Interesting Top Ten Lists

Top Ten injuries I have sustained due to my own stupidity

In Injuries, Top Ten on January 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

This list is inspired by my own inability to survive day to day life. As a man predestined to clumsiness & injury I find myself dodging death on a daily basis. As such, I have amassed a catalogue of scars and whimsical tales, the top ten of which are here in this list. I have picked these ten out of my many mishaps in recognition of their relation to a) my own stupidity, b) damage done / scars received and c) hero factor…all of the following events are real and only slightly exaggerated (exaggerations denoted by asterisks*).

Often, when asked, “how did you get that scar?” many people may reply with something that instils a certain level of sorrow or awe. For example: “I was injured in the war” or “I was attempting the most dangerous stunt ever performed” Few of my mishaps have afforded me this level of glory. Here are some of my foolish self injuries:


Location: Forehead

Type of injury: Tom & Jerry style bump.

I walked straight into a lamp-post when I was seven and knocked myself clean out. I woke up in the hospital with a bump on my head the size of an apple*. Apparently one of the people who helped my poor old Ma take me to hospital was an old Sunderland footballing legend. But I’d never heard of him. He did buy some sweets from the hospital shop though, which was nice. He also gave me some more on the way to school once. He threw a full bag of blackjacks out of a third storey flat. Hope he wasn’t a paedo.


Location: Bottom of big toe, right foot.

Type of injury: Scar.

As a young child we never had radiators, and my house was always bloody freezing. So I imagine my exhilaration when my parents forked out for a proper central heating system. Also I have always suffered from cold feet. One cold winter morn, drinking my hot chocolate and watching Live & kicking I decided to warm my feet on the radiator, which was one of those corrugated ones with a thin strip of metal at each end. My foot slipped, slicing it open and gushing blood all over the room*. Needless to say, my poor old Mother was less than impressed (under-exaggeration).



Location: Knuckle

Type: Scar

How I got this one isn’t really funny or remarkable. I was working in a hotel bar, and had gone to the fridge for more limes; I cut my knuckle, quite deeply at some point during the journey as there was a long trail of blood through the hotel. However I hadn’t realised I’d cut myself at all. It didn’t hurt. The real fun came when a customer almost drank her G & T until she realised there was blood on the lime in her drink. Cue my second trip to the hospital in a fortnight. The skin had to be glued back together, and a lot of food had to be thrown out, as well as a free round of drinks for the horrified merrymaker.


Location: Small of back…just above the arse.

Type of injury: Scar.

In my teens I had a habit of coming home drunk and making a lot of noise trying t, much to my parents’ delight. But my worst habit was falling asleep face down in the shower inebriated.

Upon waking after a particularly heavy session I attempted to clamber to my feet, completely misjudged my distance from everything else, especially the tap. Which tore almost a pound of flesh* out of my back…just above the arse.


Location: Right arm

Type of injury: More Scars.

I’ve never had a posh bicycle, being from the North East, and as such the brakes on mine didn’t really have the effect they were supposed to. But that wasn’t the problem as I was used to the brakes and was almost always able to stop myself in time to avoid accidents by hitting both the front and back brakes together. So when I borrowed my friend’s dad’s bike, with brakes strong enough to stop the Batmobile on an ice rink in a second*, well the result was a truly spectacular Chaplin-esque forward flip followed by a 2 metre long surf along a gravel path covered in broken glass, courtesy of my right arm. It looked like it’d been through a bacon slicer. Epic fail.


Location: Foot
Type: Scalding

When working in a restaurant, if you are going behind someone it is common courtesy to shout ‘Round!’ or ‘Behind!’ when going round corners or standing behind people, especially when there are plates or drinks involved. Long story short, a lack of common courtesy resulted in a cup of scalding water falling onto my foot, burning a layer of skin from it. After sitting in the office with my foot in a bucket of iced water for two hours I got a taxi home and a week off work. I spent that week sat on a bean bag, playing Xbox and getting my flatmate and girlfriend to cook, clean and shop for me. Every cloud…


Location: Head, neck, back, right leg, right arm.
Type of injury: Bleeding, bruising, swellings, stiffness and lack of mobility.

