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And You Thought YOU Were Having a Bad Day

* A fierce gust of wind blew 45-year-old Vittorio Luise's car into a river
near Naples, Italy, in 1983. He managed to break a window, climb out and
swim to shore -- where a tree blew over and killed him.


* Mike Stewart, 31, of Dallas was filming a movie in 1983 on the dangers of
low-level bridges when the truck he was standing on passed under a
low-level bridge -- killing him.


* Walter Hallas, a 26-year-old store clerk in Leeds, England, was so afraid
of dentists that in 1979 he asked a fellow worker to try to cure his
toothache by punching him in the jaw. The punch caused Hallas to fall down,
hitting his head, and he died of a fractured skull.


* George Schwartz, owner of a factory in Providence, R.I., narrowly escaped
death when a 1983 blast flattened his factory except for one wall. After
treatment for minor injuries, he returned to the scene to search for
files. The remaining wall then collapsed on him, killing him.


* Depressed since he could not find a job, 42-year-old Romolo Ribolla sat
in his kitchen near Pisa, Italy, with a gun in his hand threatening to kill
himself in 1981. His wife pleaded for him not to do it, and after about an
hour he burst into tears and threw the gun to the floor. It went off and
killed his wife.


* In 1983, a Mrs. Carson of Lake Kushaqua, N.Y., was laid out in her
coffin, presumed dead of heart disease. As mourners watched, she suddenly
sat up. Her daughter dropped dead of fright.


* A man hit by a car in New York in 1977 got up uninjured, but lay back
down in front of the car when a bystander told him to pretend he was hurt
so he could collect insurance money. The car rolled forward and crushed him
to death.


* Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, a thief fled out
the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall, dropped down and found
himself in the city prison.


* In 1976 a twenty-two-year-old Irishman, Bob Finnegan, was crossing the
busy Falls Road in Belfast, when he was struck by a taxi and flung over its
roof. The taxi drove away and, as Finnegan lay stunned in the road, another
car ran into him, rolling him into the gutter. It too drove on. As a knot
of gawkers gathered to examine the magnetic Irishman, a delivery van plowed
through the crowd, leaving in its wake three injured bystanders and an even
more battered Bob Finnegan. When a fourth vehicle came along, the crowd
wisely scattered and only one person was hit-Bob Finnegan. In the space of
two minutes Finnegan suffered a fractured skull, broken pelvis, broken leg,
and other assorted injuries. Hospital officials said he would recover.


* While motorcycling through the Hungarian countryside, Cristo Falatti came
up to a railway line just as the crossing gates were coming down. While he
sat idling, he was joined by a farmer with a goat, which the farmer
tethered to the crossing gate. A few moments later a horse and cart drew up
behind Falatti, followed in short order by a man in a sports car. When the
train roared through the crossing, the horse startled and bit Falatti on
the arm. Not a man to be trifled with, Falatti responded by punching the
horse in the head. In consequence the horse's owner jumped down from his
cart and began scuffling with the motorcyclist. The horse, which was not up
to this sort of excitement, backed away briskly, smashing the cart into the
sports- car. At this, the sports-car driver leaped out of his car and
joined the fray. The farmer came forward to try to pacify the three
flailing men. As he did so, the crossing gates rose and his goat was
strangled. At last report, the insurance companies were still trying to
sort out the claims.


* Two West German motorists had an all-too-literal head-on collision in
heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh. Each was guiding his car at a
snail's pace near the center of the road. At the moment of impact their
heads were both out of the windows when they smacked together. Both men
were hospitalized with severe head injuries.
Their cars weren't scratched.


* In a classic case of one thing leading to another, seven men aged
eighteen to twenty-nine received jail sentences of three to four years in
Kingston-on-Thames, England, in 1979 after a fight that started when one of
the men threw a french fry at another while they stood waiting for a train.


* Hitting on the novel idea that he could end his wife's incessant nagging
by giving her a good scare, Hungarian Jake Fen built an elaborate harness
to make it look as if he had hanged himself. When his wife came home and
saw him she fainted. Hearing a disturbance a neighbor came over and,
finding what she thought were two corpses, seized the opportunity to loot
the place. As she was leaving the room, her arms laden, the outraged and
suspended Mr. Fen kicked her stoutly in the backside. This so surprised the
lady that she dropped dead of a heart attack. Happily, Mr. Fen was
acquitted of manslaughter and he and his wife were reconciled.


* An unidentified English woman, according to the London Sunday Express was
climbing into the bathtub one afternoon when she remembered she had left
some muffins in the oven. Naked, she dashed downstairs and was removing the
muffins when she heard a noise at the door. Thinking it was the baker, and
knowing he would come in and leave a loaf of bread on the kitchen table if
she didn't answer his knock, the woman darted into the broom cupboard. A
few moments later she heard the back door open and, to her eternal
mortification, the sound of footsteps coming toward the cupboard. It was
the man from the gas company, come to read the meter.  "Oh," stammered the
woman, "I was expecting the baker." The gas man blinked, excused himself
and departed.

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