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Smashed by Out of Control Skier

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@jirac18, Oh that is horrible Shocked
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bloody awful & hears to a speedy recovery. That is what terrifies me about taking my child skiing- as you say the damage that could be done to child by someone going at that speed is indescribable- maybe 'nanny state' as it seems, the time has come to start bringing in some serious consequences like they have Stateside for those that ski like this.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

'nanny state' as it seems

I don't feel it's "nanny state" to get people to be responsible for their actions.

It's probably no riskier taking a child skiing than driving long distances. You can take sensible precautions (one of which, ski-wise, is avoiding the most crowded resorts at the most crowded times) but ultimately, accidents will happen, and not necessarily anyone's "fault" (though the OP's very unpleasant accident sounds to have been fairly cut and dried in that regard). A child was very tragically killed in the last year or so losing control and smacking into a tree. Horrendous. Probably could have happened to any of our kids, over the years - one of mine was forever flying into a hole somewhere, and that was in the days before helmets.

I am used to skiing on very quiet slopes and busy pistes do freak me out a bit. But then I'm conscious of the risks when driving, too - I've never thought it "wouldn't happen to me", as people sometimes say.
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@jirac18, sorry to hear of your injury, I hope it heals well, and speedily. I've been hit from behind before, by a snowboarder going too fast on a very crowded piste in Val Thorens but luckily I wasn't injured (just furious!).

It sounds like a nasty injury, and a LOT worse than the shoulder injury I had.

I broke my right shoulder when I slipped on ice (not skiing) and landed heavily on it two years ago. I ended up needing rotator cuff surgery, but it's almost back to normal now with full range of movement. Be prepared for a similar length of recovery time, unfortunately, if you need surgery. On the upside, I went skiing (carefully!) three weeks after the injury and it's not affected any subsequent trips.

I would say get yourself some proper painkillers. I found hospital-strength codeine and Tramadol did the trick!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@jirac18, gutted for you and tbh a little angry after several near misses during French half term recently. I too was driven off piste. The amount of hit n runs I hear of make me sometimes think that Alpine resorts need US style patrols.
One thing that may help more than words is...
Arnica cream. It will reduce the bruising and soothe the discomfort. I've used it a lot to hasten healing. It's obviously a serious injury, but the arnica will help a bit whilst you wait for op
Good luck
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@jirac18, sorry to hear of your accident.

When I spent a couple of weeks with the Courchevel ski patrol the amount of collisions really shocked me. I hate skiing on piste and am almost constantly listening out for what is happening behind me. I prefer the risks that I have some control over so spend most of my time off-piste or ski-mountaineering.
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@jirac18, ouch sounds nasty get well soon
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've had someone ski into the back of me as well, fortunately I got away with no damage, but it does make you think, especially when you read of such nasty injuries, doesn't matter how good a skier you are if the person coming up behind you at speed is out of control.

@jirac18, I wish you a swift and full recovery
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Heard about quite a lot of collisions this season. Possibly because of better communications or perhaps changes over time through shorter skis, more crowed runs and lack of bumps ?
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I was amazed this week that I did not see any collisions - a lot of people seem to think nothing of skiing flat out down steep, narrowish pistes with a lot of people on them. I have doubts that if they needed to, they have the reaction times to avoid a collision.
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@jirac18,

AH that's miserable. Sorry you are having a rough time and get well soon.
I'd agree with what others have said - don't feel bad about pursuing her insurance, it's what it's there for. You have already been as magnanimous as anyone could possibly expect.

These kind of collisions are the thing that I worry about the most and the main reason I started wearing a helmet. There are definitely times when it is safer to be off piste.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Sorry to hear of your accident - I had a shoulder repair done in October and no one realises how painful it is - I was hoping to ski this February but no chance. I'd echo everybody else's comments about physio - its vitally important and it takes a long time to get your full range of movement back The pain sleeping normally eases off after 6 - 8 weeks but expect 12 months at least of physio and rehab - mines starting to ease off now but its a long way from perfect and theres no way Id chance skiing on it until the strength returns Ive not even felt like going back to the gym yet . I was getting a lot of stick from my BIL about being a wuss not skiing and hes now shut up having torn his rotator cuff.
Good Luck with it
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Hope you recover quickly and glad to hear the lady at least stayed with you.

