Narrow Escapes

22 Aug

When we were kids, my brother owned a copy of The Book of Narrow Escapes. Aimed at children, it was full of stories about people who survived experiences like falling out of planes (as you do), or getting lost in the Amazon: always follow a river downstream to civilization was the advice, though how a child – or this adult – knows the difference between upstream and downstream escapes me, and not narrowly, either.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure that book, full of horror stories along the lines of Alive! was suitable reading for kids.  Unless I’m thinking like a be-fair-everyone-has-to-come-first-and-be-safe millennial.  Or a mum.

This morning, I was humming the tune to the seventies’ show Black Beauty because of a Facebook meme I’d seen, and that got me thinking that I read Black Beauty as a child and found it tedious, but loved The Book of Narrow Escapes – me, who never took a risk in her life unless it involved eating my weight in chocolate and thus the possibility of an obese, diabetic future.

As I was on the loo while all of this thinking was happening, that naturally reminded me of my own narrow escape, about twenty years ago: I went to the loo one day, finished, stood, turned around, and there were two wasps, flying around the neck of the bowl!  Talk about a squeaky bum moment.  To this day, I can’t sit on the loo without first inspecting it.  Thoroughly.  So if I visit your house and you catch me at it 1) I’m looking for stinging insects, not dirt and 2) why are you in the bathroom with me?

Do you have your own squeaky bum moment to share?

5 Responses to “Narrow Escapes”

  1. Judy August 22, 2017 at 15:02 #

    Thank goodness you didn’t pee on them, Tilly.

    as a college freshman: i was on a double date one night, and we had all gone for a drive: part of the trip was around a small pond around which a road curved, forming a perfect horseshoe. We stopped on the side of the road to go admire the pond. As we were crossing the highway we heard a car coming at a ferocious rate, roaring around the road on the far side of the pond. The noise was numbing. I tend to go catatonic when faced with loud noises, and just froze in middle of the road, stunned. My date yanked me to the edge of the road just as the car roared by. I doubt if they even saw us.
    It’s the kind of thing you think about now and then, and realize anyone struck at that speed would be bits from here to everywhere.

    I look both ways, now. Faithfully.


  2. Bridgesburning Chris August 22, 2017 at 18:30 #

    Only story is when I was about eleven and went to Girl Guide camp. Outdoor loos you know. Angst filled occasion each time a trip was necessary. One afternoon I vacated the outhouse giving thanks that I survived when I happened to look at the ground as I passed the loo! A snake! A hideous had to be a hundred foot long reptile crawling out of a hole in the side of the outhouse. I was so terrified I can’t remember ever going to the bathroom again while at camp.


  3. slpmartin August 22, 2017 at 18:56 #

    Hmm…I must have had a boring childhood…can’t think of anything as good as these stories.


  4. colonialist August 22, 2017 at 22:05 #

    My loo classic involved an outside toilet at The Heads when I was young. I entered on an urgent mission, dropped my pants and sat, and was just about to commence the much-needed performance when I glanced up and saw a simply enormous boomslang (poisonous tree snake) leering down at me from the rafters. I left without pants or dignity.


  5. catterel August 25, 2017 at 10:22 #

    Not my story, but a friend’s: In the Bahamas, while sitting on the throne, she became aware of activity beneath her. Jumping up fast, she discovered a large frog desperately leaping around trying to get out. Not sure which of them had the narrow escape – probably both!


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: