Friday night topic: Near misses

— 5:30 PM on September 14, 2012

This past Tuesday afternoon, I met with AMD in its hotel suite near IDF for a series of briefings about various parts of its business. When I was finished, I happened to be near a side entrance to the expansive hotel suite, so I opened the door, stepped out into the hallway, pulled the door shut, and began walking to the elevator. A couple of seconds later, I heard a large BANG! behind me. I turned to see that a big, wooden piece that had been affixed above the doorway had fallen to the ground, its thick plywood hitting the floor corner-first and splintering, throwing chunks across the hallway.

My first thought was a calm, "Well, that's unfortunate for the hotel people," followed by a realization that it'd be polite to let the folks from AMD know about the wood in the hallway. Only as I was explaining the problem to one of them did I really begin to realize how close I'd come to a pretty serious, potentially life-altering injury. Had that wooden structure clocked me in the head, I might have had a very hard time making lame jokes in video card reviews going forward.

Fortunately, no harm was done, although I left the hotel and proceeded, later the same afternoon, to develop a raging fever, chills, aches, and weakness from a viral infection—which is why I've written approximately bupkis about IDF to date. If I believed in karma, I'd be asking some perplexed questions right about now.

Anyhow, I know I've had at least one or two other random close calls in my life. Fortunately, so far, I've escaped unscathed. The question for the evening is: what near-miss calamity have you experienced? Discuss.

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