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Top Ten Pathetic Injuries

In Injuries, Top Ten on February 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

A good friend of mine recently broke her foot. We went out for lunch and while she was hobbling about on crutches, well-meaning passers by stopped her to ask how she had done it. She was able to reply with a slightly smug “Well, I was running cross country…”

I have never ran a race in my life, cross country or otherwise. I am, however, horribly prone to pathetic accidents. Here are my top ten injuries, accompanied by the embarrassing stories of their causes.

10 – The Time I Was Given A Black Eye By A Pizza Box

We are in the kitchen of a student halls. It is very late (or very early, depending on perspective). There is a fairly large group of us sat around the table. We are discussing the ‘hijinks’ of the evening, and prolonging actually having to go to bed. Earlier in the evening, someone had ordered pizza and the empty box still sits on the table. A friend of mine, expressing discomfort at the state of the kitchen, picks up the pizza box and frisbees it. A corner comes into direct contact with my eye. It is surprisingly painful.

9 – The Time I Burnt My Wrist During An Argument

We are, again, in a kitchen. This time it’s the kitchen of a Glaswegian tenement flat and there are only two of us. We are arguing about something we won’t remember later, and I, to show my greater maturity, turn my attention to the dinner in the oven. Halfway through removing the dinner, I turn my attention back to the argument and as a result my wrist comes into prolonged contact with the baking tray. And THAT was YOUR fault!

8 – The Time I Fell Off A Bike Into A Log And Ended Up With Two Black Eyes

We are in the highlands of Scotland, on bikes, in an organised group. I am a grumpy teenager and do not like bikes, or organised groups. It has been raining. The rest of the group cycle gracefully down a slight grassy slope and around the corner. I follow and am thrown off my bike and face first into a log fence while my bike goes gracefully around the corner. I am known as “bruiser” for the rest of the holiday.

7 – The Time I Poured Water From The Kettle On to My Hand

We are chatting while I make a cup of tea. The kettle clicks itself off and I pick it up without pausing the conversation. I miss the mug and instead pour boiling water directly onto my other hand. It has to be wrapped by a doctor. A day later we move house. Bizarrely, I am given the responsibility of making hot drinks for the builders.

6 – The Time I Was Bitten On The Shoulder By A Toddler

We are in a bathroom, in the Alps, in France. I am an au pair and bath time is nearly over. The little girl in the bath stands up and holds up her arms. I lift her. Halfway through the lift, for no discernible reason, the little girl sinks her teeth deep into my shoulder. She breaks the skin and leaves a nasty purple scar. I do not know the French word for ‘bite’.

5 – The Time I Dropped A Knife On My Foot

We are in the kitchen, chopping fruit for a smoothie. I drop the only sharp knife we have and it falls, point down, onto my foot. I pick up the knife and think I have been lucky. I continue with the smoothie making until I realise my sock is wet. I take off my sock and find a lot of blood. I nearly faint.

4 – The Time I Crushed The End of My Finger In A Patio Door

We are late for school and I am outside feeding the guinea pigs. I rush back in and slam the heavy patio door. The door is shut and all is well until I realise my finger is in the hinge. I have to open the door again to get my crushed finger out. We go to A&E and I miss a school trip to the Safety Zone.

3 – The Time I Broke My Wrist Running Down A Slope

We are in the Czech Republic, in a tent, on holiday. We are bored. I throw a football down a neighbouring slope and tell my brother to run after it. He does. He returns and throws the football down again. This time, I run after it. Halfway down, my foot catches and I fall, wrist first, onto the concrete at the bottom. My wrist swells to three times its normal size and we visit Czech A&E.

2 – The Time I Broke My Wrist Tripping Over My Skipping Rope

We are in the playground, in summer. I am annoyed at my five-year-old playmates so I commence a violent circuit of run skipping around the playground. When I reach the snakes and ladders floor mural, I trip over my skipping rope and land on my wrist. I do not complain for a week. It is later confirmed that my wrist is broken.

1 – The Time I Broke My Collarbone Having a Piggyback

We have been out celebrating a friend’s birthday. I have a new boyfriend and new shoes. One of them is hurting my feet, so I ask the other to give me a piggyback. For thirty seconds this is successful, but then I start to slip. Someone in the group gives me a powerful ‘boost’. I fall over the top of the new boyfriend’s shoulders and my collarbone hits the pavement. After meeting me at A&E, my mother forbids me from piggybacks for life.

by Katie Anderson
Katie Anderson is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. She blogs at and tweets a lot @KtAndersonBlogs. Later this year, she will be getting married to a man in a skirt. (Sorry, kilt).


Top Ten stupid things I’ve done while drunk

In Injuries, Terrible Things, Top Ten on February 1, 2012 at 7:57 am

Being a thirty year old man with a slightly obsessive personality means that I have got drunk a lot in my life. Being someone who used to study Performing Arts before spending years as a wannabe writer means that I’ve done a lot of silly things while being drunk. I am certainly not proud of all of them, but some of them are kind of interesting. Maybe. I don’t know, that’s for you to decide, I guess. I have listed them in no particular order, apart from number one, which is probably the stupidest.

