What were t hese people thinking?

Next time you are even remotely tempted to gripe about Mondays, spare a thought for those hapless souls who start the week with rather less than stellar achievements.

Take for instance, all found in the papers on Monday, these fabulous cases of spectacular proportions, thus illustrating the fact that there are some moments when you’re just in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

First we have the young lad in England going for a small sleepwalk.  Now this in itself is hardly newsworthy, but make the papers it did.  You see he was obviously quite an aggressive sleepwalker – I wonder if you can be a speed sleepwalker, now that I come to think of it – as he managed to walk face first – face planted he did – right into the gaping maw of the stuffed, very dead, bloody great shark mounted on the wall in his maritime themed bedroom.

Now, interior decorating decisions aside, do you think that the mounter of said shark might have had a moment of brain freeze in deciding at what height to mount this charming addition to his home?  So poor son goes for a bit of an amble about the house in the middle of the night and smacks into Jaws, and in so doing gets his face – his face! – clamped in the very real, very sharp teeth.  Blood everywhere, I suppose Mater and Pater were a tiny bit shaken up by the entire scene.

Then we have the poor farmer in far north Queensland out for a ride on his horse. Unfortunately he and the horse parted company at one point, landing the farmer dazed and bleeding, and he wandered straight into a swamp which is not a good place to be in far north Queensland as you are likely to meet some critters you’d rather not.

Well, meet them he did.  He wandered straight into a crocodiles’ nest, and let me tell you they were as cranky about it as the farmer.

Well he high tailed it out of there as best he could, but when you’re in a swamp it’s a little tricky to get out, so he found a tree and clambered up it.  He spent his time trying to attract the aircraft he could hear overhead by flashing his flashlight off his tobacco tin, flinging toilet paper around the tree (he must have been an exceedingly well prepared farmer), and yelling at the crocs below:  “I’m not falling out of this tree for you bastards!”

The crocodiles obviously had lunch on their minds as they continued to stalk the poor fellow for eight days before police and aboriginal trackers found him, somewhat delirious and very hungry.  And in fabulous Aussie fashion, he was handed a Cherry Ripe which was “like a gourmet meal.”

It would be a little like handing a dazed American a Tootsie Roll.

Then, a boy in Michigan was obviously the victim of a near-sighted eagle as it mistook him for a hamster and attacked the kid around the head and neck.  Bad start to the week there too.

But my favorite this week has to be the tale of the loony-toons Frenchman who, in his third attempt, was trying to break all sorts of records in making the highest parachute jump on record.

Lord knows how many scientists, boffins, and hangers on were involved, but it was a most complicated plot.  He was not allowed to actually attempt the feat in France, as the French would rather not have him squished on someone’s maison or rue.  The Canadians took pity on him, realizing they had far more open space than their Gallic cousins, and so North Battleford, Saskatchewan, was to host this amazing event.

He planned to be taken up – and I mean – way up – by a helium filled balloon to the tune of approximately 25 miles.  Wearing a special suit and with his backpacked stuffed with a parachute, he was going to launch himself out of the thing and free fall for 21.590909 miles and then pull on the ripcord.

Now that’s got to give you pause for thought, doesn’t it?  You would need one huge leap of faith that someone packed your parachute properly. I suppose an awful lot of physics comes into play here – at what force is a 64-year-old Frenchman’s body hurtling through air for 22 odd miles when he pulls the cord? I mean, presumably they were rather hopeful the bugger would be conscious at the time. 

And then, when the gaily colored silks open, at what force would the guy be bungeed back upwards? I would certainly hope he’d be wearing a steel enforced athletic support as I would imagine that could cause a goodly bit of harm to – well – you catch my drift.

So it was all planned for Monday morning.  A parade of press, a gallery of photographers and all was ready.

The balloon inflating, he strode out of his shed decked out in his space-ish suit with all mod-cons towards his dream flight. Ready to address the media, wave a brave ‘adieu’ to the crowd, his adieu became a sacre bleu as he watched the balloon – gee how do I put this – ah – leave without him.

C’est la vie – back to the drawing board.  Now you just know he’s destined to have a bad week, don’t you?