I got hit by a car. I don’t know how it happened. I was crossing a busy road with no pedestrian lights. Everything went black. Next thing I knew, I was flat on my back. I stood up, proclaimed myself to be uninjured and went to work, blood pouring from the back of my skull, did a 9 hour shift and went to bed. Absolute foolishness, only the next day, when I tried to get out of bed and couldn’t do, did I realise the extent of my injuries. I could have put in a claim or something. Anyway a friend of a friend apparently saw it happen, he recognised me but couldn’t quite place me at the time. Reportedly, the car was doing 40 mph and I am lucky to be alive. One would have thought this would make me more careful around busy crossroads; however the end result is a heightened sense of invincibility and the recurring drunken slur ‘I’m harder than a car’ which almost certainly isn’t true.


Location: Lip

Type: Scar

Stumbling home after a night out in Sunderland I was set upon by a ruffian who materialised as if from the shadows, he hit me in the lip, splitting it open and ruining a perfectly good suit jacket/shirt combo. The punch sobered me up however and I retaliated with a blind swing that, as fortune would have it, connected with his nose and ended the conflict. My step-dad had to take me to hospital. It resulted in six stitches which had to be removed in 2 weeks. I returned to hospital (this time in Manchester) only to be told I had to get on a waiting list. Having none of this nonsense I went home, got the vodka out, I bit the sides off my shaving razor and used the blade to cut the threads and thread it out myself. Sensible? No. Did it get the job done? Yes. Does it make for a good story? I like to think so.


Location: Arms & legs

Type: Nettle stings

Extra factor: Hilarious damage to my good friend, Steve.

After a particularly boozy night out, a friend and I started walking home on a particularly cold night. On our way we lamented at the fact that we had to walk a long distance around or old school rival’s school: Thornhill (Bastards). It had low fences and we didn’t envision there being too much of a problem getting through the grounds so over the fence we went and into the grounds.  I lost my friend, Steve. A minute later I heard a smashing window sound. Steve, in his infinite wisdom, had pulled a light from a JCB and used it as a flail to smash the window of a workman’s prefab. When I arrived on the scene he was covered in blood. I saw a first aid kit inside the prefab and clambered in to grab it. After patching Steve up we continued on our quest, confident that home was just over the next fence (this time a high, spiky fence). What was actually over the next fence was a field of nettles. So that wasn’t exactly the highlight of the evening. Beyond the field of nettles we encountered a stream. Steve thought he could jump it… he tried, he couldn’t. Luckily for me I found a small wooden bridge traversing the stream.

When we got home we had to take turns using nettle-sting cream and applied better dressings for Steve’s injuries.

I guess this makes me a criminal. Aiding and abetting an unsuccessful would be thief and actually performing the robbery myself.

Our conclusion from this night is that we are the world’s worst thieves. We only managed to steal the provisions we needed to survive the robbery: a first aid kit.
Truly, crime doesn’t pay.


Location: Right Arm

Type: Gash

Extra factor: Hilarious situation involving my good friend, Paul

Ok, same school, same reason, different fence, different friend.

I’d learned my lesson from last time…sort of. We avoided the nettles and found a street.

We got all the way through the school, nobody tried to break anything, nobody tried to steal anything. We got to the last fence but this was one of those tall ones, with spikes at the top. I went first, being the more experienced climber. I would have made it but as I descended on the other side my arm trailed behind me and was caught on the sharp spikes. This resulted in a ripped shirt and a lot of blood. I was busy tending to my arm when I heard Paul’s voice…”er…help?”

I turned round to find that he had his hands placed in between the spikes, his feet were scrabbling on the fence and the spike was less than an inch from going up his arse. Now a good friend would have suppressed his laughter and rushed straight to the rescue.
A bad friend would burst out laughing and write about it on a public blog 9 years later.

Magically, I am still alive. I’ve never broken, fractured or sprained anything. I put this down to a high intake of milk as a child.

by Graeme Calvert

Graeme Calvert is an amateur stuntman and guitarist. He currently resides in Manchester with his partner and his pet rat, Dave, who loves heavy metal.

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