When Fun Went Wrong

Gill is back to wish us all a happy amusement park season. If you’re heading out to enjoy some fun over the next few months, hopefully you don’t wind up suffering the same fate as any of these poor folks. We need readers. We also care about your safety. Yes, we most definitely care about your safety. Over and above anything else, to be sure. There. You can stop punching me now, Carin.


For much of the world’s population summer’s here, and often that can only mean one thing. Time to go for thrills and chills at the amusement or water park. Most days spent there are fun with little more to show than sunburns, family and friend memories made, and even the occasional vomit off a high speed ride. Sadly, some of these trips end in ambulance rides or fatalities.

  1. Take Her to the lightning – At a Massachusetts amusement park called Revere Beach a ride called the Lightning got a reputation as a quick abortion device in the 1920’s. This predated safety standards, and many a fun day an unwanted pregnancy was ended here with its many bumps and jars.

    Note from Steve: It was part of a group of rides known as the Giant Cyclone Safety Coasters, a name it kept even after taking its first victim by day two.

  2. Banned after 1930 – On July 24 1930 a ride called The big Dipper crashed killing four and injuring seventeen. After the accident, the Omaha city council banned wooden roller coasters from the city, a ban which stands to this day.
  3. Curse of the big dipper – We hop across the pond and jump ahead four decades to West London England. Some of our older British readers may even remember Battersea Park, opened 1951 closed 1974. On what was supposed to be a day of fun and frolic in May 1972, a ride also known as the Big Dipper carrying dozens of children lost control and slammed into another section of train, killing five and injuring many more.
  4. Three Dead In Edmonton – In the mid 1980’s, at one of the most amazing malls in the world, the mindbender, which had been declared safe just one day earlier, jumped the tracks in front of a horrified concert crowd. Three lives were lost, and many more changed.
  5. Traction park and grave pool- From 1978-1998, Vernon, New Jersey’s Action Park got a reputation for fatalities, broken bones, and lawsuits. Action Park saw three drownings in what would come to be known as The Grave Pool, one electrocution, and two deadly events involving the slides. The employees were often drunk, high, or otherwise unqualified.

My Experience

I was born with a congenital heart condition, but on a sunny day in 1991 that did not seem to phase me. My sister, who belonged to a local figure skating club, was gifted tickets to an amusement park called Canada’s Wonderland. Opened in 1981, it boasts water slides, roller coasters, and loads of other fun stuff. My sister and I each brought friends from the neighborhood, and since my dad had to work that day my mom was running the show. My friend and I rode several rides, and were having great fun. She suggested we go on this one ride called Saloco. It looked alright from what I could see, just several cars going around a track. I was so very wrong. It started going up. No problem yet. But then it got to maximum height and started turning on its side. Needless to say, when I got off I was white as a ghost, shaking, and feeling pain in my chest. Now, for the most part, my amusement park experience involves holding people’s stuff and a whole lot of walking.

Thought

In researching this article I have come to the conclusion that although safety standards have improved and people seem to have a better understanding of hiring practices, one must always follow something my mom says. “If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”

Question

What’s your scariest water slide, amusement park, or carnival experience?

Thank Goodness For Modern Medicine!

Not sure if Gill’s been reading history books lately or what, but she’s back again to talk about old things, this time medical ones. I, meanwhile, am reminded of this old video from the Onion.

From blood letting to surgery sans anesthesia I’m going to inform and probably disturb you with some facts. Sit back, get semi-comfortable, and well thank God you live now.