I had an out of control lady ski into me in Val 2 years ago dislocating my left knee and tearing my meniscus in 2 places. She stopped, looked at me and then cleared off. Twisted Evil

I went skiing for the first time since that accident a few weeks ago. Maybe because I am now more aware of other people than before I was gob smacked at how many people simply dont seem either in full control or aware of others around them. TBH it terrified me and I ended up spending my week waiting until each section of piste was pretty much clear behind me before skiing down. Even then a young kid appeared from the side "off piste" onto the piste and managed to ski across the back of my left ski and not even an apology. rolling eyes He didnt even look as he came onto the piste and straight across it.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jirac18, Echo the sympathy of all so far, sounds like you caught a big dose of bad luck. The one saving grace seems to be that you were hit by someone that actually feels some remorse for their part in the incident and that you've got details etc.

I do worry about being hit myself, especially as I'm still learning. There are a lot of people that seem to consider themselves good enough to go flying down blue runs without thinking that there might be the odd beginner prone to doing something unpredictable. All too often I'm trying to mind my own business near the edge of the piste and a quick skier insists on buzzing me on the blind side. I also find that this is a trait that snowboarders don't have quite so often, despite all the abuse that they come in for.

Good luck with the recovery. Could be worth popping along to a physio for a consultancy session, there's one that I know of in Teignmouth that offer this for free...although that could be fairly common as far as I know.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Having spent many hours trying various goggle/helmet combos on to ensure good hearing AND good peripheral vision, I wonder how much of this is down to lack of awareness of others (restricted peripheral vision, lack of auditory awareness)?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jirac18 wrote:
I've passed all her details to my insurers and they say they'll pursue what they can.


Beware; they are a business that is responsible to their shareholders. They will reclaim what they are liable to pay you; this probably does not include loss of earnings from overtime. You will probably have to pursue her.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w wrote:
She clearly was not a beginner, travelling at that speed.


Not sure I agree. Going quickly is easy if you don't worry about speed; stopping is inclined to be far more difficult.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 9-03-15 15:56; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
One shouldn't need either peripheral vision or auditory awareness to see a slower skier below you on a piste, well before you start judging how to overtake them safely.
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I must say we are relieved to have gotten through this season unscathed. There are simply too many out of control skiers out there. A snow-boarder nearly collected my daughter recently, hitting ramps at warp speed in a fun park full of little kids. I caught him and gave him a bollocking. I was quite happy for this incident to physically escalate but our hero lost his bottle. The funny thing is that when I am confronted him he denied it was him at first. Under pressure and loss of support from his mate he 'fessed up. Complete tool.

The US have ski "Marshals" who confiscate the lift pass from cretins who are skiing without thought of the safety of others. We need a few Judge Dredd types around the Alps
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the lawyer in me says sue. Glad you can be so sanguine. At least when I broke my collar bone it was entirely my fault. as otehrs have said good physio is key with shoulders. I can reccomend an excellent shoulder surgeon at the Spire hospital Cardiff Sad
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pam w wrote:
One shouldn't need either peripheral vision or auditory awareness to see a slower skier below you on a piste, well before you start judging how to overtake them safely.


Yes I agree - last week I saw a skier clearly out of their depth very slowly edging across a narrow red piste. I slowed down a lot, went past slowly when it was safe to do so. Quite a number of other people went past at close quarters at full pelt. One sudden unexpected movement from the out of their depth skier would have been potentially unavoidable.
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jirac18, It may be worth keeping in touch with the woman who hit you. A trainee of mine was hit by a kid in Italy and found that her insurance wouldn't cover the cost of physio.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
my insurance wouldn't cover the cost of physio after I had an accident on piste. I paid for it myself - it wasn't hugely expensive and was well worth it. My BUPA membership wouldn't cover it either - they would only pay for physio after a procedure they'd paid for (they paid for physio after my arthroscopy).
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@pam w, ....the situation may be different if the other skier has admitted responsibility, as in this case. When I had an accident unequivocally caused by the other party, private consultations and all physio were covered by the other party's insurers.
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Well I saw the consultant at hospital today and nothing much has changed. I will have more x-rays in 7 days and provided the breaks remain settled and are not displaced further then surgery won't be considered. I think, and the doc stressed, that is good news but no driving for 6 - 8 weeks, no gym for three weeks even for leg work and defo no skiing at easter!! My wife and girls have been hugely supportive and very magnanimous and are all agreed they don't want to go on holiday or ski without me. Naturally I'm very flattered but extremely disappointed for them.

