Never Hitch Your Wagon To Another Man’s Horse

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Strangely this blog post is neither about wagons nor horses, but I thought the title was catchy. It is related though, I haven’t reached the stage yet where I have to deceive people into reading my blog.

This post is about Chief Petty Officer Roman Styles, U.S. Coast Guard Station, Jacksonville, Florida who decided to repair some damaged shingles on the roof of his house himself, instead of paying a contractor to do it for him.

Ever conscious about the dangers of working at heights and on sloping shingles in particular, Chief Petty Officer Styles tied a safety rope to the trailer hitch of his truck prior to climbing up on his steep roof. Then, once he had climbed up to the peak of his roof he secured the other end of the line around his waist and slid over the top of the roof to repair the shingles.

So far so good. He started his repairs.

As luck would have it, bad luck that is, shortly after he started to work, his teenage son called for a ride home from a Boy Scout trip. Mr Styles’ wife, Jane, took the call and went straight out of the house, got into the truck and yelled to her husband that she’d be back right away.

“I didn’t see the rope,” Mrs. Styles said later, “until I saw it in the rear-view mirror. By then I was half-way down the street.”

Bill Schlimm, a next door neighbor, said, “I’ll never forget the look on Roman’s face as he came sailing over the peak of that house. If it hadn’t been for that tall cedar tree he would have been really hurt.”

After realizing what had happened, but not before she had dragged her poor husband quite a ways down the street, Mrs Styles summoned emergency help.

Mr Styles’ bad luck was compensated by the good luck that he only had to be treated for a slight concussion and a few scrapes and bruises.