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Brown pants moments

Started by Dave, October 08, 2016, 05:02:03 AM

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Dave

What was the scariest moment in your life?

Was mine having a heart attack? Nope, long before that.

It was not even that day, in 1962, when we were confined to barracks and all off duty personnel were called in because of The Cuban Missile Crisis. In those days I was young, confident, brave and immortal.

It was a night in 1969.

Night shift in a fortified RAF communications centre, I was on duty in Systems Control but happened to be in the signals room, chatting in a quiet spell. Early days of very large and crude computers, we had one to route the signals but it was still paper tape and lots of people for much of the work.

In every room there was a speaker that bleeped once a second. So long as it kept bleeping no-one had yet turned the key and pressed the button. Like the ticking clock it was a familiar and ignored part of a fairly noisy environment.

Then the bleep stopped.

For 15 hour-long seconds every face was turned towards that little box on the wall.

Then it started again.

The Duty Signals Officer just said, "If any one needs to visit the toilets you all have a five minute break," then turned back to his novel.

Some left the room.
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74

Tank

If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
"Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt." ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

xSilverPhinx

Can't beat yours, but there have been a some in my life.

When I was a child, around 6 or 7, I shared a room with my sister who is a year younger. She would insist that the night light be on all through the night, which I remember hating, because I couldn't sleep as well when it was. The glow wasn't strong enough to allow me to read either, so it would mean what would seem like a night of endless boredom.
One night I had enough and convinced her that she could turn off the night light because I would protect her if monsters came. At that age I no longer believed that monsters were real, but she did, at the time. She reluctantly agreed.
In the darkness I almost immediately began to see what we would call "imaginations", silent and slender shadowy figures that would terrorise us, looming over our heads for what seemed like hours on end. In a nutshell, it was a really scary night.

More recently, being robbed at gun point a couple of times were other moments, although during the robberies my mind was actually quite clear and I didn't feel afraid, but after the fact, in relative safety, it dawned on me what I had been through. The second time the robber seemed to have been "altered", possibly high on drugs or something, and quite unpredictable.

Generally when I have to speak publicly I get really nervous, but that kind of irrational nervousness while actually physically safe is rather stupid and silly.     
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Dave

These moments often seem worse when things are out  your control. I have dangled from one hand 300 feet up a cliff with inadequate belay point am but then your brain is fully occupied with the dynamics of the situation.  But I had training and experience to back me up there.

Being confronted with a gunman is different, but you know that, one way or another, there will be result. My reaction would be to hand over whatever he wanted,  my life is worth far more than the total worth of my portable possessions!

In the situation I described  there was the knowledge that there was a great big bull-eye on top of the site.  Still,  had it been the worse case we would have known nothing about it. And there was absolutely nothing we could do except sit or stand and wait.

Now the bull-eye is the large circular building called GCHQ 7 miles up the road, that's where most of the UK's cyber spies lurk.
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74

Guardian85

The highest I've gotten on my personal brown pants index was July 23rd 2011, the day after the Utøya attack. I was on duty working security at the international ferry dock south of Stavanger when a naked man came running down between the rows of cars waiting to board. As this man drew closer to me I could tell that he was carrying something in his right hand. He stopped at approximately ten paces from me and pointed the object at me. It was a pistol.
As I was figuratively kissing my ass goodbye he pulled the trigger several times. No shot came.
Realizing he probably had a stoppage (and that I wasn't shot), I charged forward to get in striking range before he could rack the slide and chamber a fresh round.
At this point he turned to run and I tackle him. Bit of rolling on the ground and we separate with me holding the gun. He takes off.
As I move to secure te weapon, I finally see that it is a very realistic air gun. 

In hindsight it is more surreal and silly than anything, but at that time it was about a 9.0 on the BPS (Brown Pants Scale).


"If scientist means 'not the dumbest motherfucker in the room,' I guess I'm a scientist, then."
-Unknown Smartass-

Dave

Nasty.

You have strange people up there!
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74

Arturo

I had what the doctor called a "psychological meltdown". In that, I spoke to my friend's Dad (Mike) who asked me if I wanted some coffee, like he always does. Normally I accept, but it was making me feel anxious lately, so I politely say no. He asks me, "What?". I don't respond. I am starting to feel paranoid as if he was fighting me.

He leaves the room, I move chairs. I can hear him down stairs talking with his family and every thing he says, I can hear. As he says these things, "put it over there", I can see things moving. Then finally a switch happens, I feel my temples as if they were my brain sides and had switched sides.

At some point later that day, my friends and I make it to the store and they are checking out video games, to which I feel as if they are talking about me when they are referring to the games. All I can think is, "why are you doing this to me" and I become more scared as time goes on.

Mike picks us up from the store and I beg to go home, because being with them makes me paranoid. I get home and my Dad greets me as I black out. I start seeing colors and they seem like they are getting sucked out of my brain. This lasts for what I thought was a few seconds, until I wake up in a hospital and it's almost midnight. My Dad, and two of my Aunts are there. A Doctor comes up to my Dad and tells him it looks like I'm having a "psychological melt down" and want to send me to another hospital.

