Funny (not in the ha-ha sense) story this. Some time ago now, perhaps a few months, I was at a mates place for a poker night. After consuming more than my fair share of alcohol I got the notion that it would be a good idea for me to walk home.
Having no regard for the fact that I was probably two solid days walk from my house, and that I didn't really know where I was, I bravely set out at about 3am.
I had been shopping earlier that day, and spent around $300 on a whole heap of new CDs. I'd taken all of these, plus several others, to the party. Partly to brag, but mostly to play a couple of them there, although I guess I should have known that the music would already have been looked after, so on reflection this was a bad idea.
My brother had also recently given me one of his old portable CD players, and I had plenty of new batteries, and a new pair of bud headphones. So I was set. In all I had about 12 CDs in my bag. Pretty much everything that Nirvana had ever done, including the latest release (i.e. after Kurt died). Pretty much everything that the Prodigy had ever done, one or two misc trance mixes and most notably pretty much everything that Scooter had ever done. Some of the Scooter CDs had been birthday gifts. I guess it's worth noting, that I'd purchased a lot of the Nirvana and Prodigy stuff that day – these were CDs that I used to own, but had lost over the years, mostly by lending to mates and I'd re-purchased them that day as I had missed them.
Anyway, after walking for over an hour, I really had no idea where I was and no idea where I was headed. I figured I was on a major road so if I just went straight, I'd eventually end up in a town, and then I could do the train/taxi thing as appropriate.
It was still dark and probably just passed 4am in the morning and I had Nevermind blaring on my headphones, I was walking on a dirt track, slightly elevated from the road, just under a metres distance from the gutter. I couldn't really hear anything that was going on around me because I had the music as loud as it could go (i.e. LOUD) and was very much caught up in my drunken thoughts about how Kurt Cobain knew something that the rest of the world just didn't understand.
So as it were, it was only a muffled thumping sound that I heard in front of me, although logic says that it must have been quite loud, as about 5-10m in front of me headlights loomed through falling saplings. A car, no less, was ploughing through trees as big as your arm that barely separated the dirt track from the road, hitting them at least at 80km/h.
I had barely had time to look up and see this, let alone respond before the car had flipped upside down and was travelling in the air, close to a metre above the ground about 1m to 2m to my left. I can still picture this very clearly in my mind. For some reason it's like my brain decided to take a Polaroid of that point in time. The car was in the air, bonnet slightly towards the curb and slightly closer to the ground. It was a crappy, old, white sedan. Not really being a car person, I forget the make and model, something like a little Celica, or a Datsun, definitely a relic of the 80s. This is probably one of the most bizarre and surreal things that I've ever seen -- and probably the closest I've ever come to dying.
Anyhow, after knocking down several trees in front of me and travelling through the air past me, it hit the ground a few metres behind me and side swiped into the bank of trees behind me, taking a few of them down too, before sliding around in the middle of the road on its bonnet/roof and screeching to a halt in the middle of a three lane major road. It was pretty amazing that where it happened there had been a bank of trees in front of me, a bank of trees behind me and nothing but air between me and the road yet the car had only hit the trees.
I had dropped my bag and was running towards the car before it had even stopped moving. I was pretty sure I was going to find corpses. Since the car was upside down, and had been pretty mangled, I had to practically tear the front driver’s side door open. It was still dark, and although there wasn't much traffic, I could pretty much only pray that any oncoming vehicles saw us in the middle of the road and slowed down.
After ripping the door open, I found a guy in the driver’s seat, sort of hanging upside down from his seat belt. I can't remember the details then, but there was a whole lot of “holy shit, are you OK?” as the guy tried to get himself free of the seatbelt and the car.
The guy ended up getting out of the car, and I sort of looked him over. He had minor grazing on his knuckles, but apart from that he seemed fine. We were both as bewildered as each other (turns out we were both as drunk as each other too).
The guys name was Mohammad. We tried to push the car out of the middle of the road, but we could barely budge it. Eventually other traffic arrived, and more and more people stopped to get out and help move the car. I was with a group of about 5 blokes who eventually pushed the car into the gutter as the sun was coming up. Hours past, police and ambulances arrived, I made a statement (and then after being breath tested told that I wasn't allowed to make a statement) and of course discovered that: my back-pack had been stolen.
When I'd run to get the guy out of the car I'd just dropped it in the road. Because it was an 'emergency' I hadn't really thought anything of it at all until everything had sort of settled down and the ambulance guys had turned up. I was so upset at loosing my bag; I searched for it for ages, while the police and everyone else did what they had to do to clean up. No one cared, but me.
Mohammad was arrested for driving under the influence and taken away in the paddy wagon. His car was towed away, and the police (who really didn't like me much, I think because they thought I was a liar when I told them that I didn't have any identification on me and had forced me to show them my wallet (while I argued, because I didn’t like the principle of the thing)) eventually told me to "walk over to those traffic lights over there. Press the button, wait for the picture of the little green man, cross the road and go away". That might sound humorous, but when you've just nearly been killed, have been awake for nearly 24 hours, are still drunk and have just had your bag with hundreds of dollars worth of brand new stuff in it stolen hearing something like that can make you really upset. I did what I was told to do though, and ended up in a service station across the road.
I stayed in there for a while, thinking what it was that I might do. I had no idea where I was, I'd tried to call a few people but no-one was answering the phone, one mate did answer his phone but was still too drunk from the night before to come and rescue me. I didn't have enough money to get a taxi home from where I was, and I was really tired and pretty upset. I asked the people at the petrol station if they had cameras that might have seen the accident, it was so amazing I would have loved to have seen the footage; they said to come back the next day and ask someone. (I ended up going back there a few days later and checking out the scene, it was amazing to see the knocked down trees and how close I'd been to being hit, but the service stations cameras didn't cover that area of the road.)
By then it was around 7am. I waited at the service station until the cranky police woman had driven away with Mohammad in the paddy wagon, and then I went back across the road to chat with the other police who had turned up to manage the rest of the clean up. I spoke to one bloke and just basically told him what had happened, and that I didn't know where I was, etc. He just chucked me the keys to his paddy wagon and said "just wait for me in the car; I'll give you a lift down to the station." That was so awesome, and contrasted pretty heavily with the sour bitch that I'd been dealing with before that’d treated me like I was scum.
I got to hang out in the front passenger seat for a while, checking out the gear in the front, etc. while the policeman finished up. He wasn't much longer than ten minutes, and we had a bit of a friendly chat about life and stuff as he drove me down the road (at high velocity) to the station.
I stuffed around for ages, waiting for trains, etc. but eventually I made it home, alive and in one piece.
Yeah.. it's a bit different. :P