Newberry Observer

Don’t do it alone

My wife was an executive secretary for a insurance VP in California early 1970’s. She received this from someone that she no longer remembers the author. It is both FUNNY, but you feel for the person that is answering the questionnaire for a claims adjuster.

Don’t Do It Alone!

I’m writing in response to your request concerning Block #1 on the insurance form which ask for the cause of injuries, wherein I put… “Trying to do the job alone”… You said you needed more information, so I trust the following explanation will be sufficient.

I am a brick layer by trade and on the day of the injury I was working alone replacing brick around the top of a four story building.

When I realized that I had about 500 lbs of brick left over, rather than carry them down by hand, I decided to put them in a barrel and lower them by a pulley which was fastened to the top of the building.

I secured the rope at ground level, went up to the top of the building and loaded the bricks into the barrel and pushed the barrel over the edge of the roof, with the brick in it. I than went down to ground level and untied the rope holding it firmly to insure the slow descent of the barrel.

As you will note on Block #7 of the insurance form, I weigh 150 lbs… Due to the shock of being jerked off the ground so swiftly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.

Between the second and third floors… I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. Regaining my presence of mind, I again held tightly to the rope and proceeded up to the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed in the pulley.

This accounts for the broken thumb. Despite the pain I maintained my presence of mind and held tightly to the rope as I was four stories up. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel full of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.

Devoid of the weight of the bricks the barrel now weighed about 50 lbs. I refer you to Block #7 of the insurance form, and my weight, as you would guess I began a rapid descent.

In the vicinity of the second floor I met the barrel coming up…this explains the injuries to my legs and lower body. Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent landing on the pile of bricks. Fortunately my back was only sprained and the internal injuries were minimal.

I am sorry to report, however, that at this point, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope…. As you can imagine the empty barrel came down again landing on me.

I trust this explanation is sufficient to satisfy your concerns.

P. S. Please know that I am finished trying to do the job alone.

Till next time!

Louis Neiger

Till Next Time

Louis W. Neiger, CLU, is retired from insurance and security planning, he lives in Newberry. He can be reached at