Dr. Pyro wrote:If you insist. It was August, 1984 and me and a buddy were fishing (which has nothing to do with actually catching fish) up above Lake Almanor, near the town of Chester, CA. We could hear this boom-boom-boom but thought they were blasting the roads prior to paving. We were on a granite outcasting in, for want of a better word, like a volcano in the sense that if you look up from the lake all you can see is the top of the mountain all around you. All of the sudden black clouds blew in and the temperture dropped about 30 degrees in a moment; similar to opening a freezer door. Then it happened. Lightning strikes every couple of seconds and we see dozens of people running like hell away from the lake. It was hailing and raining and after trying to "hide" from the weather under a small granite overhang, we started running down what was just moments ago a nice path but had turned into a rushing river. All of the sudden there was a deafening BOOM! and I get hit by the bolt. Imagine the brightest light you've ever seen exploding inside of your brain. It was as if I had been hit in the back with a 4X4, all of the air was sucked out of my lungs and it flung me maybe 20 feet. I hit this ground, which really was mostly granite and dirt, and my buddy turned around and yelled, "JIM!" I couldn't respond. He came and literally had to pry my fingers out of the granite and together we made it back to the truck, leaving our fishing gear and beer behind. I had hundreds of small cuts, maybe three inches long, all over my body. But for the most part I was fine. Turns out lightning has the main bolt (which would have cut me in two) and "fingers" along side. That's what got me. We hightailed it the hell out of there and didn't stop until we got to Chico. Turned out the same storm a short while later killed four climbers on El Capitan in Yosemite from lightning. Not the most pleasant day I've ever had. Thankfully we had more beer in the truck.
That might be the best death-defying tale I've ever heard.
(Although I am still accepting applications.)
I arrive at this judgment through a complicated equation involving 1) probability of fiery death 2) actual injuries incurred, by contrast 3) luck experienced 4) proximity of witnesses 5) descriptiveness; ease of visuals 6) more beer in the truck.