The Accidental Extremist is now online at www.theaccidentalextremist.com


The Accidental Extremist 2.0
March 12, 2009, 4:57 am
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Pack it up. Time to move on. Nothing to see here...

Pack it up. Time to move on. Nothing to see here...

NEW SITE LOCATION: We’ve redesigned the site and added many more features and posts. From now on, please goto and bookmark http://www.theaccidentalextremist.com. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to send in your own tales—we’re waiting!

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Chariot of Fire [Burning Sensations]

 

Running is a great way to feel healthy and alive.

Running is a great way to feel healthy and alive.

            I, a fat man, had been circling Portland, Maine’s Back Cove like a dog prepping its bed for most of the summer of 2007. Now intimately acquainted with every pothole, washout and linden tree on the route, I finally turned 7 miles at 9:20 per, and added longer runs of 10 and 12 miles. I was feeling reasonably prepared for my first-ever long running event until just before the race, when a telephone call informed me that I was to be without my race partner,
who I lovingly refer to as Chubby. Her plantar faciitis had put her on the back foot (pun intended) since the beginning of the summer. She simply didn’t feel ready to tackle the full 13.1 miles of running in Hanover.

“I’ve tried to run a half-marathon before I was ready, once,” she said. “I’m not going to do it again. But you can still come and stay with us, and I’ll pass you gu during the race.” Now alone in my quest, I commenced a final week of training: a solid 9.5-mile jog, a 3-mile Monday, a 5-mile Wednesday and a 7-mile Thursday. It was a beautiful week, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. My times were on target. I was feeling so good about my preparation that I left work early on Friday and promptly wrecked my motorcyle… Continue reading



13 Epics of Woe [Hall of Infamy]

A friend from Outside Magazine, Senior Editor Jeremy Spencer, reminded us of this excellent collection of misadventures he edited four years ago. Featuring the likes of Jane Smiley and Jon Lee Anderson, it’s a ghoulish gallery of murderous hitchhikers, lightning strikes, and worse. A little something to inspire your own submissions here. The article was paired with a classic travel disaster reading list, and a rundown of the 10 worst adventure disasters of the last 200 years. Enjoy—CDB



Over The Edge [The Abyss]

 

Sometimes the sea calls, and we answer.

Sometimes the sea calls, and we answer.

           I never thought I had a death wish, but one experience on my recent travels had me reconsidering. I’d been traveling around South-East Asia by myself on a break from my studies to see the world. One day I decided go cliff jumping and snorkeling in Thailand; I’d seen signs all over advertising guided trips.  On the same signs there were also advertisements for swimming with sharks.  At first I thought it would be quite a day to do all three, but to swim with sharks I would have to get up at 6:00am. That is just not a time of day I wake up to go jump in the water with sharks.  That’s not even a time of day I’m awake to see super models swim in the water…

 

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Emergency Recession Style [Wardrobe Malfunctions]

Only the finest fabrics will do for today's business traveler.

Only the finest materials for today's business traveler.

            So Tuesday was a big day for me.  Instead of going into my midtown office, I had to travel down to Tribeca to work at one of my firms off-site centers.  I knew where to go, but it’s that same feeling that you get when you have a job interview—you know where to go, but not exactly.  Anyways, I was wearing a suit because after work I had to meet up with some of my buddies at the University Club and they have a strict dress code.  Mind you this is the same suit I’ve had since high school graduation—almost 7 years ago.

So I get off the subway in Tribeca and bend down to tie my shoe, when I hear a loud….

RRRRRIIIIIIIPPPPPPPP…

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Fly The Fiery Skies [Sulleysque]

Come fly away to exotic locales!

Come fly away to exotic locales!

[Here’s an amazing yarn from our first octogenarian contributor, Bob Nielson, age 86…we’re not worthy! —Ed.]

Back in 1960 the Toronto Star sent me to South Africa to report black-white violence.  I boarded an American Airlines 6-propeller plane in New York, which crossed the Atlantic and stopped briefly at a few East African cities while heading south.  I had a window seat over the right wing and saw the nearest engine catch fire, shooting flames 30 feet high.  Called the flight attendant who ran to the cabin.  Turned off, that engine glowed like a red-hot coal.  We were over the jungle with no place for an emergency landing…

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Row Or Die [Water, Water, Everywhere]

 

Ah, the lapping waters, so tranquil!

Ah, the lapping waters, so tranquil!

What It Feels Like To Row The Atlantic Alone. By Olly Hicks, 24, laborer. 

[Ed.’s note: In September 2006, Hicks became the youngest person to row the Atlantic Ocean solo. He also has the distinction of making the slowest trip, covering the 4,040 miles in 124 days in his boat, Miss Olive.]

Before leaving New York for England, I had the worst butterflies ever–to the point of vomiting. Wondered if I had packed everything. Shoving off was a relief. Took about two days till I was out of sight of land. Then the sea turned into a feisty bitch… Continue reading