Cautionary Tales ("Don't Try This at Home")
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    RodW's Avatar
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    Exclamation Cautionary Tales ("Don't Try This at Home")

    I didn't see a thread for "Don't Try This at Home" or "Well, it could have been worse!" posts, so I'm creating one. We've all done things we should be ashamed of, so don't be shy. Here are a few experiences to help get things started.


    - I once won a bet by swallowing a 2-inch scoop of sherbet. The pain wasn't bad (so severe as to numb the headache), but I lost all vision for 10 seconds and couldn't speak the next day.

    - I wanted to fell a huge cherry tree from a rather steep river bank, so I tied a cable through the first fork (20+ feet above ground) and anchored it to a stump so the tree would "swing around" rather than fall into the water. As I completed my cut, a wind gust came up, the cable broke, the tree split down the middle, I dove to the ground, and the tree portions fell on both sides of me. I guess I needed a bigger cable.

    - As a kid, I occasionally rode in the hopper wagon when Dad was picking corn. I fell asleep and got buried. Luckily, the picker malfunctioned. I woke up & yelled while Dad was near the wagon and he dug me out.

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    9 lives

    Quote Originally Posted by RodW View Post
    I didn't see a thread for "Don't Try This at Home" or "Well, it could have been worse!" posts, so I'm creating one. We've all done things we should be ashamed of, so don't be shy. Here are a few experiences to help get things started.


    - I once won a bet by swallowing a 2-inch scoop of sherbet. The pain wasn't bad (so severe as to numb the headache), but I lost all vision for 10 seconds and couldn't speak the next day.

    - I wanted to fell a huge cherry tree from a rather steep river bank, so I tied a cable through the first fork (20+ feet above ground) and anchored it to a stump so the tree would "swing around" rather than fall into the water. As I completed my cut, a wind gust came up, the cable broke, the tree split down the middle, I dove to the ground, and the tree portions fell on both sides of me. I guess I needed a bigger cable.

    - As a kid, I occasionally rode in the hopper wagon when Dad was picking corn. I fell asleep and got buried. Luckily, the picker malfunctioned. I woke up & yelled while Dad was near the wagon and he dug me out.

    Sounds like if you started with nine lives at least a couple of them are used up.

    I had two trees growing together about 20' from our house. I wanted to cut one and leave the other but it was leaning over the house/deck. I put a cable on the tree and ran it to another tree and then back to a Jeep because there wasn't really room to get a straight pull. My brother was in the Jeep and well, I just missed on the back cut as it had to be a plunge cut from the side. I see the tree starting to go and am yelling to my brother to pull. He backs as hard as possible which I guess was just enough. The tree ended up coming his way and missed the deck steps by about 2'. It also missed his Jeep by about 2'. My wife has never forgotten that one even though no harm, no foul. I haven't forgotten it either and would do it differently if I had to make the same cut again.

    Treefarmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodW View Post
    I didn't see a thread for "Don't Try This at Home" or "Well, it could have been worse!" posts, so I'm creating one. We've all done things we should be ashamed of, so don't be shy. Here are a few experiences to help get things started.


    - I once won a bet by swallowing a 2-inch scoop of sherbet. The pain wasn't bad (so severe as to numb the headache), but I lost all vision for 10 seconds and couldn't speak the next day.

    - I wanted to fell a huge cherry tree from a rather steep river bank, so I tied a cable through the first fork (20+ feet above ground) and anchored it to a stump so the tree would "swing around" rather than fall into the water. As I completed my cut, a wind gust came up, the cable broke, the tree split down the middle, I dove to the ground, and the tree portions fell on both sides of me. I guess I needed a bigger cable.

    - As a kid, I occasionally rode in the hopper wagon when Dad was picking corn. I fell asleep and got buried. Luckily, the picker malfunctioned. I woke up & yelled while Dad was near the wagon and he dug me out.

    LOL. With all due respect, you may well at sometime in the future be listed in the annual Darwin Awards. You've already had some pretty good opportunities to get in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Sounds like if you started with nine lives at least a couple of them are used up.

    I had two trees growing together about 20' from our house. I wanted to cut one and leave the other but it was leaning over the house/deck. I put a cable on the tree and ran it to another tree and then back to a Jeep because there wasn't really room to get a straight pull. My brother was in the Jeep and well, I just missed on the back cut as it had to be a plunge cut from the side. I see the tree starting to go and am yelling to my brother to pull. He backs as hard as possible which I guess was just enough. The tree ended up coming his way and missed the deck steps by about 2'. It also missed his Jeep by about 2'. My wife has never forgotten that one even though no harm, no foul. I haven't forgotten it either and would do it differently if I had to make the same cut again.

