exist in English. Also there was poetry and this old guy lecturing us about the Soviet Union, my memories are a bit fuzzy on that bit as I actually spent most of my Saturdays soaking in M's bad influence (by which I mean letting her convince me to let her demonstrate the principles of eyeliner on me using a lead pencil).

Anyway, the point is I would not have met her without the Baconesque limits of Russian cultural circles as her everyday social life was not generally conducted in the same spaces as mine. I wouldn't have traded it for the world though, she was a bitch but she was a lot of fun.

Like the eyeliner pencil there were a number of things I let her talk me into that could probably be considered unwise, suicidally moronic even, but somehow by the luck that watches over children, fools and extremely foolish children nothing terrible ever happened to me. Chief among the scrapes she led me into was the adventure which follows. EVERY decision in this story was a MONUMENTALLY bad idea - and yet!

We meant to go ice-skating of an afternoon, followed by a sleepover. Now the only proper ice rinks in Sydney happen to be in suburbs reachable only be a half-hour train trip, so onto the train we hopped.

"Hang on a sec," she said nonchalantly. "We have to get off here."

"This is not the ice rink." says I.

"It's okay," says she, "there are no ticket gates here, we can just hop off and get my weed and get right back on again."

"Wait, what?" says I as she disembarks, but follow like a little duckling because I am a sheep. (Any relations between sheep and ducks are strictly hypothetical but were I a madder scientist (technically, were I a sciencier madwoman) I would create a Shuck or perhaps a Deep just to test the limits of the herd mentality. But I digress.)

So there we were in a dodgy little suburb named Punchbowl, rather appropriately I thought as it was watery, contained unknown quantities of intoxicants and had little floating bits you don't really want to identify. M's appointment with her dealer was apparently set for the porch of Punchbowl Public School, so on the porch we sat and waited. For over an HOUR before she finally decided her dealer wasn't showing up, so she rang up some other bloke she knew and then said "Nothing to worry about, friend of a friend is coming round, we'll be out of here in no time."

Well the friend of a friend turned out to be a pair of thirty-something highly sleazy Lebanese blokes, one stout and one skinny, straight from a cartoon about a plucky young lad foiling dastardly yet extremely stupid bank robbers. The fat one sleazed at M for a bit as she sent me increasingly desperate looks, which I answered in eyebrow-morse that translated roughly to "I don't know what do you want ME to do about it you got us into this mess!"

Finally she apparently decided they either didn't have any weed or didn't want to accept cash for it if you know what I mean, so made some excuses and we slunk off, drugless and late, back to the station. Where she happened to run into somebody who DID sell her some weed, so at least she was happy.

Anyway, after all that we made our way to the ice rink. It was after dark by this point, but I figured that was okay, it was light inside!

But no. No, she had run into STILL MORE random Lebanese blokes one of whom she apparently knew, thankfully this time a little closer to our age, sitting around outside the rink. So we stopped to chat, naturally. And then we accepted a ride back to the Eastern Suburbs. NATURALLY.

Of course the ride back was interrupted by HELLO THERE SCENIC DETOUR to a suburb whose name I don't recall, only that it started with a W or a Y or some such arse end of the alphabet letter to match its arse end of the world location vis a vis any bus or train routes at all ever. Where, OF COURSE, the blokes and M piled into a little townhouse to smoke some weed.

Now smoke of any sort is not my favourite thing in the world unless it's coming from something I can roast marshmallows on. My Sheepling tendencies were getting a bit strained here, so after a bit I went and sat outside on the steps mentally bitching about my failure of an evening. It was midnight and my parents did not know where I was. I had of course told them about the sleepover, handily skipping the bit where any part of the evening was going to happen anywhere other than M's house. I pouted.

After what I figured must have been a reasonable amount of time for M to get high and feel like going home to make toast, I wandered back inside and suggested we do exactly that. At this point, as my dad likes to say, "oshibochka vishla." Turns out, of course, that the guy among that lot whom M had actually MET before, was no longer willing to provide transport allll the way back to M's place. Luckily one of the other blokes was quite taken with her and offered to drive us instead.

M of course rode shotgun in order to flirt some more, leaving me to climb into the back seat, which was notably lacking in working seatbelts. Once we got on the highway M's paramour cheerfully informed us that he "bloody hoped we didn't get pulled over as me license is suspended."

So there I am, in sum, a sheltered fourteenyearold whose parents think she is currently painting her nails and reading Girlfriend with her best mate (not an activity I have ever actually engaged in), sitting with no seatbelt on in the back seat of a car in some godforsaken suburb whose name I can't pronounce driven by a man who a) is not technically legal to drive because of unspecified road-safety-related offences and b) has just spent half an hour in a small stuffy room inhaling large quantities of a drug not know for making people sharper, and all I can think is "I didn't even get to go ice skating. I hope we don't crash and die or my parents will ground me forever and I really want to learn how to go backwards."

Miraculously we did not crash and die, nor did we get pulled over. We reached her apartment in perfect safety. M exchanged numbers with the guy and sent him off and we went upstairs and made cookies.

Good times, good times.
(, Mon 16 Feb 2009, 16:27, closed)
I cannot recommend a move to New Zealand
Highly enough. It's a beautiful place.
(, Wed 18 Feb 2009, 23:48, closed)

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