Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Change of Pace

Perhaps I am in a bit of a mood, but I don't feel like writing about politics today. Instead, today's subject is death, which we all must confront at some point. But this post is not about quotidian deaths, you know, the kinds that come as a result of long illness or random violence. Rather, this is about demises that occur under, to say the least, unusual, even absurd, circumstances, circumstances that one can hardly anticipate.

While I probably have something of a macabre sense of humour, today's subject is prompted by a story I read this morning of a rather ignoble end:
Judith Permar drove to a clothing drop-off box at about 2 a.m. Sunday, her black Hummer shrouded in the darkness of the Natalie, Pa., night.

It doesn’t appear the 56-year-old was fueled by a late-night desire to help the poor, though. When she arrived at the box, she jumped out of her enormous SUV, leaving the engine running.

At that point, it seems that she pulled a stepladder up to the drop-off box. No one can say for sure — the next time anyone saw Permar, she was dead.

After allegedly removing several bags filled with clothes and shoes, she slipped as the stepladder collapsed, her arm catching in the door.

The fall broke her arms and wrists, which were trapped in the box. Her feet, meanwhile, didn’t quite touch the ground, leaving her hanging.

There she dangled until 8:30 the next morning, when she was finally found.

Permar was pronounced dead at the scene. The county coroner James F. Kelley listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma and hypothermia.
And while we are on this subject, allow me to share with you some of the opening sequences of one of my all-time favourite shows, Six Feet Under, an HBO series which dealt with the mortuary business.

Enjoy, or not, as your sensibilities permit.


  1. .. I did wonder about that story.. thanks!

    On a side note .. I started writing an esssay for my son, suggesting I had used up all the Irish luck.. and he would be wise to not expect the same astounding good fortune re potentially fatal accidents.. I titled it The 9 Lives.. Incidents included must be ones certainly fatal, but through divine luck or complete fluke, I lived to tell the tale. Since then.. it's now The 18 Lives, as I recalled other 'insanely close calls' that I also walked or crawled away from, by absolute chance. Zero thinking on my part, blind luck.

    Subsequently, some of my friends and his, will go around the dining table, exchanging such bizarre experiences.. I am the king of course, being older & less wise.. but these various anecdotes amaze all of us..

    My son survived a fatal riptide in Australia when others perished.. but he does not count that.. as a former lifeguard and powerful swimmer he let it sweep him out & away from the main rip.. certain he could return to shore once freed.. those size 14 outboard motors certainly helped.. and no panic. Of course I almost suffered cardiac arrest reading this on Facebook..

    Many are the tales.. of strange or mysterious passings.. by the unlucky .. but the survival stories are often more astounding.. and I am holding at 18 Lives.. astonished ..

    1. Fascinating stuff, Salamander! I guess the lesson we should take away from all of this is that we just never really know, and should therefore conduct our lives accordingly.

  2. Thanks for this Lorne. The first video was hilarious. I've had a number of close calls myself, usually because of reckless or just plain stupid behaviour, mainly in my youth. Sometimes I'm amazed I'm still here. Thankfully, I've been very lucky. It feels good to be still standing.

    1. Every day we continue is a victory of sorts, isn't it, Pamela?

  3. Culling the herd, Lorne. It's nature's way of improving the species by eliminating those too damned stupid to live. Unfortunately we're too protected today. We indulge in electronics, personal devices instead of the more challenging sort of activities that once mattered more that used to claim the odd idiot. Here in BC we still have the late-season avalanches that claim moronic snowmobilers, more often than not from Alberta.

    The Redneck epitaph: "Here, hold my beer. Now watch this."

    1. Somehow, Mound, I doubt there will ever be a shortage of candidates for The Darwin Awards. You might enjoy some of these fatal escapades:

    2. I read the list. Great stuff. #5 describes what kills off a half dozen snowmobilers most years in BC, "highmarking." A group of yahoos compete to see who can run their machine furthest up a steep, snowy slope. The higher you get the more likely you are to trigger an avalanche. We usually have to wait a few days for the body to be recovered and identified, usually as some guy from Alberta.

  4. I think they call it Poetic Justice, Lorne.