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Darwin Award & Insurance Claim:

Darwin Awards

You may know about the Darwin Awards -- It's an annual honor
given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing
themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way.

Last year's winner was the fellow who was killed by the Coke
machine, which toppled over on top of him, as he was attempting to tip a
free soda out of it.


This one needs an intro, so you won't be lost at the beginning.
This man was in an accident (work accident, not car accident), so he
filled out an insurance claim. The insurance company contacted him and
asked for more information.

This was his response: "I am writing in response to your request
for additional information for block number 3 on the accident reporting
form. I put 'poor planning' as the cause of my accident. You said in
your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following
detail will be sufficient. I am an amateur radio operator and on the day of
the accident, I was working alone on the top section of my new 80 foot

"When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the
course of several trips up the tower, brought up about 300 pounds of
tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now un-needed tools
and material down by hand, I decided to lower the items down in a small
barrel by using a pulley, which was unfortunately attached to the gin
pole at the top of the tower.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of the tower
and loaded the tools and material into the barrel. Then I went back to
the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow
descent of the 300 pounds of tools.

"You will note in block number 11 of the accident reporting form
that I weigh only 155 pounds. Due to my surprise of being jerked off of
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

"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 presecence of
mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my 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 of the tools, the barrel
now weighed approximately 20 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in
block number 11.

"As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of
the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel
coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of
my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough
to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools and,
fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am 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 rope."

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