The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… Near-Death Experiences

Oh, this is not about white-lit tunnels and suchlike (which is just an optical effect the brain creates when it is in crisis) – this is about something REAL that affects us ALL, every day.

The thing is, as the below piece documents – death is always just a heartbeat away. Most of us will die in bed, some time during our seventies or eighties, however…

As stated below, a couple of months ago, my appendix blew up (obviously, if I had KNOWN this was the case, I would have sought IMMEDIATE medical help). After several days of agony (during which I hoped the pain would get bored and f*** off) my wife finally overrode my protests and called an ambulance.

I am now nearly recovered. But today, out of curiosity, I asked my medic how CLOSE I had been to DEATH when I first presented. He replied that septicemia would have taken me out in five more days.

So my wife saved me. However, back in ’57, it was my MUM who did the honours. She realised that her five-year-old was hallucinating – and that the “cold” the visiting doc had diagnosed a couple of days earlier had turned into something far worse.

She was right – it had become pneumonic.

In fact, had she not run off to the nearest payphone and LEANED on the doc to come out again IMMEDIATELY – it was a SUNDAY – my collapsing lungs would have polished me OFF by MONDAY.

And these are just TWO of the MANY bullets I have dodged In This Place.

As a professional driver for many years, covering nearly a million miles in every kind of vehicle, road and weather conditions – not to mention terrain and COUNTRY – I dodged a NUMBER then.

There was the time I was sitting at a red (urban) traffic light doing some paperwork. Since I constantly flick my eyes to the rear-view mirror, I was aware there was no traffic behind me – so when the light turned green, I remained where I was for the few seconds it took to finish said paperwork.

Then, with the light still green, I began to move forward, when – WHOOSH! A twenty-ton truck flew STRAIGHT across the junction in front of me.

He had to have crossed said junction at least TEN SECONDS after the light had turned red in his direction.

Since I was going the same way as him, we ended up having a CONVERSATION. However, he was contrite and explained that the road was unfamiliar to him and as he had rounded the bend on the approach to that junction, the SUN had hit him straight in the eyes and he had not SEEN the light. By the time he did, it was WAY too late to stop a twenty-tonner, so he had gritted his teeth and HOPED.

Myself being familiar with that approach, I knew he was telling the truth. So we shook hands and that was that.

However, had I NOT been doing that paperwork, I would have ended up as a BONNET ORNAMENT on his truck.

And this is one of a NUMBER of near-misses (an oxymoron) I could detail.

But getting away from traffic incidents – there are many other bullets I have dodged.

In just the last ten years: a fatal train crash where, had I chosen to travel first class (in the FRONT carriage) instead of second (back in coach 13) – you might well not be reading this now. Ditto had I been sitting in the same Hat Yai McDonalds I had sat in many times before – when it got BLOWN UP by terrorists. And then there is the resort I slept in that got WIPED OUT by the Boxing Day Tsunami (Indian Ocean: ten years and one day ago, as I type) just two weeks later.

But the REALLY creepy bit is those incidents I am UNAWARE of. Huh?

Okay, picture this: it is 1968 and I am walking down Oxford Street admiring the shop displays – and a girl with LONG legs and a SHORT miniskirt – when I bump into some bloke. “Hey, look where you’re going, you clot!” “Sorry, there was this chick…”

In short, this boor DELAYS me by five seconds – thus, by the time I reach the next intersection, the “don’t cross” sign is lit. And as I stand there, another errant motorist WHIZZES over the spot I would have OCCUPIED, but for that delay.

However I do not notice – since I am currently admiring ANOTHER Sixties babe.

Screw Kismet – the World is filled with ENDLESS possibilities. Right NOW, how many hospitals’ casualty departments – and MORGUES – are FILLED with people who would be having LUNCH, had they not stopped to talk to the postman – or have another coffee – before leaving their house?

ALL of our lives hang by a thread. And whether that thread SNAPS or not is often decided by the most INNOCUOUS thing.

So mind how you go.


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