The average person becomes hopelessly stuck more than five times a day, requiring the help of a loved one or an emergency responder to set them free. What if there’s no one around to save you the next time you get stuck? And what if your phone isn’t at hand, or its battery is dead, or you have terrible reception, or you realize that the cell phone you bought is actually a bar of chocolate with terrible reception?
Eventually you will find yourself in such a position. It’s inevitable, given the dizzying number of times that you will become stuck in your lifetime. When this happens, when you are pinned with no one to turn to for help, you’ll need to know how to free yourself.
SCENARIO #1: TO SLEEP PERCHANCE TO DIE or BED DEATH or YOU’VE MADE YOUR BED NOW DIE IN IT
You’re sleeping. You’re dreaming about pleasant things and your eyelids are preventing light from distracting your eyeballs. Then, something wakes you. A subtle wrongness adds an element of panic to your slow transition into the waking world. What’s wrong? It’s your sheets. They are tucked in too tightly. You make an effort to raise your arms and throw the sheets back, to no avail. You’re trapped. Thrashing, squirming, and rolling from side to side have no effect. If you don’t think fast, this bed will become your grave.
Here’s what you do.
With a calm, measured demeanor, reach down with both arms and break one of your legs. Make sure the break is horrific and that your bone is poking out through your leg. Now use the jagged edge of the bone to cut a hole in your sheet. This might take some time and it WILL be extremely painful. Just stay relaxed and keep at it. You’re almost there. Now tear at the hole you’ve created until it’s big enough to escape from. If the hole is stubborn, you might need to use the knife under your pillow to open it up the last few inches.
SCENARIO #2: AUTOMOBILIC ASPHYXIATION or VEHIC-HELL or JOYLESS RIDE (BECAUSE YOU DIE)
You are in the passenger seat of a car which sits in a busy parking lot. The driver is nowhere to be seen. Your seatbelt is clicked into place, ruthlessly pinning your torso to the seat. The car’s doors are locked, the windows up. You scream for help but the passers-by cannot hear your frantic wailing.
Fortunately for you, the solution to your problem is much more simple than you might imagine.
Start vibrating. Don’t just wiggle your hips. Concentrate really hard. Make your entire body shake with small, quick motions until you become a blur of colors. Once you get up to speed your seatbelt should disintegrate in a puff of polyester dust. Now angle yourself - still vibrating - to lean against the car door. Your vibrating bulk should begin to push its way through the mass of the door as your molecules slide around those of the car’s upholstery and metal. Don’t stop now or you’ll be trapped for good. Eventually you should slide out into the open air, the car no worse from wear aside from a few scuffs on its paint.
SCENARIO #3: THE MANGLER or DEUS HEX MACHINA or THE MANGLER
Your entire arm has found its way into The Mangler. Now you are trapped in your own kitchen and doomed to a certain death. The appliance is bolted in place, so there’s no chance of lifting it and running for help. Sheets of blood lazily swell over the counter like a grim waterfall. Your eyes bulge as they stare in disbelief at The Mangler, and the name of this convenient everyday gadget has taken on a frightening new meaning.
Naturally, your first instinct is to turn The Mangler to its reverse setting. That won’t work. That is such a terrible plan. You should already know that The Mangler will not de-mangle items that are already being processed. You might even think about turning The Mangler off to stop it from mangling your arm further. Nice idea, but that would only be a temporary fix. It’s time to take decisive action.
So what’s the correct method of escaping The Mangler?
Wildly flail your free arm, clawing at your trapped shoulder. Cry and scream wordlessly and curse in a combination of rage and resignation. Kick your legs out in weird directions. Sweat profusely. Lose all sense, becoming little more than a howling animal. Slam your head against the counter repeatedly. There. Now look. Your arm is free, completely unharmed. Congratulations!
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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