(2002, Washington) A couple bought an old, run-down house across the street from my friend's home in Spokane. The house had a steep, chalet-style roof. Two guys decided to repair the holes in the roof of this fixer-upper. We watched one secure a rope to a tree branch near the roof, not paying attention to the position of the tree relative to his own location. It was tied four feet away from the tree trunk.
My friend, an experienced roofer, went outside and told him that it wasn't a good idea to tie the rope to a tree. The best place to tie the rope to prevent a fall is at the top of the roof. He suggested using the chimney instead. They paid no heed to his warning.
The second guy's ingenious safety plan was to tie himself to his friend, who was tied to the tree.
Needless to say, on this damp, steep roof with many holes in it, the first guy eventually slipped and fell. He fell about fifteen feet before smacking into the tree trunk, breaking his collarbone, and dislocating his shoulder. He then continued down, hitting the ground, spraining his ankle, and pulling his friend down with him.
Fortunately his friend was on the other side of the roof, and was able to stop his fall by holding onto the chimney and untying himself from his hapless idiot friend. I don't know who was dumber, the guy who fell, or his friend. The next day, they went back to work, this time with the rope tied to the chimney.
With ingenuity like this, it's a wonder we aren't already extinct!
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Submitted by: Rachel Hartman