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January 19, 2010
We lived in California, and our roof needed to be replaced. I thought I could save a few bucks and install the red tiles, which are so popular in SoCal, all by my lonesome. Bad move.
After a day of lugging tiles up and tearing off the old roof, I realized I had too many tiles – about 600 pounds of extras.
The sun was setting, and I wanted to get those back to the store for a refund ASAP. There was a pulley and rope I had used to raise the tile in the first place, so I decided to put all the tile in a large trash can and lower it to the ground. I tied the rope to a tree, loaded the hanging trashcan with 600 pounds of tile, and went back down. I untied the rope to lower the can.
I weigh 200 pounds… The trashcan w/tiles weighed 600 pounds.
It was a shock to be lifted off the ground so quickly, rocket-like, and I kept hold of the rope, rising alongside the house.
Somewhere between the apex of the roof and the second floor window I met the trashcan on its way down.
Which is why I suffered a broken collarbone and cracked skull.
If anything, the rate of acceleration increased as I went up the house, until my hands got jammed into the pulley. I kept hold of the rope, although my fingers on the right hand were broken.
Unfortunately, at about this time, the trashcan with 600 pounds of tile smashed into the cement driveway below, and the bottom literally shattered, sending tiles flying in various shapes and shards and pieces.
The trashcan now weighed about 10 pounds.
Again. I weigh 200 pounds.
That would explain why, still clutching the rope, I began an even faster descent toward the ground. I met what was left of the aluminum trashcan just above the first floor windows, which is where I got the cut across my chest and the black eye.
My two broken ankles occurred upon impact with the cement driveway, which is why I could not get up and run away when the 10 pound trashcan remnant came flying back down from the top of the roof, punching me directly in the mouth and causing the complete re-wiring of my jaw and dental makeover.
Thank God I had health insurance!