Apparently, the following letter was to an insurance company, from a bricklayer who was injured while trying to get a load of bricks down from the top of a twelve-storey building, without any help.

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for further information regarding my recent claim for medical benefits and loss of earnings.

I was working alone on the roof of a 12-storey building and I had about a 500lb load of bricks left over. Instead of carrying the bricks down by hand, I decided to put them in a barrel and lower them down by a pulley, which had already been fastened to the top of the building. First of all, I secured the rope at ground level and then I ran back up to the 12th -floor and swung the barrel of bricks out over the side of the building. Then I came back down to the pavement and untied the rope, holding on to it tightly so that I could guide the barrel down slowly. But since I weigh only 180 pounds, the 500-pound load of bricks jerked me from the ground so fast that I didn’t get chance to think about letting go of the rope!

Somewhere between the 5th and 6th floor, I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for my broken collarbone. I was slowed down slightly but continued my ascent until I reached the top, where my hand then became jammed in the pulley. This accounts for my three broken fingers. Fortunately, I still had sense to hold on to the rope but then the barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out. With the 500 pounds of bricks now gone, the barrel only weighed about 50 pounds and so, as I am sure you can imagine, my 180-pound body began a swift descent. I met the empty barrel coming up again around the 6th floor and this accounts for my two broken ankles and the lacerations to my lower body. Slowed again, but only slightly, I continued my descent until I landed slap bang on top of the pile of bricks. This accounts for my sprained back and broken arm. It was at this point that I completely lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope! The now empty barrel came crashing down on top of my head and this accounts for my fractured skull.