A continuation of my previous list (obvious I know, but I do like to explain. I'm a bloody teacher for goodness sake, that all I do, every bloody day to a bunch of **********, and that's just my colleagues) I've added some general advice ( a moral, if you please) after each cautionary tale,
This was what happened at the Artillery firing range, when my lack of care resulted in a barrage of at least 30 VT (Variable Time) fused High Explosive shells arriving and detonating above a flock of sheep. There were 127 sheep in that flock, and I use the past tense advisedly. We know there were 127 sheep, because we counted them. Well, counted them isn't strictly accurate. We counted legs and divided by 4. Either we missed some (possible amongst the carnage) or they breed some 3 legged sheep in Northumberland.
Moral: ALWAYS check the angle a battery of field guns is firing on BEFORE you give permission to fire.
The Detachable Cat Head
In a previous incarnation, I was a sales rep, and motored all around Scotland and Northern England. I travelled over 50,000 miles each year in my treasured Vauxhall Cavalier (well actually a whole series of them, as they tended to wear out). It was a comfortable car, fast, smooth and quite quiet. One day, while driving between Kinross and Glasgow along a long straight country road, I put the foot down a bit and must have been going at about 90 mph when a cat ran across the road, its little legs going like the clappers. It wasn't going fast enough and I hit it.
This is bad.
|Shit. Where's my body you bastard.?|
That version of the Cavalier had a low front spoiler under the radiator, and I think the cat turned its head towards me just as the spoiler took it off. I know it took it off, because the head was deposited in front of the windshield, getting stuck on one of my windscreen wiper arms. It stared at me.
I felt guilty.
Moral: DON'T speed, and always carry a small spade in the boot of the car.
The Detachable Pigeon Head
On a walk through some woods near where we lived in Scotland, I came across a wounded pigeon. My whole family was there, and my wee daughter was about 5 years old and tramping gamely along with us. It was early winter in Scotland, and clearly some local yokel had been out shooting, because the bird was in a bad way, covered in blood, both wings broken, but still alive and trying to get away, but it couldn't really move. I decided the best thing would be to put the pigeon out of its misery, so I picked it up and broke its neck.
Unfortunately I'd never killed a bird before, but I thought I knew the general technique.
- Grasp bird's head
- Pull sharply while twisting
- Bird has broken neck and expires.
I got step 1 OK, and I could see the pigeon's eyes glittering between my gloved fingers.
The problem was step 2.
In retrospect, Step 2 needs to be re-written thusly:
2.Pull sharply while twisting, BUT DON'T PULL SO F*CKING HARD THAT IT'S HEAD COMES RIGHT OFF.
My wee daughter was looking at me with absolute horror. "Why had her Daddy ripped a poor wee bird's head off?" I think I scarred her mentally for life with that image of me standing with a bird's body in one hand, the head, dripping a little blood, in the other, and with a look of puzzled, shocked horror on my face.
Moral: DON'T PULL SO F*CKING HARD THAT IT'S HEAD COMES RIGHT OFF.