And that is my story.
It's Okay To Say You're Welcome
     Just let people be themselves.
     Arturo The1  リ壱

Buddy

Scariest moment for me was when I was grabbed by some crusty trucker while walking to my car from Walmart a few years ago. Thank Asmo he let go when I elbowed him but I still hate being by myself in the dark and refuse to go anywhere without my pepper spray.
Strange but not a stranger<br /><br />I love my car more than I love most people.

Tom62

In January 1998 I drove back from the Netherlands to Switzerland by car. Everything was fine until I reached Basel. There the "snowmageddon" started. Worst snowstorm I've ever been into. Could barely see anything in front of my eyes and the road as slippery as hell,  Basically you could only drive a car with snow chains on them. My car only had summer tires  (yes, my younger me was a bit stupid). Worst moment was when the car started sliding and I was barely unable to stop it crashing into the car in front of me. The anti lock breaking system kicked in and saved my life that evening. 
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

Pasta Chick

I have a bad history with lightening.

Those of you who have been close to a strike will be familiar with the sound of one. There's an electrical buzz and a loud snap, then the regular thunder roll which you're so close to, is backward. You hear it roll away from you.

When I was 12 or so, the family went to Yellowstone. Since it's literally a volcano, there are loads of attractions where the ground is completely unstable. The park has to keep them mapped and has boardwalks and clearly marked trails you cannot leave - a man was actually killed 1/4 mile off the trail this spring falling through to a thermal basin.

So we're on this 3 mile board walk going into a valley basin in the middle of the day, and about halfway in a storm kicks up. Within minutes it's clear it's going to be bad, and lightening starts raining down around us. Seconds between strikes. We had two directions to go, and no reasonable hope of outrunning the storm. We ended up walking a bit farther down to lower ground where there some scattered pines growing and crouching down on the boardwalk. The storm passed quickly with torrential rain and gave way to a normal sunny day.

Coupled with a few other strike incidents, I can't hear that pre-strike buzz and snap without going full instinct, no thought process fight or flight mode. Which is in itself pretty scary.

Dave

Actually I just remembered another of mine whilst reading Tom's tale.

Christmas 1970, two of us, still in the RAF, walking in the English Peak District. No snow forecast befire we started, sleeping in car, had to dig us and it out in the morning - all the way to the cleared main road, taking turns with the shovel and the driving.

That evening heading for a village in a valley from a higher road. Going a bit dicey, turned the corner onto the slope down to the valley bottom. Quarter of a mile of 10% gradient, solid rock to the right, six foot of grass and rubble to the left,  then 45o or steeper slope, half covered in beach ball sized boulders, all the way down on the left - with a 90o  left bend at the bottom.

All covered in smooth, white ice or compacted snow. We were already on it and rolling...

Eddie and I looked at each, faces same colour as the snow.  I shifted from 2nd into first gear, took my feet, very slowly, off the pedals and took a pinch grip of the wheel, with the very slightest of correcting tweaks. Managed to run the near side wheels just onto the grass verge for the last 50 ft and apply a very light handbrake.  Just slowed us enough to take the corner.

We sat there for a few minutes then drove to the pub and downed three whiskeys each before saying a word. Which might just have been a chorussed, "Shit!"

Still not as numbing as the first story - I had something to do.
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74

hermes2015

I lived in Beirut for three years in the late seventies. For various reasons we preferred to live in West Beirut, near the American University. This is a Muslim area, but it was more English than the predominantly French-speaking right-wing Christian parts of Beirut. There were intermittent periods of violence, with our part of the city under heavy shelling from the Christian side. I lay awake many nights hearing the horrible sound of neighbouring buildings being hit by shells. This was quite scary, because one kept wondering whether the next building to be hit would be ours.

On a few occasions I was passing through Palestinian refugee camps, on my way to the Lebanese University where I was lecturing, when the Israelis would fly over and bomb what they claimed were military targets. I saw a number of family homes destroyed. I always felt disconnected from reality – almost like watching a movie, but later of course I used to think that I was just lucky to have survived.  Forty years later I still have dreams where I relive some of those experiences.
"Who is to say that pleasure is useless?"
― Charles Eames

OldGit

My worst such moment was when I heard her husband open the front door. Leaping out of a window with brown pants is  really squidgy.

Dave

:snicker:

"You dirty old man!"

(Old British TV series joke)
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74

Dave

Quote from: hermes2015 on October 10, 2016, 08:36:17 AM
I lived in Beirut for three years in the late seventies. For various reasons we preferred to live in West Beirut, near the American University. This is a Muslim area, but it was more English than the predominantly French-speaking right-wing Christian parts of Beirut. There were intermittent periods of violence, with our part of the city under heavy shelling from the Christian side. I lay awake many nights hearing the horrible sound of neighbouring buildings being hit by shells. This was quite scary, because one kept wondering whether the next building to be hit would be ours.

On a few occasions I was passing through Palestinian refugee camps, on my way to the Lebanese University where I was lecturing, when the Israelis would fly over and bomb what they claimed were military targets. I saw a number of family homes destroyed. I always felt disconnected from reality – almost like watching a movie, but later of course I used to think that I was just lucky to have survived.  Forty years later I still have dreams where I relive some of those experiences.
Yes, that dissociation from reality's dangers is a common mental defence mechanism. But but can be very dangerous if one becomes too detached and walks through a cross fire area.

You maybe suffering mild PTSD, it can be treatable.
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
Passed Monday 10th Dec 2018 age 74