10) The Time I Got My Friend To Stub Cigarettes Out On My Hand. 

You know what it’s like. You’re a guy, you get to a certain age, you realise you don’t have any scars (which, for some reason, in your drunken state, you feel is a bad thing), you ask a mischievous friend to stub cigarettes out on the back of your hand. Cue pain, massive blisters that last for 2-3 weeks and you telling everyone that you did it on a grill, because when sober you realise that actually, that was a really dumb thing to do. AND you can only see the scars if you really look for them, so it didn’t even work on a “Hey, ladies, look at my sexy scars,” level, which, let’s face it, it wouldn’t have anyway.

9) The Time I Threw My Phone Onto The Top Of A Building. 

At the time, it felt really good. I was pissed off with some friends and so stormed off out of the pub I was in and went to meet some work mates in a club. I was getting texts from the people I’d left asking me to come back, was I okay, etc etc, as you would if your friend just left in a huff. My reaction to this was to throw my phone on top of the club I met my work mates in. Not turn it off, not ignore it, not any of those rational things, no. I flung it as far as I could.

Which was fine for a few days, until I needed a phone again and had to buy a new one. I hate phone shops, although when I told the phone shop assistant why I had thrown my phone on the roof of a building (yeah, I don’t know why I told her either), she said she would’ve thrown the phone at her mate’s head. At least I didn’t do that.

8) The Time I Did Tequila Slammers “Rich Style.” 

I used to work with a guy called Rich who was from New Zealand. One time when we went out drinking, he bought us tequila slammers. I licked my hand in preparation for the salt. “Oh, no mate, we’re not doing them like that. We’re gonna do these how I do them back home.” Rich started to pour salt onto the bar and separate it into lines. “Right. Now, what you’ve gotta do is snort the salt, then you take the lemon and squirt it into your eyes, then you’ve gotta find your tequila and down it.”

If it sounds like it would hurt, that’s because IT REALLY FUCKING HURTS.

Rich and his friends “Back home” are clearly masochists of the highest order.

Possibly the stupidest thing about this though, is that even after I had done it and knew how bad it was, I managed to get talked into doing it a second time.

Seriously, it’s like the drinking equivalent of medieval torture. It’s the second closest I’ve come to a near death experience in a single drink.

Yes, the second, because the first goes to…

7) The Time I Drank Petrol. 

Now, to be fair this was a total accident and kind of not my fault. Well, okay, it was totally my fault, but it was an accident.

My girlfriend at the time had a car and for some reason we had got her Jerry Can out of the boot. It was empty, so I pretended to be a tramp drinking petrol. As I made a comedy drinking sound, swung my head and the Jerry Can back, a rather large trickle of petrol went into my mouth and straight down my throat.

Drinking petrol is a very odd sensation. It sort of burns, but I remember that fading relatively quickly. No, the real thing that fucks you up with petrol is how it feels. You know how when you drink a neat shot of something really strong, and you sort of feel like you want to cough out the lining of your mouth and throat for a couple to a few seconds? Imagine that feeling, but in your oesophagus and stomach, and imagine it lasting for a couple of hours. It makes you feel VERY odd, and you can feel it in your stomach. It’s pretty uncomfortable.

I probably shouldn’t have carried on drinking after that. That was the night I stole my friends bike and nearly got hit by a car because I hadn’t turned the lights on, then returned to the party in full “Apocalypse Now” mode, saying the Vietcong were in the trees and they were going to kill us.

The hangover was hideous.

Anyone thinking of drinking petrol, DON’T. SERIOUSLY. IT WILL FUCK YOU UP.

6) The Time I Wrote All Over My Body In Permanent Marker. 

Not a massive amount to explain about this one really. I got drunk, took my clothes off, and covered myself in permanent marker scrawls. Which didn’t wash off properly for days. So for the best part of a week I had things like “Feel my taste!”, “The man of atlantis!” and “Ask me for the shoes!” on me. I know it’s not much compared to the others on this list, but it was one of the longest lasting things I have done while drunk, and it was pretty dumb.

Also, the two friends I was with that night were also involved in…

5) The Time I Made My (Then) Girlfriend Think I Was About To Have A Threesome With Two Of My Best Friends. 

Yeeeeeeeeah, this was certainly not the cleverest thing I’ve ever done.

See, me and my friends Bonnie & Clyde (okay, that’s not their real names) went through this phase when we were all free and single of going round to Bonnie’s place, getting really drunk, and taking our clothes off. There was nothing sexual about it at all, we just liked being drunk and naked. On the night in question, we hadn’t done this for years.

After a boozy night out, Bonnie, Clyde, Bardot (my then girlfriend, also not her real name) and myself all went back to Bonnie’s to carry on drinking. Bardot and me were planning to stay the night there, and when Bardot went to bed, old habits came back and the remaining three of us got naked.

