Accidents Happen

S.C. Anderson
PO Box 4321
Minnetonka, MN 98765

Superior Health Insurance
ATTN: Claims Review
PO Box 6789
New York, NY 12345

Dear Sir,

I'm writing in response to your request for additional information.

In block #3 of the accident report form I put "Trying to do the job alone" as the cause of the accident. In your letter you said that I should explain more fully and I trust that the following details should be sufficient.

I'm a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new 3 story building. When I completed my work I discovered I had about 300 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley that was attached to the side of the building at the 3rd floor. Securing the rope at ground level I went to to the roof swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope while holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the three hundred pounds of bricks.

You will note in block #2 of the accident report form that I stated I weighed 165 pounds. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly I lost my presence of mind and did not let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the middle of the second floor I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collar bone.

Slowed down only slightly by the barrel I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until my right hand was two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, I retained conciseness and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain and injuries.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom of the barrel broke out. Devoid of the weight of the bricks the barrel weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in box #2. As you might imagine, I began a rather rapid descent down the side of the building. In the middle of the second floor, I again met the barrel coming up. This accounts for my two fractured ankles and lacerations of my legs and lower body. This encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks. Fortunately only three vertebrate were cracked.

I'm sorry to report however as I lay there on the bricks, in pain, unable to stand or move, I lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel, weighing more than the rope, came back down and broke both of my legs.

I hope I furnished the information that you need to complete the processing of my claim and that you understand how the accident occurred by trying to do the job alone.

Sincerely, S. Anderson


Accidents Happen, The Sequel

S.C. Anderson
PO Box 4321
Minnetonka, MN 98765

Superior Health Insurance
ATTN: Claims Review
PO Box 6789
New York, NY 12345

Dear Sir:

This letter is in response to your recent letter requesting a more detailed explanation concerning my recent internment at Methodist Hospital. Specifically, you asked for an expansion in reference to Block 21(a)(3) of the claim form (reason for hospital visit). On the original form, I put ``Stupidity''. I realize now that this answer was somewhat vague and so I will attempt to more fully explain the circumstances leading up to my hospitalization.

I had needed to use the restroom and had just finished a quick bite to eat at the local burger joint. I entered the bathroom, took care of my business, and just prior to the moment in which I had planned to raise my trousers, the locked case that prevents theft of the toilet paper in such places came undone and, feeling it striking my knee, unthinkingly, I immediately, and with unneccesary force, returned the lid back to its normal position.

Unfortunately, as I did this I also turned and certain parts of my body, which were still exposed, were trapped between the device's lid and its main body. Feeling such intense and immediate pain caused me to jump back. It quickly came to my attention that, when one's privates are firmly attached to an unmoveable object, it is not a good idea to jump in the opposite direction.

Upon recovering some of my senses, I attempted to reopen the lid. However, my slamming of it had been sufficent to allow the locking mechanism to engage. I then proceeded to get a hold on my pants and subsequently removed my keys from them. I intended to try to force the lock of the device open with one of my keys; thus extrcating myself.

Unfortunately, when I attempted this, my key broke in the lock. Embarassment of someone seeing me in this unique position became a minor concern, and I began to call for help in as much of a calm and rational manner as I could. An employee from the resturaunt quickly arrived and decided that this was a problem requiring the attention of the store manager.

Betty, the manager, came quickly. She attempted to unlock the device with her keys. Since I had broken my key off in the device, she could not get her key in. Seeing no other solution, she called the EMS (as indicated on your form in block 21(b)(1)).

After approximately 15 minutes, the EMS arrived, along with two police officers, a fire-rescue squad, and the channel 4 ``On-the-Spot'' news team. The guys from the fire department quickly took charge as this was obviously a rescue operation. The senior member of the team discovered that the device was attached with bolts to the cement wall that could only be reached once the device was unlocked. (His discovery was by means of tearing apart the device located in the stall next to the one that I was in. (Since the value of the property destroyed in his examination was less than $50 (my deductable) I did not include it in my claim.) His partner, who seemed like an intelligent fellow at the time, came up with the idea of cutting the device from the wall with the propane torch that was in the rescue truck.

The fireman went to his truck, retrieved the torch, and commenced to attempt to cut the device from the wall. Had I been in a state to think of such things, I might have realized that in cutting the device from the wall several things would also inevitably happen. First, the air inside of the device would quickly heat up, causing items inside the device to suffer the same effects that are normally achieved by placing things in an oven. Second, the metal in the device is a good conductor of heat causing items that are in contact with the device to react as if thrown into a hot skillet. And, third, molten metal would shower the inside of the device as the torch cut through.

The one bright note of the propane torch was that it did manage to cut, in the brief time that I allowed them to use it, a hole big enough for a small pry bar to be placed inside of the device. The EMS team then loaded me, along with the device, into the waiting ambulance as stated on your form.

Due the small area of your block 21(a)(3), I was unable to give a full explanation of these events, and thus used the word which I thought best described my actions that led to my hospitalization.

Sincerely, S. Anderson



August 12: Moved to our new home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! Beautiful here. The northern woods are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see it snow. I love it here!

October 14: Alberta is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned colors--shades of red, gold, and orange. Went for a ride with my husband through the country and saw some deer. They are so graceful, certainly the most beautiful animal on earth. I really love it here!

November 11: Deer season will start soon. I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. What a beautiful place.

December 12: It snowed last night! Woke up and found everything blanketed with white powder. It looks like a postcard! We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. The kids and I had a snowball fight . . . I won, and when the snow plow came by we got to shovel the driveway again! It was so much fun. What a beautiful place! I love Canada.