Insurance will cover the cancellation of the easter trip thankfully.

Thanks everyone for your kind words of support and advice all very appreciated. I am certainly going to pursue a potential loss of earnings as I wont be back at work for two months and have suffered considerable hardship through no fault of my own. It has made me think twice about skiing again especially in the dead of night when the codeine has worn off but for sure I will be back next season to enjoy a great sport, pastime and way of life that's skiing!!

Can't wait to get over this most painful stage and start the torture of physio in 6 weeks time Shocked

Cheers one and all enjoy the rest of the season and stay safe up there Madeye-Smiley
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Quick recovery ; make sure keep up the Physio, key to a quicker recovery
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I can empathise with what you're going through having suffered a broken humerus a couple of years ago when a taxi driver knocked me off my bike. I found the sleepless nights the worst thing through trying to sleep sitting up. Mine was a straightforward mid-shaft break so not as complicated as yours and I got back to skiing after about 15 weeks. I just kept doing the exercises prescribed by the fracture consultant and didn't have problems regaining range of motion so didn't bother with physio.
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@jirac18, that's very good news. My grade 3 separation was caused by a motorcyclist going through a red light and hitting me full on as I cycled across a junction near Parliament. Broke my back too. But the consultants said '...you were lucky with the spine...all the fragments went forward and it's a stable fracture - it's your shoulder we're worried about..'. I had two weeks of having no clue as to whether I should or should not have surgery. Eventually, two things determined it. One, most American ice hockey players have one or two grade 3 separations. All they have is dropped shoulders and big bony lumps, no impairment of function after they have built the muscle back up, even though a major part of the connection between the shoulder, arm and rest of the body has gone. The consultant said '...well done, you've broken it really badly' and when I looked sternly at him he said 'I mean it, if there was less distance between the broken elements, you would have bone on bone friction - crepitus - which would be a painful and difficult problem'. So that was all in the direction of conservative treatment, and no surgery. Secondly, I went to see Ian Bayley at Stanmore, one of the best, and he said he couldn't wait to do a reconstruction, until he knew that I climbed and skied. He said that he could indeed reconstruct, but that under the stress of climbing it might suddenly fail, which would be far more of an issue than me building the muscle, knowing my limitations and simply adapting to it. So no surgery - which would most likely have been a wire through the shoulder blade and out over the collar bone and back. And nine years' later it has been great. It was painful and weak for a couple of years and then everything has settled down and my body has adapted. No T shirt hangs straight on me, my partner and kids say that my shoulders are so bumpy that they can't lie their heads on them (grade 3 one side and callus from a broken collarbone on the other) and I have hyper mobility on the grade 3 side - but with no tendency to dislocation, which is a relief. So although yours probably feels c**p at the moment, if it progresses like mine, it should be fine, and with no surgery, which is a good thing. Best of luck, I hope you are getting some sleep and not lying on your back snoring (and thus at threat of death by suffocation by your partner), and get to the physio as soon as you can - but not prematurely, which can make matters worse. Hanging the arm down and gently rotating it in a circle was the best initial exercise for me, preventing the build-up of nasty scar tissue in the joint. Very best.
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You know it makes sense.
sorryu to hear about this @jirac18, Sad
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Very sorry to hear about this@jirac18, but I certainly echo the thoughts of @L_555, et al. about further consequences for those who cause accidents by skiing irresponsibly.

Whilst it's good that she is contrite etc. who's to say this won't happen again. If this was a motor accident, then there would be consequences that could lead to her losing her license. I hope I'm not her next victim.
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jirac18 wrote:

After very pain riddled night went to A&E at Exeter this morning and my left shoulder is basically shattered, broken clean at the neck of the humerus and four fractures around the ball of the shoulder. Add to that ligament damage and I have a long road to recovery. Go back to see shoulder fracture specialist Tuesday who will decide about surgery and screwing it back together.