Then Bardot walked in, as it turns out she hadn’t gone to bed, just to the toilet.

She walked in to find the three of us naked in Bonnie’s bedroom. What else was she going to think was happening?

I’ll spare you the grizzly details, but amazingly Bardot was still my girlfriend for about a year after that.

4) The Time I Fell Asleep On The Pavement Opposite My Flat. 

I’d been at a party until about four in the morning. Apparently I got very annoyed about something and started shouting a lot saying things like “Say goodbye to my cock!” I don’t remember this. I do remember phoning several people and leaving a variety of voicemails while I was walking home. Then I remember being woken up by a guy asking me if I was alright. I had at some point decided to lie down on the pavement on the other side of the road from my flat and had fallen asleep (why I couldn’t wait til I made the few extra steps inside and to my bed, I don’t know).

First thing I did was check my pockets. Astonishingly, I still had everything. Except for my keys. It was well gone five in the morning now, and I didn’t want to wake my Mum up, so I went to the park we live near and fell asleep on one of the benches. Mmmm, trampy.

I woke up again at just gone seven, absolutely freezing, realising that I should probably get at least a couple of hours in my bed, as I’m pretty sure turning up to work after sleeping rough is a bit of a faux pas. I decided that I had to go back and wake Mum up anyway. As I walked up the street to my flat, I found that my keys were on the pavement where I had been sleeping when that guy woke me up.

I felt really stupid, but also very lucky. And yes, work was pretty awful, but it wasn’t as bad as…

3) The Time I Started Taking Ecstasy At About 1.30am When I Had Work At 10. 

As bad ideas go, this is right up there with, oh, I don’t know, drinking petrol or something. Of course, at the time it felt great and made total sense. I was out for a mates Birthday, the night was still in full swing, yadda yadda yadda, all good fun.

Until the next day. You know how it feels when you’re at work and you have a really bad hangover? Imagine that times, I dunno, A THOUSAND, MAYBE? Working while coming down is one of the worst feelings ever. Oh, and I work in a shop, so there’s nowhere to hide. I had to deal with people all day while feeling like my body was being pulped and reformed into toilet roll or something.

I spent the next two days in bed. I felt hideous.

(It was kind of worth it though. That was a good night.)

2) The Time I Made One Of My Best Friends Think I Was In Love With Them When I’m Not. 

There isn’t really an amusing story with this one, I’m afraid. It was just a case of “I’m really drunk and can’t get my words out right,” which meant that a text which was meant to say, “I’m really pissed off with you for various reasons,” ended up coming across sounding more like I was professing some sort of long held longing for them. It’s strange how the odd word here and there can completely change the meaning of something. I’m still not sure they believe that I’m not in love with them.

1) My 27th Birthday.

My Birthday is in late March, the 27th in fact. Having a Birthday in late March sucks. It sucks because every fucker has a Birthday in March, coz all our parents got down to too much Summer lovin’. Bastards. Anyway, by the time my Birthday rolls around, everyone’s usually Birthdayed out, coupled with the fact that the 27th is usually just before people get paid. This combination of factors almost always leads to a quiet Birthday.

My 27th was different though. EVERYONE came out. It was amazing. I wasn’t used to this, and so got very carried away. I pretty much constantly had three drinks on the go because everyone was buying them for me.

This resulted in a great night, that ended a little… Well, a bunch of us ended up at my then girlfriend’s house (no, not the same one as the petrol and threesome incidents), to continue the fun. Well, I say fun, I mean I was talking to Audrey (again, not real name), not making any sense and then I blacked out and fell face first into her bedroom door. When I came to, I took off all my clothes and started chasing everyone around the house like some sort of alcoholic Benny Hill or something. Then I went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and blacked out again, falling face first onto her hard tiled bathroom floor. I did this two or three times.

Someone called an ambulance. Paramedics came round. I was amazed by their purple gloves. I sang Human League songs at them.

In hospital, I really pissed off a nurse by refusing to take my t-shirt off, “Because then you’ll see my nipples and they’re really ugly.” She responded by telling me that I would do what she told me to. Then she found the biggest needle she could and shoved it in my arm. Fair play. I was being a real prick.

I had concussion for a few days afterwards. Tip: Don’t go to work if you’re suffering from concussion. It’s horrible.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that little trip down my embarrassing memory lane.

By Paul Askew

Paul Askew writes and performs poetry, and is editor of Ferment zine. He regularly inflicts his imagination on audiences in Oxford and London. He’s starting to be allowed to do so in other places too, so watch out.

Top Ten Ways I Intend to Kill Myself

In Animals, Injuries, Music, Top Ten on January 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm





by Fat Roland

Fat Roland yarbs strange fiction wordoids at Italic Eyeball and flems on and on about music at Fat Roland On Electronica, for which he has grubbed awards. He piked in 2011 when he was commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize and now everythroob he does is downhole.

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.