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» Unexpected Good Fortune

Bit long, not very funny, but pretty lucky
Way back in the winter of 1997, and after a prolonged illness, my best mate's grandma passed away. He was sad, but the fact that he inherited four thousand of your english pounds considerably softened the blow.

Once the money was safely deposited in his bank account, he did what any self-respecting 17 year old would do and promptly went out and spunked the lot on a D-reg 1.6 Ford Orion Ghia. Looking back on it, it was a shit car, but at the time cruising around the A roads of Cambridge countryside, we felt like nothing less than Crockett and Tubbs.

Because my mate had only just passed his test, he pranged it a couple of times over the first couple of weeks and we used to laugh at the rapidly increasing number of dents and scrapes on the Orion's matt black paintwork.

So one evening me and my mate are larraping alone some road in The Fens pushing about 70 miles an hour. It was pitch black and the road had deep water-filled ditches running either side of it with fields beyond. Like I say, my mate was pretty inexperienced behind the wheel. A trecherous bend in the road appears out of nowhere - cue my life flashing before me as my mate looses control and the back end of the car snakes about behind us.

Although I have no recollection of it, apparently I screamed "GET CONTROOOOOL" at my mate, moments before the front end of the car dipped off the edge of the road into the ditch causing the back end to lift, and launching the car into a spectacular, straight-out-of-a-hollywood-action-movie roll.

The car took the time to bounce on both its bonnet and boot before coming to a rest in one of the fields beyond the ditch.

I was later told by emergency services that, unlike in the movies, it is extremely rare for a car to catch fire after an accident. However, as myself and my mate sat shell-shocked in the car in the middle of this field in the middle of the night, staring through the shattered windscreen, the entire bonnet burst into flames - almost instantly.

So I push my door and miraculously it opens and I fall out into the cold night air and leg it a few metres away from this burning wreck - expecting my mate to follow.

To my horror there's no sign of him and for a few awful, awful, awful seconds I contemplate the possibity that i'm going to have to rescue my mate from this burning car. Luckily, as i stand there deciding whether I'll be living the rest of my life as a hero or a dispicable coward, my mate appears through the smoke hobbling towards me.

We both give each other the once over, expecting to find some godawful gash or exposed bone - but nothing. Not a scratch on either of us.

Being a more innocent time before mobile phones, we had no way of contacting anyone, so both just stood there laughing hysterically, adrenaline pumping through us, watching the car burn out. I remember we'd had the Spice Girls Tape (I know, i know ) playing in the car and even as the fire consumed the entire car the tape deck blasted out Wannabe for ages and ages. It kind of felt like the car was singing at as, mocking us.

Anyways, after a while a car comes along in the distance and gets closer. Seeing two young ethnic guys standing in the middle of nowhere, next to a burning car, clearly made them shit themselves because they turned around sharpish without stopping to speak to us to see if we were alright.

Fair play to them though because they must have raised the alarm as about twenty minutes later a fire engine and ambulance turn up sirens blazing. Admittedly, due to the fire the car was in a pretty bad state by the time the rozzers arrived, but one of the fireman said that he simply couldn't believe we'd walked away from the accident.

Despite that world weary demeanour all emergency services people have, he did seem genuinely shocked.

So we go to hospital and have x rays on our necks (who knows?) and aside from a bit of whiplash we're both fine. Hilariously, the hospital actually sends my mate (As the driver in a single vehicle accident) a 'voluntary' bill for the treatment we recieved. Standard now apparently.

The next day my mate's parents drive us out there to see the wreck in the daylight, and it's well and truly fucked. The car came to rest two metres away from a metal pylon stuck in the field that would have meant curtains for one of us if we'd hit it.

Also, because it was such a heap of shit the front passenger seatbelt used to lock when you pulled it to put it on, and you had to spent 10 minutes trying to tease it towards you so that you could put it on. Often I didn't bother, but for some reason (maybe the mad glint in my mate's eye) I'd made the effort on that particular evening and put it on. Again, curtains if I hadn't.

So there you go. Pretty lucky I'm sure you'll agree.

To bring it home to us how lucky we'd been, about a month later, on roughly the same streach of road, four kids lost control of their motor and failed to clear the ditch.

Three of them drowned because it had been raining so the water level had risen, and they became trapped in their car which had flipped over.

All true. I've got a picture of the burnt out Orion which I had up on my wall throughout University. I thought It conveyed on me a certain dangerous cache, but it mainly just made me look like someone who liked looking at pictures of rusty, brown shits.
(Wed 20th Sep 2006, 13:24, More)

» Road Rage

Man's Games
Shuffling down the Finchley Road we were, me and my mate - two students. Full of the joys that only piss-thin freshers, who've never had more than 30 in their life, could be having just received the first installments of their student loans.

My mate pulls out of a side road in his Mini Metro and severly cuts up a kojak lookalike. Kojak looks pissed, but we carry on about our business. A few junctions further along we stop at some traffic lights. Out of nowhere Kojak appears, having jumped out of his car behind us, and starts scrabbling away at the door to get at my mate.

He manages to force down the window and sticks his tiny, shiny head through and utters the immortal words...

"If you wanna play man's games....(Pause while he realises he hasn't fully thought out this particular verbal volly) man's games!!"

Then he slinks off. Opportunity lost I say, he should've battered us.

Kojak apologies for his lack of hair length.
(Tue 17th Oct 2006, 14:23, More)

» My Greatest Regrets

My liddle regretty wetty.
I regret baby talking down the phone to my girlfriend, without realising that the biggest wind-up merchant in my company had just sat down behind me.

"Widdle kinky butt" has now been entered into the office lexicon.

Apols for the length of time I'll now have to wait for a promotion.
(Thu 12th Oct 2006, 17:59, More)