He followed that up by manning a .30 caliber machine gun after its three previous gunners had been shot down, and continued to fire that sumbitch clear through the night and into the next day, until he ran out of ammo and was captured by the Chinese.
His captors offered to release him if he returned to his native Hungary, which is pretty much the sweetest deal a POW can hope for: "We'll set you free if you just go home and stop kicking our asses!" is a hard deal to turn down. And yet, Rubin refused ... and instead proceeded to sneak out of the prison camp each night (at risk of certain execution) to steal food and much-needed medical supplies for the comfort of his fellow POWs. He kept it up for two-and-a-half years.
And we can safely assume he was also banging the commandant's daughter.
Unfortunately, Rubin's sergeant repeatedly circular-filed recommendations from his superiors that Rubin receive the Medal Of Honor. It was a slight that would go uncorrected until 2005, when president George W. Bush retroactively awarded him the long-deserved accolade. The son of a bitch even made George W. Bush look good.
Nature Succumbs To The Will Of Brian Blessed
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
Brian Blessed is best remembered for his role as Prince Vultan in 1980's Flash Gordon, and not for the fact that, at 67, he became the oldest man to reach an altitude of 28,000 feet without supplemental oxygen. It's a feat that, until relatively recently, scientists didn't think was possible for anyone, let alone someone who can get a senior discount at the goddamned Sizzler.
"Oxygen? You mean failure gas?"
Though his attempts to summit Everest have been thus far unsuccessful, due to factors beyond his control, such as uncooperative weather and comrades with less impressive beards than his own, Blessed has conquered peaks like Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro at an age when most people fail to conquer stairs. He's also the oldest man to ever reach the North Magnetic Pole on foot, which he accomplished by walking to the North Magnetic Pole on his fucking feet, punching his way through polar bears and dreadful weather alike. That's right: Blessed says that when a polar bear nosed its way into his tent one night, he punched the apex predator right in the face, causing it to withdraw so he could get some damn sleep already.
When you consider that the man has survived plane crashes over the remote jungles of Venezuela, and once collapsed onstage while performing King Lear when his heart momentarily gave out on him -- only to shake it off and finish the play -- we're inclined to believe him.
Guildford Shakespeare Company
"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is-" *heart pauses* "-to have a thankless child!"
At the time of this writing, Brian Blessed is 80 years old and still walks among us mere mortals, because who's going to tell him to quit? God? Not before Blessed has conquered the Mariana Trench, he won't.
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Kathy Benjamin's Funerals to Die For: The Craziest, Creepiest, and Most Bizarre Funeral Traditions and Practices Ever unearths very true stories that put the, er, "fun" back into funerals!