"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well."
Sylvia Plath said that. It's a bleak line that encourages us to think about death in bizarre terms. It feels icky to assess death and judge whether a particular way to go is worthy, impressive, or admirable.
Yet, because human beings are very strange creatures, we totally do that. How any times have you heard someone wonder aloud, "What a way to go," after tuning in to some morbid local news calamity.
Some Redditors turned the commentary on themselves when they encountered some very close calls.
When they dusted themselves off and sat back in the relief of safety, they realized just how dumb it would have been to die like that.
Dr___where asked, "What is the stupidest reason you almost died?"
"I played video games too much and forgot to eat, so due to a lack of nutrients my white blood cell count dropped too low and i passed out to get rushed to the hospital..."
"...not the proudest time of my life"
Death by Grape
"Reason? I was young and dumb and heard a technique competitive eaters used and tried it out."
"I used to work in the produce section of a grocery store. I was the only produce worker that night and was alone in the cooler by myself."
"I had heard earlier that competitive eaters would swallow whole grapes to expand their stomachs and decided to try it. The grape got caught in my throat and I couldn't make any sounds or cough."
"Eventually I was able to give myself the Heimlich using a stack of boxed peppers."
"I almost drowned in the sink when I was a child thinking that I could breathe under water if I try." -- tulioarrudac1
"Imagine your parents explaining how their kid died." -- NotMrMike
"Someone:Your kid drowned..... In a sink. How???? Parents: We forgot to tell him he does not have gills. Moral: tell your children they can't breathe underwater." -- danielkratos219
"Not stopping at a stop sign on my bike. I figured it was a 4 way stop. I slowed down, and heard the car coming from a distance. The car also didn't stop, and I got t boned."
"I'm not sure if you can count this as almost dying, because there was somehow no broken bones and I didn't even end up going to the hospital. But its probably the closest I have ever been to dying."
"Huge bruise on my leg from hitting the pavement. Lots of damage to the car including a broken windshield."
"I make sure I stop at all stop signs and red lights now. It's not worth trying to save a few minutes on your ride."
Brief Blank Intervals
"I thought my being spaced out always meant I just needed to 'snap' myself back into reality."
"I did a lot things in the mountains that am almost killed me, f***ing around with waterfalls, climbing up and down cliffs with no rope."
"It turned out I was dissociating from PTSD so my adventures didn't help."
Problematic Beer Blanket
"There was a blizzard one night. The wind was so cold that it left blisters on your face. I decided to go to a friend's house to get a few drinks."
"I ended up drinking an entire big bottle of Jack Daniel's mostly alone and then I blacked out. However for whatever reason I decided I'd go home by foot through the blizzard. Maybe no cab would take me because I was so drunk?"
"In any case I know that as I was walking through the blizzard I started to come back to my senses and I realized that I was crawling more than walking, stumbling at every few steps."
"My home was about 40 minutes from my friend's so it could have been quite dangerous."
The Indirect Dangers of Hot Dogs
"DEATH BY HOTDOG"
"Bent down to grab hotdog I had dropped (5 second rule) and smacked my head on the table. Knocked myself out and was bleeding profusely when I woke up."
"My pediatrician thought advanced tonsilitis was just a sore throat and sent me home with some liquid Tylenol."
"When I could no longer swallow that, my mom took me to the ER where they did an emergency tonsillectomy. They said if she had waited an hour longer I would have died from suffocation."
Poop is Communication
"Woke up in the middle of the night, thought I felt like I had a weird poo coming. After spending about 4x as normal trying with no action, still feeling weird I made the call to go to the ER."
"Turns out I had developed appendicitis. The doctor said if I had gone back to bed like I originally planned my appendix most likely would have burst. Not guaranteed to kill me but not great either."
"So basically I almost died because I just wanted to have a poo and go back to sleep after a long day."
Just a Little to the Left and...
"Not me. I went on a camping trip last fall with a friend of mine."
"He was trying to split a log with some splitting spikes I brought. I was using the hammer for something so he grabbed the hatchet and tried using the back of it as a hammer."
"He had to get 33 stitches and 15 staples after it bounced back and wedged itself in his shoulder. It damn well could have hit him in the head or in the throat"
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.