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» Trapped!

Pot hole in one
Many orbits ago, when I were knee-high to a pit pony, I was in the RAF cadets.
It was a jolly awesome time; we got to shoot real guns, fly real planes and eat real out-of-date rations. Yes, we had to wear dipshit uniforms and march around a bit, followed by a bit more marching around, but night exercises were a jape and being in the CCF meant I could do shooting instead of retarded rugby for Games (slightly posho school; not really my scene...)
One time, I recall not how exactly it related to air-forcing, we went potholing, possibly in the Forest Of Dean, down an old cave/mine system. It was all pucker and above-board and we had a guide and helmets with those lights on that Northern people seem to like. A top-tip at this point: if you're told to wear old clothes as you'll be crawling around down a (very) red iron ore mine, don't wear your cool jeans with big rips across the knees; your knees end up red from two causes.
Anyway, it was absolutely unlike any cave I'd been in before; you know, those touristy ones with the concrete walkways and handrails and coloured spotlights on the stalactites. This place was wild and full of wet bits and gravelly bits and no lights anywhere, just the lights we had attached to our helmets. At one point the guide got us all to switch out lights off to appreciate the impenetrable darkness. Deep.
There were various very crawly bits where we literally had out chins in the dirt and our backsides & helmets scraping the roof. We clambered and climbed, slithered & squirmed until we came to a point where there was a choice: either follow the guide through a long and very narrow twisty passage or take the slightly easier route around. Our guide advised the adults to take the longer route but assured us kids that we'd get through with no probs.
So off started, one by one, into this dark (duh) tunnel. It was indeed very tight and involved a couple of sections where it was necessary to twist from feet-first to head-first and back again. I suffer from mild claustrophobia, as I'm sure many people do, but had been doing alright until I became stuck, going head-first, downwards. The passage had narrowed in one dimension and I had evidently gone through it at slightly the wrong inclination resulting in my torso becoming wedged. I wriggled as much as I could but didn't come free. Somehow one arm managed to reach far enough to dislodge the battery-pack that was clipped to my belt, and this allowed me to slide backwards slightly, only to result in me becoming even more lodged.
Time and again I've tried to relate to people the feeling of being squeezed on all sides, and compared it to a bearhug, the difference in this case was that the bearhug was not from a jovial uncle, clasping me from behind, but solid rock. Where flexing one's arms and chest would provide a little wriggle room in the former case, such an attempt resulted in no give. Whatsoever. The rock, the cave, the continent, the plate, the Earth was hugging me in an embrace I could never brace against.
I panicked.
My breathing became quick and ragged, hard through my nose, and I started shaking. My body attempted to buck and every muscle from temple to tarsus tensed and relaxed in waves of spasms.
Then I began asking for help, at first in a whisper through clenched teeth and then more loudly. It seemed a very long time before anyone answered my screams, and I'm not sure how much self-control I had left.
Eventually a classmate appeared and offered some advice, whilst attempting not to snigger too hard my predicament. He was useless, but knowing there was someone else there, and that they had made it through, gave me enough rationality to think through how I was pinned.
We all made it out, and headed back to the helmet store to get scrubbed down before heading home, my fellow cadets taunting me all the way.
It could have been so much worse. Had we not all been filthy with iron ore and somewhat soaked from the water in the caves, my unforgiving classmates would have noticed the secret I dared never share until now: during my entrapment and subsequent struggles, my bladder had released and some of that piss had trickled downhill into my own mouth.
(Thu 6th Mar 2014, 20:55, More)

» Trapped!

No,
THIS is the end.
(Thu 13th Mar 2014, 9:10, More)