Churchill made a classic traveling blunder during a 1931 visit to New York City. In a confused moment, he looked right instead of left before stepping onto Fifth Avenue without realizing that here in the States, our traffic moves on the opposite side of the road. Churchill stepped right in front of unemployed auto mechanic Mario Contasino and took a 30 mph thumping from Contasino’s car, which dragged him and then tossed him into the street.
Although Churchill bruised his chest, sprained a shoulder, and suffered cuts to the face, he quickly told police that it was his own bumbling that led to the accident and that Contasino hadn’t done anything wrong. In fact, he felt so bad about inconveniencing Contasino that he invited the driver to his hospital room for a visit. Churchill also took advantage of his wounds to secure a tipple during prohibition. He got his doctor to write him a note that read, ”This is to certify that the post-accident concussion of Hon. Winston S. Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at meal times.”
Churchill even decided to have a bit of fun with the accident. He asked his buddy Frederick Lindemann, an Oxford physics professor, to calculate the force with which the car hit him. Lindemann responded that it was roughly equivalent to two point-blank charges of buckshot but joked that the charge was probably mitigated by the “thickness cushion surrounding skeleton and give of frame.”
“Larry was here” You spraypaint “Larry was here”, “Wash me”, all that kind of shit. Fuck his whole asshole up. Eat some snicker bars, throw paper on the floor, read the newspaper, roll the newspaper up and throw the newspaper on the floor, fuck his whole asshole up! And then you open that asshole one more time. Open that asshole again! Step out his ass and leave that motherfucker wide open, so he know you been there.”—Leon, Curb Your Enthusiasm (via dailycurb)