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wow, reading about max and riceboy's experiences in the "five minutes" thread really got to me; and it made me wonder how many of us have had an experience in their lives that they weren't sure they were going to make it through alive, and how that affected us.

i'll tell my story, though i don't know if i really consider it a brush with death as much as a "brush with possible maiming".

in the year 2000 i was working part time in a retail clothing chain. one sunny april afternoon, i was standing at the customer service desk talking to the other woman that was on shift with me. a young man came into the store, and although it wasn't a common experience because we sold only women's clothes, it happened that sometimes men came in to look for gifts for their moms, wives, girlfriends, what have you. (actually, once we had a man come in shopping for himself, which was pretty fun...hee hee). anyway, we didn't think anything of it at the time, though i wish now that alarm bells had gone off in my head because it might have changed the outcome.

we continued to chat, and he did a sort of slow meander through the store. i finally started to move away from the counter as he approached us; it was near my break time and i didn't want to get sucked into a 30 minute "customer service experience" helping him pick out panties or nighties or whatever for his girlfriend. but he walked over really quickly and put a binder on the desk. the other woman on shift with me was still behind the counter. when he put the binder down, i thought immediately that he was some kind of salesman because we often got them in there, trying to sell us perfume or other sundry "women"'s items, so i leaned over to look at whatever product catalogue he had inside of it.

only it didn't have a catalogue in it. it took a minute for me to register what was happening, but once i did, my heart nearly stopped. he flipped open the binder and written in red marker on a blank white page it said, "do not yell for help. i am holding your store up.", and at that very moment, i felt something nudge my ribcage.

my co-worker looked at me with this glassy wide-eyed gaze and i saw her face blanch. she told me later it's because she could see what he was pressing against me, even though i didn't dare look down. it was a box cutter, otherwise known as a large X-Acto blade. he nudged me behind the counter with it sticking against my kidney and ordered us to open the tills. which we did. the whole time i was thinking he had a gun and i was sure that if i breathed he'd fire. i nearly wet myself, i was so scared.

my co-worker emptied the cash registers and he stuffed all the money in his pockets. looking back on it, i can't believe that he got away with it so cleanly. there were about a half dozen customers in the store at the time, all browsing, and not one of them noticed anything was going on until he suddenly tore away from us and bolted for the front door. i just slumped down onto the floor and put my head between my knees, but my co-worker started yelling right away, "stop him! he just robbed us! stop him!"

the store, of course, closed for a few hours that afternoon while the police conducted their investigation, but when my co-worker told everyone that i'd had a box cutter jammed up against my body the entire time, i was allowed to go home.

i never hugged my son and husband more in a 12 hour period than i did that day.

i also never came as close to wetting my knickers as an adult as i did that day.

and it was a 'wake up' call to me about how quickly things can go from normal and safe to freaky and violent; and how i should never take my days for granted.

i stayed at the job another year and a bit (until i had my daughter), but every time a man came into the store, i couldn't help it. i hid behind the racks until i was sure he was a legit customer.
 

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i have witnessed a couple fatal car accidents that really freak me out so i don't want to talk about them. i was literally seconds behind them. scary. one of the few times i've seen my dad cry.

i guess my 'best' near death experience is my mountain lion encounter. i was hiking solo a few summers ago (stupid, i know) in southern Nevada. i was at my sisters house literally in the middle of nowhere and i would hike every day about 8-9 miles out into more of the middle of nowhere. so i was happily pondering life and frolicking in the 120 degree heat...slowly going around and up this 'mountain' called black mountain...

when i sensed somethnig was wrong and looked up and approximately 25 feet in front/above me was a huge ass mountain lion, squatting in pounce position. she was kind of in a little overhang and could easily have taken my wimpy self (at that point) out in one leap.

it was May, and it's very likely she had cubs. mountain lions don't kill their victims. they wound and mal them of course and then drag them to their spot and cover them up with whatever, to of preserve the bodies, so they keep longer and fresher. i would have made a nice feast for her babies and her i'm sure.

with mt lions, you're supposed to act all big and vicious and loud, so i managed to put forth some sad and lame vocal factor and just raised my hands up and backed away (not supposed to lose eye contact with them). yeah, i'm sure i looked so damn intimidating. i weighed about 90 pounds at that point and this awsome thing weighed at least 160, probably more.

eventually i got out of her sight (well, to my knowledge)..and ran a few miles to the nearest road and and walked back to my sister's place that way. yeehaw.

that was a rush, good stuff. and awsome to see a mountain lion in the wild. amazing creatures. the best part is that in this area,the species hadn't been seen for more than a decade, so that was pretty cool to have been the first person to see one for a while.

long live the mountain lions!
 