  • 1 Crocodile dung for birth control – Centuries before the pill and other less disgusting methods doctors would have women insert crocodile dung to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately it caused more infection than it helped.
  • 2 Blood Letting – although nowadays people just go off with a sheet of paper to the friendly neighborhood Pokington up until well in to the 19th century leaches and blades were used to treat anything from eye infections to sore feet. Gross, I’ll take Toberdex thank you!
  • 3 Hot irons for hemorrhoids – For this we go back to the Middle Ages, and if you had those literal pains in the behind forget the Prep H, go to your friendly neighborhood Monk who would in turn insert a hot iron where the sun doesn’t go.
  • 4 Heroine for coughs and colds – That’s right in the 1890’s they would give even children heroine laced cough syrups, and then they would wonder why little Jonny next door was pilfering the Anderson’s silver.
  • 5 Surgery with out anesthesia or antiseptic – Picture this it is 1835 and you have fallen from your horse and shattered your lower leg, with in a couple of days it has turned this beautiful shade of black and is smelling rather nasty. Your eldest child fetches the town doc, he comes running in surgical saw in hand, but what’s that you spot? That’s dried blood from a prior amputation, and didn’t he just indulge in your wife’s apple pie? Now he cuts away the gangrenous limb, and your awake to see the whole disgusting event. With no antibiotics your wife will soon be the widow Carson. In 1867 Dr. Joseph Lister figured out that infections could be prevented by cleaning the area with antiseptic.

Question

What’s the most frightening historical medical treatment you would dread having?

Gillie telling you to stay healthy

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, He Knows When You’re Awake, But He Didn’t See That Light Pole, So His Leg Now Has A Break

If Santa has a harder time than usual getting down your chimney this Christmas, this might be why.

Gerard Krokus, an experienced skydiver, was helping Santa deliver the Elf named Kristoff to a nine-year-old girl while flying in toys to the Beach Bums Operation Santa Charity Volleyball Tournament on Saturday. 
In the video you can see Krokus with a parachute above him coming in to deliver the toys, before his speed picks up and he crashes into a tree and a light pole near the sand volleyball courts.

the pole gave him a broken leg for Christmas, but it apparently didn’t stop him from taking a few pictures before heading to the hospital to get it fixed.

There is a GoFundMe to help pay his medical bills, since I guess the North Pole hasn’t gotten around to figuring out the whole universal healthcare thing just yet.

It’s All Fun And Games Until Someone Draws In Their Eye

When I heard about this woman and her eyeball tattoo gone wrong, all I could think of was this really old post.

I guess this woman is really into body modification, i.e. adding and subtracting things from her body just for fun. She’s even had her tongue surgically split. Yeesh! So she thought tattooing the sclera of her eyeball was the next big thing she should try.

The problem was she didn’t realize how risky it would be, and that not everybody should be allowed near her eyeball with a needle. Allow this sentence to run through your head for a moment.

It was deduced that the artist had made a series of mistakes, including over-injecting her eye, failing to dilute the ink with saline, using a needle that was too big and going too deep into the eye.

Those are some big mistakes that could prove rather costly. At best, she could have vision problems for the rest of her life. At worst, they might have to remove the eye because the ink could start an inexorable march toward her brain. Yeah, this sounds like a good idea!

*shiver*. There are people who need injections in their eyes for medical reasons. I cannot understand why someone would voluntarily go for them just to make their eyes look different or something. And, if you did, for the love of Pete, pick someone who knows what they’re doing!

Every time I write one of these, there’s a tiny voice that wonders if some day I’ll do something that warrants one of these posts to be written about me. I guess if it happens, I’ll deserve it. Until then, I’ll shiver at the thought of what people will do to their bodies just for looks. Eek.

Keister Surprise

I know in the grand scheme of things Kinder Surprise eggs are pretty small, but you know what’s even smaller? Your exit hatch. So the fact that now current Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre resident Damian O’Reilly seems to have set an unofficial record by managing to fit eight of them into his is, in its own way, almost as impressive as it is stupid.

O’Reilly figured the quickest way to get arrested would be to throw a rock at a police cruiser in front of the courthouse and, sure enough, he got the job done in minutes flat. It helped that he was already on probation, so when he was arrested, he was held for bail and shipped off to the old Innes Road jail. 
And that’s where his plot unravelled.
It’s not known if the guard noticed O’Reilly was in some discomfort but whatever the reason, the guard had suspicions that O’Reilly might be smuggling drugs. The young inmate was escorted to dry cell No. 9. A dry cell has no plumbing and guards will either attempt to seize the contraband or wait for it to be expelled.
In this case, it was O’Reilly himself who, once alone in the dry cell, removed eight Kinder Surprise eggs from his rectum. A guard had to then collect the eggs and photograph them before securing them inside the Ottawa police drug safe at the jail.

