Here's an idea: If you are a person who suffers from a medical condition that causes blackouts, don't make your living as a car carrier. Unfortunately, this infallible piece of common-sense logic never occurred to one 40-year-old California man who failed at both parts of the previous sentence. Which was probably why he woke up to find himself and his truck submerged in the San Diego Bay in December 2007.
"Next career: commercial airline pilot!"
While most people in this situation would pee their pants and cry for their mothers, this driver coolly thought about how he could escape from this sinking tomb.
What Did a TV Show Have to Do With This?
It was then that he remembered an episode of MythBusters that dealt with the very same issue. Except for the part about being a guy who randomly blacks out but also drives heavy machinery for a living. They didn't deal with that issue.
As he had seen in the episode, the driver waited for the cab to fill up with water before he rolled down the window and swam out. Had he attempted to escape immediately, water would have flooded in very quickly, knocking him about and possibly rendering him unconscious. The driver was rescued from the bay and taken to a hospital, where they deemed his condition to be not just stable, but healthy. Other than that pesky blacking-out problem.
"I'm as strong as a horse!"
In another instance, a 54-year-old man fainted at a train station, falling off the platform and onto the tracks below. To make matters worse, moments later a freight train rounded the corner and began bearing down on him. Thankfully, a 14-year-old boy came to the man's rescue, bravely jumping down and pulling the man underneath the station platform. But all wasn't fine just yet. As the train went by, the vacuum created by the passing train began to pull the man up towards certain death.
But the 14-year-old was ready for this, having learned of this effect from an episode of MythBusters. He braced himself and held the man back until the train had completely passed and danger was averted. The 54-year-old thanked the boy, and was admitted to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. The 14-year-old wrote a song about it for his punk-rock band.
Do we smell a sitcom deal?
Simon Bower is an Australian writer and two-time winner of the Nobel Prize for Sex. You can read his blog, follow him on Twitter, or e-mail him.
For less heartwarming stories of TV and the real world mixing it up, check out 6 Beloved TV Shows (That Traumatized Cast Members For Life) and 6 Studies That Prove Reality TV Is Causing the Apocalypse.