1. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps. This week we dive back in to our ever-overflowing mail bag to share some feedback, anecdotes and observations.
A. A Navy contractor wrote with some insight on the term “horseplay”: “They aren't much different than us when it comes to goofing off,” he says. “My 12-year-old old palomino and my 2-year-old Percheron were playfully rearing up at each other, just having fun, when the palomino came down on one of the T-posts on an electric fence and impaled himself with about 8 inches of steel between his front leg and chest.” Ouch!
The good news is that the power was off. The bad news is that the vet bill was $1200. Ouch!
B. An Air Force correspondent wrote to mention that she had been trapped in an elevator and had to be rescued by the base fire department. She noted that the "help" button didn't work. Since it was an outside elevator and the wind was howling, she was relieved when a passing contractor heard her pounding on the door and shouting.
Note to self: Get one of those “help” buttons for the elevator at the Summary of Mishaps Museum.
C. A retired chief learned the laws of gun safety from his father-in-law, who taught hunting safety for more than 30 years. One thing the chief likes about the laws are that “they can also be easily applied to lots of potentially dangerous evolutions where unintended consequences and collateral damage are likely to follow,” he writes. For example, “Treat every paint brush (or diaper, or hornet’s nest) as if it were loaded.” And “Keep your finger off the trigger (button, lever, valve, send).”
D. A sergeant wrote to ask if we had seen the report about the lance corporal who tried to heat up his coffee on his car’s engine block. The lance corporal had learned this trick from a gunnery sergeant, who had neglected to tell him to look out for the spinning fan blade, which chopped up one of his fingers.
E. Another Air Force correspondent writes about a civilian she knows who is the safety officer at a maintenance facility and also in the National Guard. On a flight with the guard, the plane suddenly filled with black smoke. Guess who hadn’t paid attention to the instructions for donning the oxygen mask? He almost passed out, and another passenger had to help him.
F. Regarding our special issue entitled “Calling All Blade Wielders,” a coworker remembers a warrant officer who once told him, "Always cut toward your buddy, not your body. You can always get another buddy, but you can never get another body."
G. And while we’re on the subject, a Navy physicist wrote about a one of his father’s coworkers in Utah, a “short, powerfully built Mexican man everyone called ‘Bear.’ Bear always had a knife on him for one thing or another.” Once, when the local gendarmes pulled him over and asked him to step out of his car, the officer noticed what our correspondent describes as a “large Crocodile-Dundee like knife strapped to his back.” The officer asked Bear to put it on the hood of the car and asked Bear if he had any other knives. Bear nodded and produced one from a pocket and another from a sheath. Preparatory to searching the car, the officer asked Bear if he had any more knives in the car. Another vigorous head nod. Bear fished out a couple more. At this point, the officer asked Bear if he had any guns. "Guns?”
Bear exclaimed. “I don't carry guns. They’re too dangerous!"
H. Our item about kicking a fish rang a bell with one correspondent, who provided the story of a service member who didn’t want to keep a fish that he’d caught and decided to give it the boot. Even though he was wearing shoes, he still got a very painful barb in his foot. Net: Several stitches and several weeks of LIMPDU.
2. That’s all for this week, friends and neighbors. See you next time.
Last Revision: December 6, 2013