Ever nearly kill yourself as a kid? Tell me about it!

Bonus points if you escaped death at the hands of your own stupidity only to be faced with a furious parent.

When I was, oh, possibly nine, I saw some character on an action-adventure show–it might have been Wonder Woman–escape from a jail cell by sticking a fork into a power outlet, wrapping wire around it, and creating an electric arc that he used to cut a hole in the cell bars. (Why there was an open outlet in a cell was never explained.) I thought I’d try it. I had a power outlet in my bedroom, of course, and my parents had just put bars on the windows, and it had worked on TV, so it MUST have been safe, I thought…

Well, the outcome wasn’t good for me. I only escaped a whipping because my father figured getting knocked out was by the shock was punishment enough.

Anybody else?

8th grade gym class. Gymnastics week. We were supposed to climb up a wall that was maybe 5 feet tall, jump off, land on our feet on a mat, and do a somersault. I thought it’d be cool to do a mid-air flip like a ninja. (Hey, it was 1985. Ninjas were the height of cool.)

Turns out a chubby 8th grader can do exactly one half of a flip from that height. I landed on the back of my neck. I was briefly paralyzed from the swelling, but turned out to be fine. Although I still have neck stiffness to this day.

Somewhat along the same lines as the OP, only mine was accidental. Trying to unplug a vacuum cleaner when I was 8 or so, I managed to drop my fingers across both prongs of the plug while it was still connected. ZAPPP! Mom managed to knock the wires from my hands with a broom.

I’m leery of electrons to this day.

Um…you realize that the Web’s pretty nothing but trained electrons, right? :dubious:

But they are trained electrons. It’s the wild ones you have to watch out for. :smiley:

Picture a split-level house, with the front porch & front door about 6 feet off the ground. Picture ~15 year old Jim on a ladder on said porch paiting above the light, about another 6 - 8 feet off the porch for a total heigh of 14 feet or so.

A wasp does a fly-by. (No sting, mind you, just a quick ‘buzz the tower’ deal.) Of course, I did the only logical thing you can do when you’re suspended precariously in the sky & a wasp flies by.

I jumped. Backwards. I simply let go of the ladder & pushed off for the wild blue yonder.

The miraculous part is that I managed to turn around 180-degrees in mid-air & land on the porch railing instead of plummeting to my death and/or several broken bones.

Suddenly I realise that most of my childhood escaping-near-death experiences have involved some form of skidding. One incident involves a flight of stairs, a cardboard box and some impulse to ride the same box down the stairs. Somehow I got down the stairs without the box cathing on one of the steps and flinging me headfirst down the rest of the stairs. Instead I continued in great speed down the hall to a dead stop with a chest of drawers. I guess I was too stunned from the impact to even notice my mother releasing fury over a cardboard box, a boy and an overturned chest of drawers.

Also, one winter, when rain and cold weather had turned the snow into a solid form we call “skare” (the snow is so hard you can walk on it), we raided on of the neighbours stack of materials. Here we found some pressed wallboard with a rough side and a smooth side. Perfect! This was a pretty big piece of board so it fitted four of us kids on it. Then we went to one of the hills merging into a long field going down towards the river. We figured this would be a long and nice ride with us slowing down in time before we would reach that far (and before we would have to walk too far back again). To cut a story of disasterous planning short, the board was too perfect, the snow was too hard, and we did not manage to decrease any speed. Instead we had to keep our limpbs well onboard and watch in horror as the river bank got closer, where we on the board would hit the river bank which by the snow had made a nice jump from which we were flung onto the river ice, crashing through it like rice paper. Luckily for us, it was shallow, and all we had to endure was getting up the steep river bank, the half hour walk back up the field and home to some explaining our wet and icy condition, and the fact that the neighbours wallboard was sticking out of the river like some ill performed piece of art.

I hope I never get kids…

Ninjas are always the height of cool!

I stuck a metal nailclipper into a socket. Why do kids find putting metal into sockets so appealing? I swear, everyone seems to have a story about sticking something into a socket and getting zapped. Luckily, I don’t even remember my “shocking” experience.

