Writing up life’s little ironies…

HTWB disasters 1If you think your week ahead might be difficult, rejoice in the following stories of folks who had real problems.

The following allegedly true reports come under the heading of “natural disasters” or “Life’s a Bitch,” all written up in their local news media…

A fierce gust of wind blew 45-year-old Vittorio Luise’s car into a river near Naples, Italy, in 2003. He managed to break a window, climb out and swim to shore-where a tree blew over and killed him.

Mike Stewart, 31, of Dallas, Texas, was filming a movie in 2003 on the dangers of low-level bridges when the truck he was standing on passed under a low-level bridge – killing him.

Walter Hallas, a 26-year-old store clerk in Leeds, England, was so afraid of dentists that in 1999 he asked a fellow worker to try to cure his toothache by punching him in the jaw. The punch caused Hallas to fall down, hitting his head, and he died of a fractured skull.

George Schwartz, owner of a factory in Providence, R.I., narrowly escaped death when a 2010 blast flattened his factory except for one wall. After treatment for minor injuries, he returned to the scene to search for files. The remaining wall then collapsed on him, killing him.

A man hit by a car in New York in 2007 got up uninjured, but lay back down in front of the car when a bystander told him to pretend he was hurt so he could collect insurance money. The car rolled forward and crushed him to death.

Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, a thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall, dropped down and found himself in the city prison.

In 2006 a twenty-two-year-old Irishman, Bob Finnegan, was crossing the busy Falls Road in Belfast, when he was struck by a taxi and flung over its roof. The taxi drove away and, as Finnegan lay stunned in the road, another car ran into him, rolling him into the gutter. It too drove on. As a knot of gawkers gathered to examine the magnetic Irishman, a delivery van ploughed through the crowd, leaving in its wake three injured bystanders and an even more battered Bob Finnegan. When a fourth vehicle came along, the crowd wisely scattered and only one person was hit – Bob Finnegan. In the space of two minutes Finnegan suffered a fractured skull, broken pelvis, broken leg, and other assorted injuries. Hospital officials said he would recover.

HTWB disasters 2While motorcycling through the Hungarian countryside, Cristo Falatti came up to a railway line just as the crossing gates were coming down. While he sat idling, he was joined by a farmer with a goat, which the farmer tethered to the crossing gate. A few moments later a horse and cart drew up behind Falatti, followed in short order by a man in a sports car. When the train roared through the crossing, the horse spooked and bit Falatti on the arm. Not a man to be trifled with, Falatti responded by punching the horse in the head. In consequence the horse’s owner jumped down from his cart and began scuffling with the motorcyclist. The horse, which was not up to this sort of excitement, backed away briskly, smashing the cart into the sportscar. At this, the sports-car driver leaped out of his car and joined the fray. The farmer came forward to try to pacify the three flailing men. As he did so, the crossing gates rose and his goat was strangled. At last report, the insurance companies were still trying to sort out the claims.

An unidentified English woman, according to the London Sunday Mail, was climbing into the bathtub one afternoon when she remembered she had left some muffins in the oven. Naked, she dashed downstairs and was removing the muffins when she heard a noise at the door. Thinking it was the baker, and knowing he would come in and leave a loaf of bread on the kitchen table if she didn’t answer his knock, the woman darted into the broom cupboard. A few moments later she heard the back door open and, to her eternal mortification, the sound of footsteps coming toward the cupboard. It was the man from the gas company, come to read the meter. “Oh,” stammered the woman, “I was expecting the baker.” The gas man blinked, excused himself and departed.

What has been your most embarrassing moment in your life? Please share (anonymously if you prefer!)

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is coming soon)…

photo credit: torbakhopper via photopin cc
photo credit: Dave Hamster via photopin cc




  1. Great stuff Suzan! Good timing too, having a very bad pain kinda day.

    Most embarrassing moment. Hmm, ok got one.

    I was shopping with my Mom in a mall when I noticed 2 guys about my age following us. I mentioned it to my Mom and she didn’t believe me. Told me I was flattering myself. I swore they wanted to talk to me, or something. Neither approached us though.

    This went on for nearly an hour. My mom still didn’t believe me when I repeated that I just knew they were following me around.

    When we were finally walking through Sears to where she parked the car, only one guy was following. I was feeling really nervous and wanted to get in the car and GO already.

    As we were pulling up to the red light waiting to cross the street (in the car), one guy comes running across the parking lot toward us. This guy (yeah he was cute), ran up the window. I’m feeling really small in my car seat now, wanting to disappear. I slowly rolled the window down. He handed me a bouquet of wrapped flowers and told me to read the note. Smiled, then walked off.

    I turned to my Mom and said, “I told you!” My Mom just stared. A girl just knows these kinda things, right? Well, the flowers were roses. The card had his phone number. Yes, I called him. I might have been 16 or so. I was SO embarrassed, but in a good way.