roof covered in snow, holiday disaster
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Roughed Up on the Roof

"One Christmas the roof was covered with so much snow that water was trickling through, traveling across a beam, and dripping onto the living room furniture. That was annoying, but when the skylights got totally covered and the living room grew dim, I said (because I was in my teens), enough! I grabbed a shovel and the ladder, slammed it up against the roof and shoveled all the snow off the skylights and the roof. Victory!

"It would have been truly heroic if I hadn't then done exactly what my mom had warned me I might do: Heading down, I slipped on the roof, slid down head first, knocked the ladder down to the deck and fell backwards 12 feet, landing flat on my back on the ladder, crushing a rung and a vertebra in the process. Not such a merry Christmas recovering from that boneheaded bout of bravado. I refused to go to the ER, so I was confined to the couch with ice to calm the spasms for a couple of days. My wounded man pride took longer to heal, though, and I think of that every time I see that darned bent rung."

—Pratt B.
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