I feel for you as a similar thing happened to me in the Dolomites 6 weeks ago on Monday. I was enjoying getting the "feel" of my new skis, doing neat medium turns on a very wide piste when a young woman took the back of my skis out as she swerved to avoid a guy who was straightlining fast down on my right (I saw his green trousers flash by as I fell). She must have been traversing across and down at a very odd angle and very fast to have had to swerve into me on a near empty mountain side.

My breaks shattered the humerus into 4, and this was treated as a case for emergency surgery in Italy - I think to reduce the risk of avascular necrosis. The bone pieces on the CAT scan look pretty (?) displaced to me. I was in agony until they dosed me up on morphine and put a Philos plate in the next day- I don't think anyone could have got me onto a plane pre-op.
However, my shoulder and collarbone were unscathed and so all the problems are within the arm which is doing OK now the physio exercises are well under way.

On the plus side, I got to watch a lot of the Australian Open and, as they all arrived at the Portavescovo on the Saturday, to meet quite a few, mainly pre-injured, snowHeads coming for the birthday bash!

We then had a week on a ski safari - where I travelled with the baggage and slept whilst they skied, then my husband went skiing again and a friend came to look after me (i.e. accompany me out to the theatre, lunches, exhibitions etc.) and we both went to Austria with around 100 others last week which was also good fun. I reckoned that I might as well not do much in the mountains as not do much at home!
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@jirac18 Sorry to hear of your fracture , I have had a similar break of the Humerus just below the ball , but mine was all my fault just falling over & landing with all my weight on my left shoulder . Just wondered about the fact you had no surgery is that better then ?
As I was seen in French hospital in Briancon & had an x-ray to confirm break & the surgeon recommended an operation to put in a plate , which was a plastic one LCP,
this was 2.5 weeks ago & appears to be getting less painful now , though the codeine helps at night ! Going to the Southampton Fracture Review Clinic on Monday so will find out how it is & ask about plate .
Also the French doctor recommended bending over & rotating slowly my hanging arm one way & then the other 3 times a day , though no other use of arm .
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@snowxxx, jirac18 also has breaks in the socket by the sound of it - and so the pendanglio exercises probably have to wait a while longer ?
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Wow, I didn't realise how many Snowheads are suffering from broken shoulders at the moment. Like snowxxx mine happened four weeks ago and was purely self-inflicted, falling over on the easiest blue run with no-one else around. I still can't figure out why or how it happened but managed to break the top of the humerus although with little displacement there was no need for surgery (at least for now...fingers crossed). Local French doctor told me to start rotating exercises straight away and specialist back in the UK confirmed that a few days later.

Sling came off two days ago - terrifying at first as I expected everyone to bump into me and make things worse but nice to get at least some movement back. Physio thinks 3-4 months for full recovery so lots of pain ahead but hopefully fighting fit for next winter. Sounds like we should start a separate "Shoulder Recovery....my physio hurts more than yours" thread Laughing
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jirac18 wrote:
My wife and girls have been hugely supportive and very magnanimous and are all agreed they don't want to go on holiday or ski without me. Naturally I'm very flattered but extremely disappointed for them.

Insurance will cover the cancellation of the easter trip thankfully.


Spot the naive Snowhead about to be cajoled into a week in Tenerife at Easter Toofy Grin

"my wife...has been...very supportive".

I never saw that written before without irony.
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So how is everyone getting on?
I am pain free, but with restricted ROM- though as I seem to be able to do a bit more e.g.open the front door easily rather than having to stand on tip toe for added reach, most days, I am not too worried.
The physio says that it is a stiff capsule, like frozen shoulder but post operative and pain free and so I will have to wait for release.

How was the non- op route?
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Sorry to read of your accident jirac18. Hope you get back to full fitness and back on the slopes before too long.

The increasing amount of speeding skiers really scares me. I've lost count of the number that I have chased down the run - often unsuccessfully - to 'have a word' after they have nearly wiped out me or Mrs MA. Rarely is there any apology or even the slightest hint of contrition. In fact the response is often along the lines of 'What's the problem?' Worst ever response was from a member of the Canadian ski team - the speed he passed me was truly terrifying. I saw him in the lift queue minutes later and (politely) asked if he had considered the possible consequences of skiing a fairly busy piste at olympic downhill speed. His response was one of shocking foul mouthed abuse.....
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Couldn't agree more with Mountainaddict.

