Drop by Drop (tf)

I can’t see an icicle without thinking it’s going to fall and impale somebody (like me). Getting impaled by an icicle would surely ruin my day.

We all think this way, otherwise we wouldn’t grab a broom and knock them down when we see them dangling, regardless of how pretty they look. And they do look pretty. Much too pretty to just sweep away without some further study which I’ll conduct now because I have a few hours before the football games start.

Anyway, I thought it might be useful to ask around and see if anybody I know had either been knocked senseless by a falling icicle, or personally knew somebody who had. Nobody had….although one person claimed to have been bitten by a bat….but when pressed admitted he was really drunk and couldn’t be 100% sure.

Hmm. So I checked Google. Surely some obscure organization tracks deaths by falling icicles.

Nope. No statistics. What is tracked, however, is deaths by falling coconuts (“Coconut Palm-Related Injuries in the Pacific Islands,” ANZ Journal of Surgery, January 2001). An average of 150 a year….which makes coconuts 15 times more dangerous than both man-eating sharks and being poisoned to death at a church picnic. I trust Hollywood has noticed this and are proceeding accordingly.

Five folks have been killed by hail since we starting tracking being killed by hail (must have been a helluva storm). Being left-handed, there is a 4,400,000 to 1 chance that I’ll die from using a product built for right-handers. Not sure how I feel about this one actually. I’d like a list of products.

Nobody has died yet from what’s called “Blue Ice”. That’s frozen airplane lavatory waste for those not in the aviation biz. Blue Ice has damaged some house roof’s, however, making for some interesting insurance forms for sure. Perhaps one more example is in order here. There is a documented case of a poor sap crushed to death by a 45 year old woman who had thrown herself out of her 8th floor window. The ultimate example of “when it’s your time, there ain’t nothing you can do”. Like we all don’t have enough to worry about already, right?

In the United States 712 deaths a year are attributed to “thrown, projected, or falling objects” (sadly, all instances are lumped together, if you’ll pardon the pun). Number two on the list is Brazil, with less than half the casualties…one of which is the recent widow killed by being slammed in the back of the head by her husband’s coffin during a traffic accident during the funeral procession. At the bottom of the list is, ironically considering our topic of icicles, Iceland. A mere one death a year from “thrown, projected, or falling objects.”

But I did learn that in 2008 6 people died in Russia by being brained by falling icicles….in 3 days. It was reported by the state run TASS news agency, so you know it must be true. The cold war rages on in more ways than one.

But what about closer to home? In Michigan in 2001 it was reported that a 48 year old man died from “bilateral pulmonary thromboemboli due to crushed lower extremity due to falling ice.” What was he doing? Clearing icicles from his roof. This seems to me about as dumb as being crushed by the tree you just cut down (which happened to a guy in Minnesota last March)

I don’t know. Maybe we should just leave icicles alone and admire them. Like coconuts.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on January 23, 2011.

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