1. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, flagship publication of the Organization for Obvious Precautions and Safeguards (O.O.P.S.).
A. When we mention the word “balcony” as a Risk-o-Matic op check, the verb “fell” isn’t far behind. If you could suspend the faller in midair to check his BAC, he’d usually fail.
The Sailor in the following account, forwarded as a local news item from one of our tireless correspondents scattered around the globe, reportedly didn’t fall, he jumped.
The good news was that he splashed down in a swimming pool. The bad news was that it was eight stories below.
He had been involved in what the news account described as a “loud and possibly drunken argument with a woman in a tenth floor room” before jumping. He broke both legs and was “very abusive towards the hotel staff member" who tried to help him.
Talk about a persona non grata. Must have been a heck of an argument. I wonder who won.
B. Mentioning a drunk guy gives us a neat segue into this week’s “Punishment of the Innocent” department. An E-5 was giving what the mishap report described as “an intoxicated person” a ride home.
Apparently the vehicle lacked a back seat, which is the proper venue for booze-filled passengers, but for whatever reason, the drunk guy was up front. He leaned on the center console to get a head start on sleeping it off (given the fact that it was 0430, who could blame him?).
His inebriated noggin, however, interfered with the driver, who promptly tried to shove the drunk guy out of the neutral zone. The attempted shove took at least one hand and too much of the driver’s attention away from steering, allowing the car to drift into a ditch. Maintaining speed, he tried to wrestle the car back onto the pavement.
Might have made it, too, if a culvert hadn’t intervened. The next few seconds were a loud, disorienting blur, highlighted by air bags deploying and the car doing the automotive equivalent of a barrel roll. I only wish we could provide the audio track.
C. To rebalance the universe, we now present our “Punishment of the Guilty” department, featuring an E-3 aviation structural mechanic who was filing a patch on an aircraft. She was underneath, looking up, and needed a clearer view of the project. She took off her protective eyewear and scrutinized the work.
Giving herself a thumbs up, she went back to work, minus the aforementioned safety goggles. She promptly poked herself in the eyelid with the file.
D. A sergeant and a couple of buddies were riding their motorcycles in California. As the Marine rode through what the mishap report described as a “popular turn,” he clipped the asphalt with his boot, lost control and ran into the guard rail. He broke his knee, got a concussion, dislocated his hip, put some cuts on his throat, and got bruises pretty much everywhere else.
The mishap report said he’d been going 50 mph. He had taken the sport bike rider course three days prior, painfully proving once again that training is only part of the equation for survival. It is just one more step on the path of learning your limitations and acquiring experience.
Based on myriad mishap reports that I’ve read, a novice rider heading into a curve (no matter how popular) at 50 mph is iffy at best. “Recommend no riding in the area,” the report said, because that spot “continues to be the number one crash site” in the county.
2. That’s all for this time, sports fans, see you next week. Since we won’t be in touch before everyone’s annual Independence Day celebrations, do your best to stay independent of first-aid kits, 911 calls and emergency trips to the ER this year, won’t you?