We had a swimming pool, and one spring we removed the cover to find that it was completely coated with algae. There was nothing to do but scrub it off by hand. When it got to the deep end, which was quite steep, I had to be on a rope. So I attached the rope to our garden tractor, which was about 10 feet from the pool, put it in gear (which I thought would keep it from moving), and lowered myself down. While scrubbing, I noticed I seemed to be getting lower, so I looked up and saw the tractor had rolled to the edge of the pool, 6 or 7 feet above me. Another couple of inches and it would have fallen on me. I still shudder when I think of that.

Dude, electrons are like elepants. (Why, the first three letters of both words are even the same.) They may SEEM trained, but they’re always just waiting for you to let your guard down so that they can attack.

I still shudder to think how stupid I was once as a kid. One of my friends lived in public housing and I went for a visit. At about the 4th or 5th level of the housing project, we climbed onto the outside balcony and walked along the ledge! One small slip and no more future. :frowning:

Don’t worry, they’re not contagious. :wink:

WHen I was 13 I tried to jump off a diving board through an inner tube. My face didn’t make it through. It slammed into the side and wenched my head backwards. Blacked out slightly and sank to the bottom. Luckily I came to quickly and was able to swim back up. I was the only one in the pool at the time also. My buddy had gone in to eat or something.

When I was in middle school i cut an electrical cord to a light in half with scissors. The electrical cord happened to be sitting in a pulddle of water, and I fortunately had plastic handles scissors. The flash blinded me and the shock knocked me on my ass. No lasting harm though.

Within a year of that, I fell off a bridge, head first, broke my wrist and did something to my chest that required exploratory surgery.

In the winters, we would climb to the top of some huge evergreens and jump out into the branches, falling to the ground, but slowed by the branches and snow. Most of the time at least.

Why yes, I did break a lot of bones as a child, why do you ask?

I made a “parachute” out of plastic bags and blue nylon washing line, like you take on holiday, and jumped out of a tree. The “parachute”, surprisingly, didn’t open or slow me down at all and I crashed straight into the ground. I don’t know how I didn’t hang myself with all those lines tied to my arms or break a bone on impact.

I also fell off a cliff when I was hiking with the Scouts in the Peak District.

Yes they are but mainly sexually transmitted.

I went to a friend’s house when I was about 10 to make some kind of elaborate map. However, we soon got bored, so we went outside to build a nice fire and throw in some spray containers (you know, the ones that say “don’t throw into the fire under risk of explosion”?).

Since the first one didn’t blow up, we threw in the second one. And that one sprung a cool leak and my friend (1 or 2 years older than me and far more experienced in these matters) told us it wasn’t going to blow up anymore. So, naturally, I approached the fire and stoked it a bit…

The worst part was that I was going to stay overnight at this friend’s house, so his mother decided a.) she wouldn’t take me to the hospital nor even to the doctor since it was just “superficial burns” and b.) she didn’t notify my parents :eek: and c.) she didn’t even drop me off at my parents’ house but at another friend’s house.

I’m lucky I don’t even have scars from that incident.

So how’d your Mom kill her? Pistol, butcher knife, or bare hands?

When I was six, I was floating down the river on a little raft when it swept under a car embedded on the bank (why this was I don’t know) My raft punctured and I was left clinging onto a car in a pretty fast current. My dad was further down the river and couldn’t hear me- I got very tired and came close to letting go when a man stepped out of nowhere (and later disappeared into nowhere) and saw my plight and flagged down my dad.

The second time I was probably 8 or so, I was a pretty gullible kid and I let my friend and her cousin talk me into playing “Cowboys & Indians”, complete with a hanging. My mother didn’t know until she saw the rope burns :eek: and I got in big, big huge spanking trouble and had to swear I would never do anything so stupid again.

When I was a toddler my dad was a bad, bad person and left the baby gate open. About 10 or 11 steps later, I had finally landed in the basement, howling my head off.

The funny part was I never knew of this until about a month ago when embarrassing story time came up. My dad had apparently called my godmother for help, and called my mom at work to meet us at the hospital. My mom couldn’t remember this incident at all and was outraged at my dad’s incompetence. He told her to call my godmother if she didn’t believe him, but she never did.