If she had her way, my wife would probably like our house to be a Christmas showcase every year, with electric bills that blow away our budget for three months. She restrains herself, and only a few lights around the windows upstairs seemed to please her. I was intending to please her, for that is my calling in life, so I chose the extension ladder to gain access to the roof of our garage. From there the windows we had in mind are in easy reach.
Now this ladder has little footings with rubber soles. Perhaps I should say it has little feet with rubber soles. These are swivel mounted surfaces with treaded rubber to make gripping contact with the ground. I carefully set the ladder on these feet and leaned it against the garage roof with the extension partially deployed. Great! All is set for a safe and easy mount of the roof. I slowly climbed each rung and was contemplating just exactly how I would transition to the roof once I arrived at that point. I like to visualize a project so that I can see in my mind's eye how I am going to handle a problem.
Just as I reached the roof, these "planted" feet began to slip. Maybe there was a little gravel or sand on the driveway that sabotaged the sturdiness of the ladder. My mind began to fumble for a solution, as the ladder continued to slip. "Perhaps I can grab hold of the edge of the roof, and support my weight there." All this time the ladder is slipping at a steadily increasing speed. Now I will not say that my life passed before my eyes. But what did happen, happened in slow motion.
My visualization shifted into a scenario of me falling to the pavement with my legs awkwardly tangled in the rung of the ladder. I could see myself striking the ground and breaking my femur with the jagged bone protruding from my trousers. Suddenly I realized I actually was on my way down. And sure enough I landed on the ladder with a loud crash, but my leg was not tangled and not broken. In fact after I caught my breath, I realized that I was not injured at all. A young man who was driving by at that very moment, however, put his car in reverse and called to me, "Hey mister, are you all right?" I assured him that I was. Then my wife appeared from inside the house. It seems that the noise was loud enough that she was concerned. I was glad to leave the broken bones to my sledding past.