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[TowerTalk] Searching for a Whacky Story

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Searching for a Whacky Story
From: (Roger L. Elowitz)
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 1997 11:34:27 -0400
Hi George and all the humor posters out there,

Thanks for posting the "Sad Story."  It looks much better in the format
you've presented.  We need things like this to help us realize how fallible
we are at times and how important it is to tackle our tower projects with
safety uppermost in our minds.

Besides, its a well known fact that people learn more from humor than from
stories about untold misery and grief.

On the other hand... you would not believe how widely this joke has
circulated and all its many incarnations.  I've received stories about
apple picking farmers and bricklayers and you name it.  Seems like I hit a
gold mine of humor. Some have claimed it has origins of 40 to 50 years
ago....or longer.

Thanks to you for your research and to everyone for their very informative

Please "think safety" on all your tower projects so that we can all keep

Roger, K2JAS

At 05:55 AM 7/1/97 +0000, you wrote:
>At 04:08 PM 6/30/97 -0400, you wrote:
>>Hi Gang,
>>I'm looking for a whacky story I once received about a guy who had a
>>"terrible accident" on a HAM TOWER... where somehow a rope holding an
>>increasingly heavy bucket of tools supported by a pulley broke loose or was
>>untied and, as the bucket fell the rope snagged his leg pulling him up the
>>tower etc. causing all manner of mayhem and injury on the way up as well as
>>on the way down.
>>This story (just for entertainment purposes, I hope) is told so
>>hysterically that I simply must have this one for my humor collection
>>....although we all know these accidents are about the furthest thing from
>>humorous as you can get.  The original has long since disappeared.  Any
>>chance any of you run across it?
>>Roger, K2JAS
>>FAQ on WWW:     
>>Administrative requests:
>Here is a copy of the ham tower version, A SAD STORY, which is a letter from
>a ham to his insurance company.  I picked it up a couple of years ago from
>the ARRL FTP site.  It is very funny, only if it doesn't happen to you!
>It is a bit long, but posted it for all to enjoy.
>From the files of the ARRL Automated Mail Server, (
>file: sadstory.txt    updated: 05-21-93
>                           A  SAD  STORY
>     I am writing in response to your request for additional 
>information for block #3 of the accident reporting form.  I put 
>"poor planning" as the cause for my accident.  Your letter said I 
>should explain more fully, and I trust the following will be 
>        I am an amateur radio operator and on the day of the 
>accident I was working alone at the top of my 80 foot tower.  When 
>I had completed my work I discovered I had, over the course of 
>several trips to the top of the tower, brought up about 300 pounds 
>of tools and hardware.  Rather than carry the now un-needed tools 
>and materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items down from 
>the top of the tower in a small barrel by using a pulley which was 
>fortunately attached to the top of the tower.
>        Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of 
>the tower and loaded the tools and the materials into the barrel.  
>I went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it 
>tightly to insure a slow decent of the 300 pounds.  You will note 
>in block #11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh only 155 
>       Surprised 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 of speed up 
>the side of the tower.  In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met 
>the barrel coming down.  This explains my fractured skull and 
>broken collarbone.
>        Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not 
>stopping until the fingers on 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 onto the rope inspite of the pain.  At 
>approximately the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the 
>ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.  Devoid of the 
>weight, the barrel was approximately 20 pounds.  I refer you again 
>to my weight in block #11.  As you can imagine,  I began a rapid 
>decent down the tower.  In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met 
>the barrel on its way up.  This accounts for the fractured ankles 
>and the lacerations on my legs and lower body.
>        The encounter slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I 
>fell onto the pile of tools and fortunately only 3 vertebrae were 
>cracked.  I'm sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the 
>tools, in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 80 
>feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind.  I let go of the 
>FAQ on WWW:     
>Administrative requests:

FAQ on WWW:     
Administrative requests:

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