Our weather has been like riding a roller coaster lately. We begin to enjoy a mild fall day when we got hit in the face with a chilling blast of January-type weather and it keeps bouncing back and forth for weeks.
Having weathered many an Iowa fall/winter, I guess I’ve become accustomed to expecting the unexpected. The problem is that lousy weather puts me in a bad mood.
I’m not alone. The weather always seems to be the main topic of conversation in Iowa but come winter and it becomes more of a curse than a blessing. With this in mind, I guess I should pass along an item I received in the mail. It should brighten your day.
The story deals with an unfortunate policyholder who sends a letter to his insurance company. He seems to be in the midst of an unbelievable unlucky streak.
“I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block No. 3 of the report form, I put ‘trying to do the job alone’ as the cause of my accident. You said I should explain more fully, and I trust the following details will be sufficient.
“I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new, six-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had 500 pounds of bricks left over. So I decided to lower them to the ground in a barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor.
“Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof and loaded the bricks into the barrel. Then, I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. You will note in block No. 11 of the accident report that my weight is 135 pounds.
“Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and collarbone.
“Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to the information in Block No. 11.
“As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. And in the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the lacerations of my lower body.
“The encounter with the barrel at the third floor slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks. Fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.
“I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay on the bricks in pain, unable to stand, watching the empty barrel six stories above, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came down upon me and broke both of my legs.
“I hope this information will explain to your satisfaction how the accident occurred.”
Ed Rood is the former publisher of the Tri-County Times. He and his wife, Sharon, live near Cambridge.