Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Top 5 All Time Worst Possible Deaths

5 -Falling Out Of A Plane Without A Parachute

Give me a choice between staying on a doomed plane with a bomb on it or bailing out to fall thirty thousand feet to my death, and I’ll take the big bang every time. Not that being reduced to my component elements by a huge explosion is in any way preferable to, say, having a nice walk or eating a bag of crisps. No, certainly not, but it’d have the benefit of being QUICK. See, it might take you up to five minutes to hit the ground after leaping out of an airliner (depending on how fat you are or aren’t), and that’d be more than enough time for your adrenaline-soaked brain to grasp the true horrifying inevitability of your upcoming appointment with your selected deity, if any. And even worse than that, you’d only be able to scream like a girl for two or three minutes before you wore your vocal chords out. After that all you can really do is try and make the best of your remaining minutes, to try and take your mind off the fact that you are about to be effectively crushed by the weight of a decent-sized planetary body. A couple of suggestions for passing the time:

A) Pose like you’re sitting down with your legs crossed, impatiently checking your wristwatch and tutting at how long it’s taking to hit the ground. If anyone happens to film you on the way down, at least you’ll have a really funny video eulogy for your children to treasure. Although if you haven’t already reproduced, that last bit may be unlikely.

B) While you’re still quite high up, you can convincingly pretend that you are Superman and are flying around the world in order to reverse time to a point in the past where your Lidl coupons are still valid.

C) Conduct a meaningful scientific experiment, to lend some meaning and dignity to your death, by finding out if you can hear yourself fart over the sound of the thunderous wind.

So yes, all in all, I’d rather stay on the plane, then at least I get to cop it in the company of my fellow, screaming, vomiting, praying passengers. And who knows, there might be a lot of doomed desperation-sex going around, and you’ll finally get to lose your virginity. If you’re lucky it’ll be with a member of the opposite sex.

4 - Thrown Out Of An Airlock

I’ll admit that I have read conflicting descriptions of what’s meant to happen to you when you’re exposed to the hard vacuum of space without benefit of space ship, space suit, or space blanket, but none of them sound like much fun. Some sources (Total Recall and an episode of Space Precinct I saw when I was 10) state that your body, without a pressurised environment, expands and explodes as your blood boils in your veins. Others (the numerous space deaths in Battlestar Galactica) that the absolute lack of any heat would flash-freeze your corpse, leaving you frozen in an eternal rictus of horror for a trillion years. After that, all you’ve really got to look forward to is being recovered by alien spacecraft and placed in one of their museums, mislabelled as a “curiously shaped meteorite”. Thankfully, this has apparently never happened to any of our space travellers. It might not be much consolation, but at least those few brave souls who have died during space missions all did so within old mother Earth’s atmosphere. Apart from all those expendible crewmen in Star Trek, although apparently that was fictional.

3 - Zombified!

Now here’s a real Fate Worse Than Death. At least with all other forms of death, however horrible, you stay dead. Here though, you wake up as a walkin’, moanin’, undyin’ ghoul, doomed to walk the earth eating the flesh of the living until all your limbs fall off or you have your head stoved in by a plucky survivor with an improvised bludgeoning weapon. All in all, it’s not a smart lifestyle choice, especially when you consider the possibility that some semblance of your past personality might still buried away somewhere in your maggoty brains, able to witness the horrible things your corpse is doing to mortal folk, yet utterly incapable of stopping it. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Your shambling, oblivious and belligerant new personality will make you ideal recruitment material for London Underground’s ever-helpful team of customer support staff.

2 - Buried Alive

Another one that’s always struck me as particularly horrible. Being prematurely interred ranks pretty highly on my list of ways I’d rather not pop off. Afterall, what’s not to love about suffocating only six paltry feet away from unlimited supplies of lovely, precious oxygen, separated by a hundred weight of earth, in a sturdy wooden box? And with no room to bend your limbs (although in films, prematurely buried folk always seem to have cigarette lighters and enough room to flick it on so it illuminates their faces), there’s not much to occupy yourself with, leaving you no option but to try and headbutt yourself insensible against the lid of your coffin. The only possible hope of extricating yourself would be to know Master Pai Mei’s three-inch punch, with which you could smash your way out and up through the earth to freedom. However, unless you’re Uma Thurman, it is unlikely you posess this skill, and as much as I wish I was Uma Thurman, I’m not*. So I suppose I’ll just have to avoid graveyards and stay in the mob’s good books.

*This is why I do not spend all day naked in front of a mirror. Most days, anyway.

1 - The Bees

(A "shout-out" to intergroupie Billybullshot for the farting whilst falling out of a plane idea, and for instigating the meandering conversation that led to this post.)