The Incredible Shrinking Man in India


3 Times I Cheated Death During My World Travels


“He will give them death. And they will love him for it.~ Gladiator”


Well not quite.


I am here writing these words.


But I have cheated death a few times during my world travels.


Peep these death-defying tales.


1: Becoming Dangerously Dehydrated in India


Gollum try outs in Kovalam India


“His pulse is feeble.”


The doctor’s words still ring in my ears about 4 years to the day of being in a hospital in southern India.


I estimate I was within 2-3 days of biting the big one from dehydration.


I had lost almost all of my fluids.


Giardia was the initial culprit. But my stupidity in not running to the hospital after 3 days of nausea, zero appetite and heavy fluid loss – through the bum, and through perspiration, and through me taking in a few sips of water daily because I could not stomach any more – was the chief culprit.


I did not eat for 10 days. I barely had anything to drink.


I lost 10-15 pounds in this period of time.


Right before I went to the hospital for treatment I vomited the Indian Pepto offered me by the doctor who felt I had a little indigestion. More like a Big Alien growing in my gut. I had to be carried out of the bed to the tuk tuk to the bumpiest ride of the life to the hospital.


I recall laying on the floor in the hospital before I was placed in a wheel chair and whisked off to the emergency room.


The picture you see above is after I gained 5-7 pounds, post hospital trip and 3 bags of electrolytes.


2: Nearly Falling off of a Cliff in the Remote Jungles of Costa Rica


I almost fell off of a cliff not too far from here in Buena Vista, Costa Rica


Thousands of marauding army ants plundered the dirt path of sentient beings.


I didn’t want to be on the menu.


After a massive colony of army ants had made a clean sweet of the hut/house, the hoard marched into the jungle. I marched into the jungle to procure sour oranges for our evening pleasure; fresh sour lemon juice (things was grim in the jungle, guys).


My trip up a steep hill was no big deal. I plowed through the army ant colony at breakneck speed, not worrying about the soldier ants getting into my boots with their massive, over-sized jaws and not worrying about falling, as gravity worked for me.


But the way back down the hill was precarious. I had to literally run down the hill to get through the gauntlet because if I slowed down, the tiny beasts would be all over me like… ants on a gringo.


One big problem: the path was muddy, slippery, and roughly 1 foot wide, crawling with army ants.


Second big problem: to the left of the impossibly narrow path was a cliff.


Third big problem: the cliff was about 50 feet high. Meaning if I slipped off the cliff, I would have a very Toonces the Cat type ending.


I had no choice. Sprint or be enveloped by ants.


I sprinted.


Immediately, I tripped over a huge root and stumbled, bumbled and fumbled my way to the edge of the cliff.


I literally found my footing and balanced myself within a half of foot of plunging to my death as I looked over the cliff’s edge, my heart in my mouth.


Note; I held onto the sour oranges for the entire ride, near-death stumble and all.


3: Clinging to the Back of a Lumber Truck While Hitchhiking in Fiji


Clinging on for dear life in Vanua Levu Fiji


My forearms bulged like Popeye’s.


We hit a hair pin turn doing 45 MPH.


I balanced precariously on my left big toe – I am not kidding – placing all force, strain and tension on my 2 guns which clung for dear life to a steel grate on the cab of a large lumber truck, all while the lumber load shifts threatened to buffet me around, right off the truck, to my demise in this island paradise.


The deal; we wanted to get around Vanua Levu Fiji on a Sunday. Which is the Lord’s Day. Which means no bus service across the island. Which means hitchhiking on trucks. Which means the girls sit inside the cab and the guys grab onto a steel grate as a wild lumber truck operator barrels down the road at high rates of speed as his ton of trees pushes you around like a rag doll.


I had to balance on one big toe. One, not two.


The size of the lumber load combined with my placement on the rig forced Biddulph to balance like the Black Swan as we flew around the island like a bat out of hell.


If I had not done my push ups like a good boy all those years, I am a Fijian Frogger, splatting on the street.


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