In all, the eight eggs contained 59 grams of marijuana, a gram of MDMA, tobacco, rolling papers and matches.

Earlier reports that O’Reilly *was* the drug safe are erroneous.

by the way, if Drug Safe isn’t his nickname by the time I hit publish on this, there’s something wrong with this world.

Anyway, O’Reilly pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and was sentenced to sit in jail for a year and some change, although standing may be more comfortable for a while.

As for the possible record mentioned above, he doubled it. The previous mark was set by an unidentified man in 2010 who only managed four, the friggin amateur.

I’m Afraid They Maytag Her As A Bad Parent

Whenever I think about this poor, poor kid, after I can let out my breath, all I can think of are two things. The washing machines in the apartment building are so deep that in order for me to reach the bottom, I have to almost climb in to get everything, so Steve helps me out so I don’t go head over heels into the machine. Second, an old Radio-Free Vestibule sketch that I saw late one night on TV goes through my head. I can’t find it anywhere on the internet, so I’m basically going to have to write it down.

A man walks into a laundromat and is looking around. He flags down a woman, explains that he’s never done laundry in his life and doesn’t know how, asking her for help. She hurriedly tells him the instructions for using the machines are on the inside of the lids and walks off. He opens the lid and reads something like “to do laundry, follow these five easy steps.
1. Put clothes in machine.”
*dumps clothes in machine*
“2. add deturgent.”
*adds deturgent*
“3. Close lid.”
*closes lid*
At this point, he is left staring at the closed lid of the washer, realizing the rest of the instructions are on the inside of the lid. He says “uh-oh…” and the sketch ends. It’s much funnier when they do it.

Sadly, what happened in this story would cause us to use much stronger words than “uh-oh.”

One afternoon, Brooke Haney fell asleep while watching her children. One of the toddlers went to play in the washing machine. Check out this little snippet of the story.

The young children in the home told police they were used to helping with the laundry.
The washing machine, which the family used as a dirty clothes hamper, was programmed to switch on when the lid closed. After the clothes were clean, one child would climb into the open machine and pass the wet clothes to another, who would then toss them into the dryer.
Alexis closed the lid — and hot water started to pour in.
Authorities said she died from “scaling and thermal injuries,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed earlier this week in Calhoun County Circuit Court.

*shiver*.

There are so many things wrong with that whole thing. Kids that age are doing laundry, they’re doing it like that, and mom is knocked out while this is going on.

I don’t have much else to say except “eek,” and I hope the washing machine doesn’t sing a cute little song when it’s done. That would just give it that extra creepy horror movie factor.

Merry Scary Christmas

Steve told me about these painful-sounding Victorian Christmas parlor games and after I stopped wincing and covering my face, I started to envision what would happen if somehow, someone of that era could visit current day us, sort of like those old Freedom 55 commercials.

I can see it all now. “You folks are wimps! You bob for apples, and there is no flame? You play Blind Man’s Bluff and don’t set out to trip the blindfolded guy up? You’ve all gone soft I tell you!”

The one that made me scream the most was this one.

Indeed, in the early years of Queen Victoria’s rule, Christmas rivaled Spring Break for sheer bawdiness and self-destruction. Nowhere is this more evident than in the bonkers Victorian parlor game of Snapdragon.
Traditionally played on Christmas Eve, players of Snapdragon must find themselves a broad, shallow bowl, and then prepare to risk their health. Into this bowl should be poured two dozen raisins. If raisins are hard to come by, almonds, grapes or plums will suffice. You should then pour a bottle of brandy into the bowl so that the raisins bob up and down like drowning flies. Place the bowl on a sturdy table, turn the lights down low, and then, with appropriate panache, ignite the brandy.

To play Snapdragon, arrange your family and friends around the blazing bowl so that their faces are lit in a demonic fashion and then, one by one, take turns plunging your hands into the flames in order to try and grab a raisin. If you can accomplish this, promptly extinguish the flaming raisin by popping it into your mouth and eating it.

Reading this reminds me of Steve’s old 19th century April Fools post. Yup, similar time, similar scary practices.

