So there I was, in mid air about 35 ft off the ground and I’m thinking "Shit, I finally got a girlfriend who puts out and now I’m gonna die!" Actually I think I just thought "Fuck, this is it", but the first one is funnier, and more accurate.
They say your life flashes before your eyes when you’re about to die, but I think that’s only when you’re drowning, where you’ve got a bit more time on your hands before you expire. Falling is a bit different; gravity causes objects to fall at 32ft per second, so if you think about it, I had just over a second to realise that this could be curtains.
In the end it, took longer for me to get my bearings and figure out what the hell just happened after the fall, than it did to do the actual falling. After I regained my senses, the first thing that struck me was that I didn’t feel any pain. Now this can be quite a bad thing in some circumstances (I’m thinking total paralysis), but in this case I felt no pain because I didn’t hurt anything.
The only real pain was that my sphincter seemed to have gone into spasm because of how tight I clenched it on the way down, but apart from that I was fine. I just sat there trying to figure out how come. There were no witnesses so I had to piece things together for myself, and as near as I can make out this is what happened…
The building I fell off was one of three identical, long narrow buildings that were side by side, and connected by a covered walkway running past them to the parking lot. The cover of the walkway was thin gauge metal, and between the buildings ran steam and plumbing pipes that were located under the awning. It seems I left the roof with such force after the bit came out that I did a complete backwards somersault with pike, although as I’ve said I can’t be sure because my eyes were closed.
In any event, I landed feet first on the covered walkway and went straight through the metal awning only to be stopped by the steam pipes which were encased in about 18" of Styrofoam insulation. Amazingly, the only injury I sustained was a small scratch on my leg that I got as I tried to pull myself out of the two holes I just made.
Having finally extricated myself from the metal roof of the walkway, I was sitting there somewhat dazed and confused, as the foreman showed up. When he saw me sitting on the roof of the walkway he asked (demanded would be a better choice of words) "What the fuck are you doing up there?" Even in my stunned state, I was able to be clever, by pointing to the roof of the building and replying (I’ll never forget this), "I’m not up here, I’m down here, I was up there!"
"Well, come on" he said, "get down." To which I responded "Not without a ladder"
He just started laughing and said "Don’t be such a sook, you just fell 35 ft, you can jump 6." But I refused to budge until he got a ladder. And to give you an example of how indentured apprentices were treated, because I could walk OK, I wasn’t even allowed to go to the hospital to be checked out.
Don’t think I don’t appreciate how lucky I was, just over a month later, an apprentice I was working with on another job, fell through a hole in a slab and fell about 15 ft onto the concrete floor below and spent 6 months
in hospital and was permanently deaf in one ear as a result of the fall. I was the first to get to him, what a mess!
Now before anyone starts talking about divine intervention or some such nonsense, my view is that if there was such a thing, I would have preferred that it took place about 3 minutes earlier while I was still on the roof.
Filed under: Serials |