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When I was five, my family and I were shopping in a small sporting good store, and a man came in to rob the store. He went to the cashier by the door first, and my parents didn't pay any attention because it sounded like the cashier knew him and was just having a regular conversation. A minute or so later, he came over to where my pregnant mom was with her five year old and three year old daughers. He pointed a gun at her face and demanded her purse. My dad was on the other side of the rack, but my mom was able to make eye contact with him. My dad told her, "Just give it to him." She handed it over, and the man split.

We spent most of the evening in the police dept, my parents telling what their story over and over. A few days later, a police officer came to my house with a sheet full of mug shots for my parents to identify the robber. My dad was asked to leave the room for a double-blind precaution. I saw who my mom identified, and not understanding the gravity of the situation, when my dad came back in, I pointed to the correct mug shot and annouced, "Daddy, Mommy voted for this man!"

Keep in mind that I was five years old at the time... And yes, the man was caught. He got out of jail two or three years ago.
 

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Well, I've been in accidents with cars, and tractors, fell of of walls, split my head open, stepped on nails etc...none 'life threatening' per se. but besides the 'impalement' (is that a word? It is now!), there was one other time that scares me to think about. The event itself was reckless, but the whole stupidity of it frightens me as much as anything else. I've told no-one about it besides my present g/f. The only other people who know are those involved.

We were in my cousin's house messing around, I must have been 14 or 15. Me, my two cousins and a friend of my cousin. As you do we were inside the house, cos it was lashing rain outside and there was nothing better to do. The usual horseplay went on until someone mentioned that my Uncle kept a shotgun in the house. I, being the tallest, got it down from on top of the wardrobe.

We all handled it etc....and I was putting it back when I got the urge to be stupid. I started pointing it at the others, I even aimed it at my cousin's friends head, and was going to click the trigger, but I stopped. I don't know why. Then I put the gun in my mouth, I can still taste the gun metal sour on my tongue. Again, I was going to pull the trigger. I didn't. I don't know why.

We all had assumed the gun was empty. I broke the barrels and found both loaded.

That was the closest I've ever come to dying. Ever.

I've never told anyone that and here I am sharing it with all and sundry. I feel kinda purged. It was a ****ing stupid thing to do, and I do not think of it often but when I do I nearly always cry.

[Edited for punctuation & clarity]
 

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When I was about 16 months, my older sister were cramming Smarties (USA: M&Ms) into my mouth. I was blue in the face when my mom discovered their attempted infanticide.

When I was 4, a fullsize housebrick fell on my head. Some kids were throwing it on into a tree and I was walking by underneath. That almost caused brain damage, but not death.

When I was 5, I was running around the house after my sisters (I held the infanticide grudge for a while) with a pencil in my hand. I tripped, fell, and have a scar on my right cheekbone from the impalement. Again, probably not going to kill me, but close...

When I was 16 my friend got a Fiero, a little sports care/death trap with the gas tank right behind the head of the one passenger seat. He was going to take me home after school, but we stopped off at work to collect our paychecks. I was going to leave with him but was bribed into working, so he left alone. As he pulled out of the driveway (without stopping) a truck, trying to make a yellow light, nailed the passenger side at about 50mph. My friend was knocked out of the car by the passenger-side door which is the only recent he survived the explosion. Anyone in the passenger side would have been dead on impact.

Then the cancer-thing, of course.

Rice - I'm hardly an anti-gun advocate, but your story is such a testimonial to tighter gun-control. I love my gun, but I love it being at the range, locked up in a secured locker, without any ammo in it, or the locker for that matter.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Max Power

Rice - I'm hardly an anti-gun advocate, but your story is such a testimonial to tighter gun-control. I love my gun, but I love it being at the range, locked up in a secured locker, without any ammo in it, or the locker for that matter.
You are damn right, I mean, only an idiot couldn't but say the same thing. Here in Ireland we don't have much of the 'gun-culture' I perceive as existing in the USA, but yeah the need for gun control here is becoming more and more apparant. It was about 15 years ago, so the notion of 'gun-control' really didn't exist here at all then. But, what stupidity out of me......
 