I was nearly wiped out by a crackerjack in Les Menuires last season. He was a fantastic skier but went past me on a busy cat track at breakneck speed, narrowly missing my ski tips as I turned. I was shaking with the shock and had a word at the bottom - along the lines of "you were too close & too fast. That was very dangerous."

His response? "If you are frightened skiing maybe you should try ze mountain biking." Tw@!

As Mountainaddict says, sadly there is usually no recognition or acceptance that they have done anything remotely wrong. Sad
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A story of encouragement for broken shoulders. Early March 3 years ago my daughter snapped the ball off the humerus with massive displacement. She was distraught, it was in the middle of climbing competition season and she had been doing really well. They waited a week before operating to see if it would drop back into place - fat chance! Wired it back together (couldn't pin it because it would have been through the growth plate and she was still growing). 4 weeks later they operated again to remove the wire. 2 more weeks where she wasn't allowed to move it at all. At the end of April she started physio, and by the end of June she was climbing again.
She was very conscientious about the physio, she got up half an hour early every morning to do it. We were fortunate enough to be able to have private physio, from a sports injury specialist, and he carried on treating her for longer than he might have done, because she was so keen to make a proper recovery and for it not to affect her climbing. Which it hasn't.
I am a firm believer in good physio, and doing it properly! Good luck everyone who is injured.
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Quote:

asked if he had considered the possible consequences of skiing a fairly busy piste at olympic downhill speed. His response was one of shocking foul mouthed abuse.....




OK, so I haven't posted about this because frankly I'm still rather embarrassed about it. And still confused about how it happened really. But it is relevant here so I'd be interested in people's reactions.

Earlier this season on a quiet Saturday afternoon I was skiing down a blue piste linked carves, quite slowly as it was a gently angled section when a snowboarder (as it happens - this isn't about snowboarders!) clipped the back of my skis from behind. I wobbled but didn't go down. He just slid off without a word.

I'd seen the guy around the mountain earlier in the day, he was I guess mid-thirties and a highly competent rider - not any kind of star but one of the better snowboarders I'd seen that day. To my mind there was no real excuse for him having clipped me on a quiet piste given his competence. And even less excuse for not apologising. I stayed up but I think most skiers would have been knocked down. And in case it was just very rude.

So when I saw him stopped at the side of the piste I decided to have a word. He was French so I was limited by my language skills but I managed to come out with "Peut etre ' je m'excuse', peut etre ' je suis desolais'?". Bit sarcastic and my voice was raised a bit but I wasn't threatening him or swearing at him. He had one boot out of the binding. I was in my bindings, hands in pole straps. He scoots over to me shouting in French that I can't understand and pushes me over. I'm no fighter but was quite certain that I didn't want to be lying on the ground with an angry booted bloke standing over me so kicked off my skis and stood up. As I was doing that he got his other boot out and started punching me in the head. I just couldn't believe what was happening! Fortunately he wasn't much of a boxer and I was wearing helmet and googles. Very Happy
I got my hands up to protect the uncovered bits of my face and concentrated on staying on my feet. After a bit he ran out of steam and just pushed his face into mine goggle to goggle while he chuntered on. I tried to keep my "you idiot" grin on while point out "je ne comprend pas". There was no way I was turning my back on him to get away - he looked like he'd completely lost it and he was bigger than me! I heard some shouting and his wife or girlfriend (I presume) turned up. Her shouting was directed at him and after a bit he turned away strapped into his board and slid off. She stayed where she was but didn't say a word. I'm afraid I couldn't resist a little shake of the head while turning to her with a quizzical "tous les jour comme ca?" which probably to her credit she studiously ignored.

Anyway, I confess I was a bit shaken by the whole thing. Beyond a bit of tenderness on my cheekbones and some scratches on my goggles there was no harm done but it did bring it home that there are some nutters about and it is probably a bit juvenile to go around trying to extract apologies from people for annoying but inconsequential behaviour. Realistically, what are the odds that you are going to get the reaction "you know you are so right, thanks for pointing that out, you've made me reconsider my whole approach" Very Happy Not high I reckon.

I'm still amazed by him though. He was a big bigger than me but not that much and he wasn't very "handy". He knew nothing about me and if I'd been someone who liked to fight it could have gone badly for him. And for what?
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