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
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 joinedby 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
SIX DIE TRYING TO SAVE CHICKEN - August 1, 1995
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Six people drowned yesterday while trying to rescue
a chicken that had fallen into a well in southern Egypt. An 18-year-old
farmer was the first to descend into the 60-foot well. He drowned, apparently
after an undercurrent in the water pulled him down, police said.
His sister and two brothers, none of whom could swim well, went in one
by one to help him, but also drowned. Two elderly farmers then came to help,
but they apparently were pulled down by the same undercurrent.
The bodies of the six were later pulled out of the well in the village
of Nazlat Imara, 240 miles south of Cairo. The chicken was also pulled out.
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