A person who has survived a critical health condition despite a poor prognosis from medical professionals may be described as having “cheated death”. Likewise, someone who narrowly misses being hit by a bus with dodgy brakes by a matter of inches can also be said to have “cheated death”.
This week’s blog post is really about the latter – those that have cheated death by the skin of their teeth, thanks to some quick thinking, nifty manoeuvring and/or because lady luck was simply looking down on them at the right moment. In some cases, they didn’t even realise how close they were to meeting their maker.
The compilation of clips below shows people defying death in pretty spectacular fashion, incidents that have been caught on camera.
One of these is animal related, where a guy’s life must have flashed before his eyes as an enraged leopard proceeds to jump on him.
Most, however, are vehicle-related where fleet-footed pedestrians manage to evade a runaway juggernaut or bus in the nick of time.
Then there are those at organised motor rallies where bystanders just about avoid an errant race car – though in one case it is an insouciant race marshal who nearly plots his own demise by nonchalantly crossing the track at a blind corner.
In the English language, death has often been referred to as the Grim Reaper who, since the 15th century, has frequently been depicted as a skeletal figure wearing a black cloak with a hood while wielding a big scythe – the character that appears at the beginning of the above compilation.
The Grim Reaper can cause the victim’s death, giving rise to tales that he can be bribed, outwitted or tricked – cheated – so as to keep one’s life, such as in the case of Sisyphus in Greek mythology, or the knight in Ingmar Bergman's movie The Seventh Seal. The knight challenges Death to a game of chess in the belief that he can prevent his dying as long as the game continues.
Of course, Bergman’s treatment of cheating death is rather profound and it’s fair to say that most of the people in these clips didn’t have a rendez-vous with the Grim Reaper at the forefront of their minds when they found themselves in a near-fatal pickle, especially this trainspotter lacking some crucial alertness:
It is the “yeeaughh!” noise emitted by an onlooker that provides some comic relief to what could have been a severely nasty episode in which he nearly spots his last train.
And one more for luck: