Death by Bubble Wrap

“You are constantly dodging danger like Forrest Gump.”
~ Bob Ford

It’s been a long standing joke—er, I think it’s meant as a joke—that I will die by some stupidly ridiculous method. Paper cuts are often given as an example and the hippie usually follows it with his concern over the authorities not believing him, “No really, officer. She had a paper cut and then, well…” or how exactly to explain to my mother that I had a run-in with a rogue stapler and lost. Except my mother, unlike the cops, would totally believe it. After all, she watched me sleepwalk my nose right into the bulletin board on my closet door, full of lovely stickpins and tacks and things, all through high school.

Yesterday, I was pretty sure it was going to be bubble wrap instead of a paper cut.

See that picture? It’s hard to tell without something in the image for comparison, but that’s a 14′ x 5′ sheet of bubble wrap—the big bubbles, fist size bubbles. Keep that in mind.

I was going 83 on 83 (the locals will understand that reference) on my way to work. Because there were no buses to slow my progress, and the construction season seems to be winding down, Murphy hit me with his other favorite: caravans of semi-trucks on the highway. Okay. Whatever. At least they’re moving (unlike the buses and construction). And as I found myself locked in on all sides by vehicles much much larger than my cute little ‘stang (yes, I am still in love with my mid-life crisis), a piece of road crap came flying out from beneath the truck in front of me.

“What the hell?!” If I remember correctly, was my initial response. A quick glance around me, nowhere to swerve, no way to hit the brakes and change lanes, led to the follow up, “Shit.” I gritted my teeth, hit the clutch, and coasted over it. I exhaled and watched the rearview mirror.


Then I heard it.


*Pop pop pop pop pop pop pop*

And I could smell it. The lovely smell of hospital fish without the morphine drip to dull the flavor, er, I mean, burning plastic.


The steering got weird. The ‘stang developed a touch of a cough and lurched a little. I held my breath and concentrated on what exactly I was going to do if this thing caused my car to seize on the highway, going too fast, surrounded by semi-trucks. And my black humor gene kicked in as headlines flicked through my thoughts. “Gypsy killed by bubble wrap.” “Tragedy on 83 blamed on bubble wrap.” Followed by, “Crap, Bob doesn’t know where the Christmas presents are hidden!” (Yes, these are the thoughts I have while thinking I may actually die because of freaking bubble wrap.)

I pulled off the exit, pulled into work, and literally jumped from the car as if it was on fire. It wasn’t, yet, thank god, but it smelled like bubble wrap brimstone. I dumped my stuff in the office, briefed the boss, and carefully drove it three blocks to the Jiffy Lube.

Batting my eyelashes and hoping this wouldn’t sound as stupid out loud as it did in my head, “Hiiiii… I don’t need an oil change. Um, I was blocked in by semis on the highway and a ginormous piece of bubble wrap flew at me and is now wrapped around underneath the car. Could you pull this over the pit and fix that for me?” (Yep, it sounded exactly as stupid out loud.)

With a raised eyebrow, the tiniest mechanic I’ve ever seen smiled, “Is that what I smell? Sure. No problem.”

They pulled it out. I took a picture (because no way was the hippie going to believe this—turns out he had no problem believing it at all. He was only surprised it wasn’t a paperclip that tried to kill me.), and I went back to work.

This is my life. You can’t make this shit up. It’s ridiculous and yes, the hippie may be on to something. I do tend to get hurt in the most bizarre ways. And I do tend to get out of danger in equally lucky ways—though I still don’t know if what he said (the quote above) is an insult or a compliment. But I can’t be the only one… Can I?

So, since this happened on a Thursday, let’s make it a coffee blog from the garage, a little gypsy chat to start the day. What is the silliest way you have either gotten hurt, or could have really gotten hurt but skidded through somehow. And I’m not demeaning the danger or the injury as silly, but rather, the headlines that could come out of the situation. Gimme a headline and the story behind it. Death by Bubble Wrap is mine… What’s yours?


4 Responses to Death by Bubble Wrap

  • Mandy DeGeit says:

    “Writer tears both ACL/MCL in four hour long battle with lesbian-fighting grizzly bears.”

    Not really, but that’s what I should tell everyone. I slipped on a patch of ice, while I was walking in the winter that is Northern Ontario. My brother saw me fall, laughed at me for a bit with the rest of my friends, and then came over to help me up. Not knowing I’d shredded the ligaments in my knee, (cause I was just sitting there screaming) he picked me up and set me to standing. (Cue knee blow out number two and more screaming.) After the first attempt to help failed, they all just left me lying in the snow, til Dad showed up with the car.

    Mandy – 0 Ice – 1

  • Alyn says:

    “Girl impaled by Holiday Treat!”

    I, too, am known for injuring myself in weird and unlikely ways. When I was 6 or 7, I put a candy cane through my cheek and required two stitches. Yes, you read that right. A CANDY CANE. THROUGH MY CHEEK. Like many children, I enjoyed (and still part take in) sucking the end of a candy cane into a nice sharp point. I was in the process of doing this while skipping down the sidewalk with my dog when the dog saw a small furry critter and took off, yanking me off my feet. The candy cane’s sharp little rapier point went right through my cheek, leaving me with a sweet, bloody little hole… or looking like the lovechild of a narhwal and a one toothed vampire. :)

  • Kevin Lucia says:

    I didn’t almost die, but two years ago I christened the school year by giving myself stitches above my left eyebrow. See, I was on library studyhall duty, and some of my students were outside the door, mugging to students in the library, and I thought I’d sneak up, yank the door open, stick my head out and threaten them, spook them a little bit. The problem was…

    Timing. Of door. And me sticking my head through.

    So, I slammed myself in the forehead, straight, with a nice, thick, wooden school door. You know the kind.

    And we were all having a tremendous laugh out in the hallway, the students and I, when one of them gasped and said, “MR. LUCIA! Your head. YOU’RE BLEEDING!”

    One of the secretaries had to drive me to the walk-in.

    And that day shall live on in infamy…

  • Eileen Dawson says:

    Death by Coffee…

    Yes, you read that right! I love my coffee just as you do, morning, noon, evening, night, bedtime, its all good. One night in February of 2006 we were very busy (tax time of course) at the office and the guy I was working with was a newbie so I stayed late to help him with the phones and clients. We finally got out of there about 11pm. Our cars were parked right next to each other but I had to walk past his and between them to get to mine. The rest is a little unclear until Tim was standing over me asking me if I was ok. Apparently there was black ice on the parking lot between the cars and I slipped on it. Tim said he actually saw my feet in the air for a split second where my head should have been just before he heard a very loud THUNK. (which was my head hitting the pavement) He came around to make sure I was ok, only to find that in the process of falling, I had crushed my coffee cup in my hand and spilled it. Harmless huh? Nope, not for me! It immediately froze my head to the parking lot, my hair a tangled mess of iced coffee and stones. He actually had to go back inside and get warm water to thaw my head from the pavement.

    He had to drive me home because I was so disoriented. My babysitter and my oldest child would not let me go to sleep until my husband got home because of the head injury. I got online and was posting to a few friends about the incident. I thought I was fine until the next day when I tried to read what I had written and it was so jumbled that I could barely figure out what it was suppossed to say, let alone anyone else figure it out.

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