December 14: More snow last night. I love it! The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. It's so great living here!

December 19: More snow last night. Couldn't get out of the driveway, and we're almost out of diapers. I am exhausted from shoveling. Damn snow plow did it yet again.

December 22: More of that white stuff fell last night. I have blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snow plow hides around the curve and waits until I'm done shoveling the driveway. Jerk!

December 25: Merry Christmas. More frigging snow. If I ever get my hands on that son of a bitch who drives the snow plow, I swear I'll kill the bastard. They don't have to plow so much--use more salt!!

December 27: More white sh-t last night, and Jim was stuck at the office. Been inside for three days except for shoveling the driveway. That jerk did it again. I'm going to get him. Can't go anywhere. If I have to play "Candyland" with the kids one more time I'll shoot myself. The car's stuck in white. The weatherman says to expect another ten inches again tonight. Do you know how many damn shovels of snow ten inches is?

December 28: That stupid weatherman was wrong. We got twenty two inches of that white shit this time. At this rate, it won't melt until July. The snow plow got stuck up the road, and that jerk had the balls to come to my door and ask to borrow our shovel. After I told him I had broken eight shovels already shoveling all the sh-t he pushed into the driveway, I wanted to break a shovel over his idiotic head.

January 4: Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and another shovel. On the way back a damned deer ran in front of the car, and I hit it. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those things are a nuisance and the destructive pests should all be killed. Wish the hunters had gotten them all last November.

May 3: Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from all that salt they put all over the road?

June 1: Moved to Florida. I can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever want to live in Canada!!!!


Airline Dictionary

The airline industry, like any other, has a specialized dictionary. These are words and phrases that are used commonly by airline employees for which the meanings may not be obvious to outsiders. At great personal risk on an undercover sting operation, I was able to procure this dictionary. Now I present it to you with no thought to my personal safety in the interest of academic freedom.
Remember folks, "If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!"

A herding creature of widely varying intellect, usually found in pairs or small groups. Often will become vicious and violent in simple and easily rectified situations. When frightened or confused these creatures collect into a group called a "line." This "line" has no set pattern and is usually formed in inconvenient places. Passengers are of four known species: Paxus iratus, Paxus latus, Paxus inebriatus, & Paxus ignoramus.

Passenger who arrives at the gate five minutes before departure.

Voluntary Oversale
A passenger who arrives at the gate as the jetway is coming off the flight.

Any passenger booked through a travel agency.

Non-Revenue Position
Usually can be identified by the fact that these passengers are in first class and are dressed in pilot or flight attendant uniforms. Non-revenue position are permitted to fly first class free of charge to prevent revenue passengers from being able to pay first class passenger charges.

A large loud pack of passengers (see passenger) travelling together. The group leader, who has the tickets, usually waits in the bar until the required pre-board time of five minutes before departure, or until there are no seats left together, whichever occurs last. Reservation agents are prohibited form pre-assigning seats to groups as this may convenience them.

An airport decoration. Usually unnoticed except by small children. Its primary function is to hide the location of various areas of the airport, i.e., gate numbers, rest rooms, baggage claim, etc.

Position Closed
This is a sign posted at various counter locations, which when interpreted by the passenger says, "Form line here."

Baggage Claim
The most difficult area of the airport to find. It is usually hidden by numerous signs saying, "Baggage Claim Area."

Carry On Bag
An item, usually of large dimensions, which somehow managed to fit under the passenger's seat on the inbound flight. Regardless of what the passenger says the following are not acceptable as carry-on items: bicycles, steamer trunks, refrigerators, truck tires, or wide screen projection TVs.

Flight Schedule
An entertaining work of paperback fiction.

On Time
An obscure term, meaning unknown.

A natural weather phenomenon which usually occurs around an airport while the surrounding areas are clear. Fog is controlled by the airlines and is used to delay flights.

Air Traffic Control
A game played by airline pilots and air traffic controllers. The game has no rules, and neither side knows how it is played, but the goal is to prevent flights from arriving in time for passengers to make connecting flights.

Ticket Agent
A superhuman with the patience of a saint, the herding ability of an Australian sheepdog, the E.S.P. abilities of Uri Geller, the compassion of a psychoanalysts, and and the tact of a diplomat. They have mysterious abilities to control wind/rain/snow/fog and all other weather phenomenon. They are capable of answering three questions at one time, while talking on the phone, and without stuttering or choking on their tongue. Later in life they sit in parks carrying on mysterious conversations with themselves.


Story Reported in The New York Times:
(true story!)

An award should go to this airline gate agent for being smart and funny, and making her point, when confronted by a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo. ~ A crowded flight was canceled due to mechanical problems and as luck would have it the airline left a single customer service agent with the monumental task of re-booking a long line of inconvenienced customers.

Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the head of the line, he slapped his ticket down on the counter and said: "I have to be on this flight and it has to be first class!!!

The agent replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to help you but I've got to help these folks first, then I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

The passenger was not impressed. He asked loudly, so that other passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I am...? Without hesitation, the gate agent smiled, grabbed the public address microphone and made the following announcement: "May I have your attention please..." her voice echoing throughout the terminal, "we have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him with his identity, please come to gate 17."

With the other passengers behind him laughing hysterically, the man glared at the customer service agent, gritted his teeth, and swore "F-----YOU!"

Without flinching, the agent smiled and said "I'm sorry sir, but you'll have to wait in line for that too."

The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly. Although the flight was canceled and the people were late, they were no longer angry at the airline.

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