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Fell downstairs when I was 2-3 and put my head through a glass door ay the bottom of the stairs (can't remember it myself).

Walked though a shoping arcade in Bath, UK 20 minutes before an IRA bomb exploded in the early 1970's.
 

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Well, let's see. Got a few of these, though thankfully and only by the grace of God was I merely maimed.

Struck a 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood broadside while riding a 76 Harley Superglide (yeah, I know, AMF, patooey) at about 45 mph but fortunately sailed over the hood of the car and was launched quite a ways instead of getting crushed. End result - torn up knee, badly sprained wrist, gravel imbedded in my carcass, about 30 stitches. Still got some scars from that one . . . :blush:

I once hit an ice patch while leaning into a sharp curve at about 55 mph on a Honda CB 750 around 2 am, significantly impaired, of course. Both tires lost traction and I skidded for at least 15 yards but, again, somehow regained control and righted the bike without going down. I had to pull over and hyperventilate for a few minutes after that one; it was one of those incidents where everything went into slow motion and you suddenly have this real imminent sense of death. If I had gone down on that back road it could have been hours before I would have been found.

Fell off a galloping horse when I was about 8 or 9 and struck my head on a rock, was unconscious for over a day. Got the monster lump, 12 or so stitches, throbbing head and wooziness for a week or so. That could have been worse as well.

I stepped on a large copperhead while bird hunting in South Carolina once and it struck my ankle, but the tips of the fangs only sufficiently penetrated my sock and pant leg to just scratch the skin. There was a lot of venom on the inside of my jeans underneath the bite area though. Even a direct hit would not have likely been fatal to a strong young adult like I was in my 20s but it was a close call nevertheless.

Accidentally ran my right arm through those 70s era storm doors and severed skin on my thumb down to the bone. Had to take 2 units of blood in the ER and got over 100 stitches along with 2 skin grafts. Lesson learned, don't do quaaludes and whiskey.

Once totalled a 1969 Pontiac GTO at high speed when I was 16 by striking a car that ran a stop sign. A good friend in the passenger area broke his nose and a finger, I got a gash on the forehead from impact with the windshield and a cracked rib from impact with the steering column and was unconscious for a few minutes.

All that said, I've never been admitted to a hospital in my entire life, only got patched up in emergency rooms.

Rice Boy to my knowledge we've never spoken but I've got to tell you that I feel really insulted by this: "You are damn right, I mean, only an idiot couldn't but say the same thing. " With all due respect, I feel that opinons on the idiocy of others coming from one who sucked on a shotgun muzzle at all, much less without checking to see if it was loaded, is utterly worthless. That said, it sure does sound like gun control might be a good idea if you are around. I offer no offense, just a candid observation from one of the "idiots" that does not share your views on gun control at all.

Bank, now a grandfather and forever thankful that those days are behind me, while sometimes still cautiously checking to make sure they aren't creeping back up from the rear . . .
 

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I was kidnapped at Chuck E. Cheese's when I was 3. I don't remember it, but when my mom tells the story, she nearly has a panic attack. They closed off the whole strip mall for hours until they found me outside. One of the employees said he saw a man carrying me out, and I was kicking and screaming, and he figured the man was my father taking me out of the place because I was being bad. Heh.

My mom said she took me to the doctor and had me checked out, because I was "such a pretty baby" and she was afraid he tried to molest me. Luckily, I was okay.

I shudder to think that I've taken my life for granted so often when I very nearly could have lost it when I was 3.
 

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wow, those are all pretty scary. I think Chuck E Cheese's now gives a bracelet tag to the parent/adult that brings the child in (and to the kid), and the tag must be shown as the parent takes the kid home. Oddly, my dad was telling me about that yesterday, not sure why it came up either..

I think my only near death has been a hard candy that I was chewing on when I was about 4 or 5 years old . My mom says she saw me choking, and had to use the heimlich maneuver on me to get it out. I'm kinda glad that I don't remember that.
 

