Colleen Figg

This bizarre world

2008-04-11 08:52

Colleen Figg

I once read in the paper that a British man, aged 27, decided to bump himself off by going parachuting and cutting the lines connecting him to the 'chute. This was his first jump, and his last.

Well, if he hadn't gone to all that trouble I would definitely have needed to nominate him for the Darwin Awards: pity suicides can't feature. Still, as I said to my husband - who wondered aloud why anyone would go to such elaborate lengths to kill himself - perhaps he wanted to hit the headlines... as well as the ground.

But this chappie's not alone - I went and did some research because I quite enjoy bizarre suicides and found some lovely ones. I always wonder what their last thoughts are as they make the final leap or whatever. Hope for their sake it's not 'Shiiiit!! I've changed my mind!'

Firstly, there's the urban legend of the Most Bizarre Suicide of 1994 - pity it's not true because it's certainly bizarre. A certain Ronald Opus was said to have leaped out of his apartment window (having had enough of life) when on his way down a shotgun went off, killing him instantly. If that's not fate then I don't know what it is!

Then on to a true story - there's a song called Gloomy Sunday, written by a Hungarian bloke called Rezsô Seress in 1933, that's said to be responsible for over 100 suicides since.

It's even been renamed The Hungarian Suicide Song by The New York Times and the man's ex-wife (about whom he wrote the song) took poison and left a note saying simply: 'Gloomy Sunday'.

Two people shot themselves whilst listening to a band playing it and some folks drowned themselves in the Danube River in Germany whilst clutching pieces of paper with the song name written on them. The most ironic of all the suicides, though, was that of the writer himself; who flung himself out of his flat window in 1968, at the age of almost 70.

Sounds too hectic to be heard!!! Steer clear folks, especially if you're having a bit of a downish day....

There was a certain Buddhist monk called Thich Quang Duc, who set himself on fire in 1963 and staggered through the streets in protest of the way the government treated Buddhists.

I'm always fascinated by people who immolate themselves because it must be bloody sore - I mean, you know how you feel when you burn yourself in the oven - imagine that, times 1000!! I think people who go for this method as a means to an end must be pretty damned determined!

The quirky odds

I also am fascinated with those folk who try to bump themselves off and who fail - the quirky odds of this happening more than once seem incalculable. But in January 2005 a Czech man tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat with a chainsaw (totally extreme if you ask me) and landed up not dying when he missed and lodged the blade in his spine.

This was his second attempt at removing himself from these earthly realms - apparently he had previously tried to hang himself from the branch of a tree. The branch proved too frail and snapped, resulting in two broken legs for the poor, despondent bloke.

Then we get the blokes who don't seem to realise that they've attempted suicide at all - like the Oregon man who went to the doctor complaining of a headache. Subsequent investigation proved that he had 12 nails embedded in his skull, from a while back when he fired a nail-gun into his head. I guess Nine Inch Nails isn't one of his favourite bands anymore...

And what about that chap who went and cut his head off with a butcher's band-saw in a grocery shop in South Africa? I mean, what on earth motivates these people?? And surely, if they were to translate that motivation into something positive, they'd all be pretty successful people.

Can you imagine waiting in the queue for your twelve Rondt's steak; idly wondering if, when you get back home, you should wash the curtains or not; when some dude blows in and hacks his head off then and there! Mind boggling, I tell you!

I read in the You magazine a while back about some chap who was on his 12th or 15th suicide attempt - amongst those that had failed were an attempted gassing and the pipe had a leak outside as well as a leap from the window and getting caught on some protruding object by his trousers. Or something. But hang, man! Surely to God if you've tried thrice and failed, you must assume Someone Is Trying To Tell You Something!!

I dunno... you gotta love it! This bizarre world.

Send your comments to Colleen.

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