A comedy of errors

Dear Insurance Company,

I am writing this letter in response to your recent request for ‘additional information’ regarding my recent claim.

In block number 3 of your insurance claim reporting form, I responded by putting “Trying to do the job alone” as the sole cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should now explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient for this purpose:

As you should by now be aware, I am a general builder and handyman by trade. And on the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new five or six floored building. (It could have been higher, but that would have been another storey altogether).

Anyway, I was up there to construct a four foot tall, brick-built chimney stack on the roof and when I subsequently completed my day’s work, I quickly discovered that I had about 200 kilos worth of bricks left over.

Now being as I was alone, rather than opting to carry the bricks down the full height of the building by hand, I quickly decided to lower them down in a barrel by use of a rope and pulley, which was fortunately attached externally to the side of the building up at the same floor I was working on.

Anyway, having initially secured the rope at ground level first, I next went back up to the roof, swung the barrel out and laboriously loaded the left over bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tight to ensure a slow and safe descent of the 200 kilos of spare bricks.

You will at this point, please note that in block number 11 of the accident reporting form, I informed you that I weigh only 111 kilos.

Going Up In The World

Due to my surprise at having been jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind somewhat and forgot to let go of the rope before it was too late to do anything other than hold on for dear life. Needless to say, I then proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.

And it was somewhere in the vicinity of the third floor, that I subsequently met with said barrel of bricks coming down. Hopefully this more completely explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone.

Slowed only slightly by this collision, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were fully entwined two knuckles deep into the pulley wheel at the top. Fortunately though, by this time, I had somewhat regained my presence of mind and was just about able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my excruciating pain.

Going Down

At approximately the same time as the mashing of my fingers however, the barrel of bricks had already hit the ground at speed, and the bottom had broken out of the barrel during the sudden impact.

And now, devoid of the weighty load of bricks, the barrel alone weighed approximately only 12 kilos.

I refer you again to my weight in the accident reporting form, block number 11.

As you might imagine, I now began a more rapid descent down the side of the building than my earlier ascent. And still in the vicinity of the third floor again, I this time met with the empty bottomless barrel coming back up. This is what accounted for the two fractured ankles and the deep lacerations to my legs and lower body.


This second encounter with the barrel however, slowed me enough to somewhat lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of spare bricks below like a sack of potatoes, and fortunately, only three of my vertebrae were cracked and one leg was broken in the process.

I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there, now slumped over the remaining bricks while in considerable pain, unable to stand or even move for that matter, I was now watching the empty barrel dangerously dangling six stories above me… I again lost my presence of mind… and subsequently let go of the bloody rope!

And Just Like The Titanic… It Went Down Well

It was therefore literally only seconds before my face and chest took the full impact of that rapidly falling barrel. And this was when I sustained the last of my injuries, a broken nose and jaw, along with three or four severely chipped and loosened teeth and three broken ribs.

Please forgive me for the time it has taken to respond to your request as I have spent a considerable amount of time in my local hospital recovering. And even now, I still find it difficult to write to the extent I was once able.


Now I’m not for one minute trying to explain my recent absence in this world of blogging by any means as spectacularly as this, but the simple truth of the matter is it has been too long between my posts and for that I am truly sorry.

I must and indeed will try harder.

(Please note: No handymen were harmed during the making of this post)


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