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I just came back (like 2 hours ago) from watching Final Destination 2. This movie is way more gory and creepy than the first one too, and after watching it and reading all these posts, I'm prolly gonna have some freaky dreams tonight


I think i'm gonna look for some Cartoon or something to put in and watch.. happy cartoon...
 

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OMG...after seeing the first one, I was terrified of flying and then not long after I had to fly to Colorado. Even before the first one I was already having nightmares of plane crashes...so, yeah, that movie ****ed me up. LOL I am morbidly wanting to watch the second. What's wrong with this picture??
 

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I don't think it was categorically a near-death experience, but I practically had my life flash before my eyes one time in Pennsylvania. My family and I were riding our bicycles in our Ohio-to-Boston trip in '99, and I was the only one of us riding a single-rider bike. We had just ridden up and coasted down the other side of a several mile-long mountain, and just after it leveled off in the valley, we had a highway overpass to climb. On the downhill side of the overpass, I had just reached 15 mph when my back wheel blew out. With all of the gear weight centered over the back wheel, I immediately went into an uncontrollable fishtail. It only lasted a second or two before I found myself bleeding and on the pavement, but it was awfully scary.

I found out upon fixing the flat that I hadn't actually run over something sharp-- when my dad had last adjusted the spokes on the wheel, some of the spokes had somehow not been properly positioned, and eventually the end of a spoke rubbed hole in the inner tube, causing the flat. We fixed it and moved on, and I now have the dubious distinction of having the first flat of the trip and the only actual wipeout for the whole trip.
 

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I've had several...... one was when I had been drinking a lot and then drove; I flipped my car driving along a mountain road. It was lucky I did it where I did because I was approaching a winding road that descended into a value. I also didn't have my seatbelt on. I was very lucky.

The other incidents mostly involved trains, railway tracks, railway tunnels, cuttings, viaducts and cliffs in the moutains..... like the freight train at night that came suddenly bearing down on me through a cutting and I had to dive into the ditch at the side of the tracks; or the time I was on a rail bridge and what I thought was the wind in the valley was a train coming along (think Stand By Me); and the time I was stuck on a cliff a little above a passing express train, holding on and trying to not fall.

Always fun times though; really gets the adrenalin pumping.
 

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Well, because I was half drunk at the time and didn't feel like being called an idiot, since I don't agree at all with your position and that's clearly what you claimed. However, in the light of day I interpret it more as just a statement of opinion and now I'm much less provoked. Sorry for the flame . . .
 

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I have been in a car that caught on fire and burnt to a crisp.

I have also been sailing and have dumped, and been caught in the rigging. The thing 'deathrolled on me' (good name for good reason) and I got stuck. That's when instead of the boat tipping away from you it tips onto you.

It plunged me underwater, which happens often, but once under I realised not only was I stuck under the sail, and being kept there, but the main lines were tightly wrapped around my ankles and the boom was pushing them and thus me deeper underwater.

I had to force myself to stay calm and untie the ropes, rather than allowing myself to panic- my first reaction.

My BF Trev has way better stories than me though.

When he was about 19 or 20 he rolled his Honda Civic completely over about 3 times. There was a carbon monoxide leak and he passed out cold, slumped onto the gas, ran off the road, and up the embankments beside the highway.

When he woke up the next day in hospital they weren't sure if he would ever walk again.

ALSO:

When he was about 3 or 4 and living in the Toronto area all the kids around would play in this neat fort in this neat ravine by their house. Trev was allowed to go as the tag-along little bro, to his big bro, who was about 7.

AS they were playing one day a man they didn't know showed up and grabbed Trevor. HE told them all to be quiet or he'd kill them all. Then he duct taped Trevors arms and legs and mouth and told his brother if anyone moved, Trevor would die and it would be all his fault.

Trev remembers the guy telling him if he made any noise he'd "Never see his Mummy and Daddy again" and he still maintains that's about the scariest thing a kid could ever hear.

ONe smart (and quiet) kid snuck away as this was happening and got the nearest person (one of the kid's dads) to help. As the man was running away with Trevor tied up and flipped over his back this Dad came screaming up and yelling. The kidnapper panicked and dropped Trevor on the ground and ran off, just before getting to his van.

Trev was fine, but DAMN that's scary!!
 
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