As an aside, while digging for an old Freedom 55 commercial, I came across this bizarre parody. Steve, can you identify these guys? Heck, can anyone identify these guys?

Merry Christmas everyone, and…stay away from the snapdragon.

Bare Spray

I read this story of a fellow accidentally spraying bear spray down his own pants, and I started wincing. I can only imagine how bad that must have hurt. I say this for two reasons: 1. because duh, it’s friggin bear spray. If just breathing it in would make a bear run away, then imagine that directly on one’s…sensitive parts. But there’s another reason I know how bad bear spray can be. I nearly walked into a cloud of the stuff a few weeks ago.

Yup, it appears we have a neighbour who is a pretty big chode harmonica. Why, oh why, oh why does this always happen to us? Well, I’m sure he is some kind of arsehole, but it’s his accompanying friends that are making a bunch of the music right now.

One night back a few weeks ago, Tansy started whining, which I thought meant she had to go out. I took her out, and she didn’t do anything, so we came back in. A few minutes later, I couldn’t stop coughing. I was coughing so hard that I thought I might throw up. Sure I was getting over a cold, but it was pretty much gone at this point, so I couldn’t figure out why I was coughing. Steve started coughing too, but we thought maybe his could be attributed to said cold since he was still dealing with it.

Then there came a knock. We opened the door, and there stood a police officer telling us that someone had let off bear spray in the hall, so to open our windows and keep our door closed. As Steve had a short conversation with the officer, a conversation that lasted about 30 seconds, he started to feel his throat, eyes and nose burn, and we realized why we had both been hacking. The little bits of bear spray that had seeped under the door were hurting that much. Now imagine spraying that directly on you. No, I don’t think milk is going to fix it, dude. *shiver*.

What kind of tool sprays bear spray in an apartment hallway? I guess it went up a few floors and they had to bring in machines to clean the air. It’ll be interesting to see how the drama plays out with our newest addition to the chode harmonica symphony orchestra. All I know is I’d like the drama to be over with soon.

Goodbye Philippines, And Everywhere Else, Too

There’s drunk, there’s really drunk, and then, apparently, there’s let’s hug this enormous New Year’s Eve firecracker as it’s about to go off drunk.

A drunk man died after he embraced a giant firecracker called Goodbye Philippines as it was about to explode, health secretary Janet Garin told reporters.
“His jaw was shattered. He was so intoxicated he hugged the Goodbye Philippines,” Ms Garin said, adding the man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

This was just one of many incidents during the annual New Year’s celebrations in the Philippines, which I’m learning are quite the event. According to superstition, it’s necessary to make very loud noises in order to ward off bad luck. So to accomplish this there is much fireworks and random gunfire, so it’s not hard to figure out how things like this happen.

The health department listed 380 injuries due to fireworks and four others due to stray bullets.
In many hospitals across the country, firecracker victims rushed into emergency rooms grimacing in pain as they held their bloodied limbs.
An eight-year-old boy in the northern farming province of Nueva Vizcaya had three of his fingers amputated after a firecracker exploded in his hands, Ms Garin said.
At least nine children had their fingers amputated due to firecracker injuries, she said.

And most of them still probably got off easier than the 3000 plus people who were left homeless after a fireworks accident burned their shanty town to the ground.

All of which leads to the obvious question. Is it time to find a new, less fatality prone superstition or should they try to make more noise next year?

There’s An Ear In My Beer

According to the complaint, officers were called Friday evening to a domestic assault on Seventh Avenue South. Upon arrival, officers met with Elrod and her husband.
Officers noted in the criminal complaint that the husband was missing part of his right ear. During a search of the apartment, officers found blood as well as a part of victim’s ear on the floor, the complaint said.

Good god, this must have been serious! Did he cheat on her? Squander their life savings? Beat her up? Try to kill her?

Um…not quite.

According to the police, the victim and an apparent admission to the crime in a jailhouse phone call, the reason Jamie Elrod’s husband was short half an ear is that she had bitten it off during an argument over beer. No brand of beer was provided, which unfortunately leaves us no way of determining how reasonable her position may have been.

Elrod, who told police at the scene that she had no idea how that happened when confronted with the evidence, was being held on $30000 bond after being charged with first-degree assault.