    Treefarmer
    Next time, hire this guy: https://youtu.be/klWZSmi-9vE

    I've used up more than two spare lives (& Darwin opportunities), but I don't want to monopolize the thread. Let's see what other stories are posted...
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    You might be a redneck if someone in your family died after saying "watch this".

    Jeff Foxworthy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    Sounds like if you started with nine lives at least a couple of them are used up.

    I had two trees growing together about 20' from our house. I wanted to cut one and leave the other but it was leaning over the house/deck. I put a cable on the tree and ran it to another tree and then back to a Jeep because there wasn't really room to get a straight pull. My brother was in the Jeep and well, I just missed on the back cut as it had to be a plunge cut from the side. I see the tree starting to go and am yelling to my brother to pull. He backs as hard as possible which I guess was just enough. The tree ended up coming his way and missed the deck steps by about 2'. It also missed his Jeep by about 2'. My wife has never forgotten that one even though no harm, no foul. I haven't forgotten it either and would do it differently if I had to make the same cut again.

    Treefarmer
    Tree came down, 2 foot margin on both sides... sounds like an expert job!
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    I have way to many stories,, lucky and very very Thankful being alive today and that I can still walk.

    I was maybe 10 yrs old, running around the parking lot of a church yes its dark outside , my neck catches the guy wire of a electric pole.

    Around the same age , (dark again) playing tag outside with several cousins , (not a area I had ever played ) running on top of a wall (come to find out it is a 12' wall setting on concrete) I jumped from one wall to the other wall I missed . landed on concrete. My feet still hurt to this day, several Xrays and a lot of different pairs of arch supports.

    Fell out of phone booth.

    Climbing over a security fence ,( because I was to hard headed to drive about 20 miles to get the correct key to open the gate) everything went as planned, coming back over the fence, slipped and ended up hanging upside down by my new bluejeans.

    The worst one , knocking the electric off to a 20 mile area or larger, from helping my dad and little brother install a CB antenna. One leg of the antenna landed on the lower line on the power feed. Always thought that was the neutral,,,,I lifted it off 2 times the third time it stayed on the line. The powr came back to the metal post for the antenna jumped to dads 40' aluminum ladder down and jumped to the 28' aluminum ladder standing under the 40'.. OH electricity makes a beautiful blue arching flames for about 15-30 secs till the transformer across the road blew and the feed coming to that power pole had blown a fuse or circuit breaker in the sub station 15 miles away..


    Last one , falling down our basement steps.

    Oh would have to think but sure I could come up with a lot more ..
    Gene

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    If everybody here would be honest and give a complete history, the thread would compete with the *Good Morning* thread
    in length.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cajun View Post
    If everybody here would be honest and give a complete history, the thread would compete with the *Good Morning* thread
    in length.
    I agree! Thanks to the contributors so far!
    Here are a few more to jog your memories -- Childhood lessons in engineering & science:

    - While were were loading cattle for market, one "small" calf began to escape through a narrow gap between our truck and the fence. I was in position to save the day, so I lowered my shoulder and applied my ~110 pounds to stop its run. I lost. (mass momentum, inertia, center of gravity)

    - My brother and I often created our own games. We found a stand of tall, slim sycamores and discovered that we could climb to the top of a tree, arch our back, and bend it to the ground. As we competed to see who could subdue the largest tree, I failed to notice severe insect damage at the base of my final target. It bent slightly then snapped, dropping me about 10 feet. (gravity, acceleration, elasticity)

    - My brother and I decided it would be funny to climb Dad's favorite tree and eat apples "in place," leaving the cores hanging by their stems. After finishing several, we both accidentally stepped on the same limb and broke it out of the tree. That led to another of many whippings... (Weight, leverage, material strength)

    - I began shaving sooner than planned to remove the odor of singed peach fuzz after a minor accident "rapid starting" a campfire. (combustion, thermodynamics)

    Who's next?
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    Oh my. So many stories to choose from. I'll just go with the most recent. Was working on a cell site in Western NC. We had to set a shelter and gen set. Problem is it was on top of wildcat mountain. Helicopter lifts are way too expensive so normally we pull the crane up the steep winding trail with a D6 or larger depending on size of the crane. Usually uneventful except this time. I tell the crane operator to take widest turns he can to make the switch backs and I was going to take the shorter track to keep the speed up. 40 min into the pull everything was going textbook until I felt a tug and lost traction on the D6. Crane operator took too wide of a turn and rear steer wheels fell off the side of the trail. I turned around in my seat to see what the problem was and could see under the front tires of the crane and the operator hugging the steering wheel, eyes big as dinner plates, while tacking out the engine trying like hell to find traction. I throttled up and finally dug in pulling the crane back on to the trail and on all wheels.30 min later we make the 3 mile trek and reached the top. Had to sweet talk the crane operator out of his seat. Both of us almost went down the mountain and god knows what the outcome could have been. Definitely shook both of us up. The trek back down was much slower, but understandably so.
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