Last week, Iwrote how I had once fractured my kneecap in a fall, trying to keep from spilling a few dollars' worth of dog food. Readers have since shared their tales of woe, and I now realize I got off lightly。
One New Jersey man decided to paint the exterior of his house to save money. Itwas all going well until the ladder slipped。
"When I hitthe ground, I ended up on top of the ladder and the paint splashed all over my face. So I was then treated to an ambulance ride to thelocal hospital where I found out that I had two broken bones in my shoulder, one rib fracture, and one broken finger bone, plusnumer ous scrapes and cuts. At the hospital, the doctor's first comment about the paint all over my face was 'nice color.' "
One Texas banker wrote me about his bad decision to cut his own firewood a few years ago。
"We had notbeen there 15 minutes when my chainsaw kicked back and nearly lopped off my thumb. ... A trip to the emergency room and severaltrips to a hand specialist led to the most expensive firewood Ihave ever burned. Since that day, I have not complained about theprice of a delivered cord of wood. Anytime I get the idea that I could save some money by doing something myself, I look at my deformed thumb and reconsider."
One Atlanta reader wrote about taking along his seven-year-old Basset hound when he traveled to a wedding。
"We could have stayed at a motel that allowed pets for $25 a night more than wepaid at the motel that did not allow pets. We decided to stay atthe less-expensive motel and take Baby into our room even though the sign in the lobby said 'No Dogs Allowed.' The motel security camera caught us taking our 60-pound hound into the room and we were billed an extra $175 for 'cleaning expenses' because of thedog. Bad decision."
Another reader decided to save himself money by buying a used basketball hoop and bracket and then constructing his own post and backboard. Only problem was the concrete hardened before he could get the post sunkto the right height. And he got paint all over himself。
"By the time Igot the thing mounted and some what stable, the rim was two feethigher than regulation. To put it mildly, [my] boys were crestfallen. Already I had spent more than $300--not including thecost of my ruined clothing--to get this $1.50 hoop up to where mylittle boys could barely reach it with the ball. Luckily, a friend(who unlike me was an accomplished handyman) accidentally knockedit down with his truck and offered to replace it himself with a kitfrom a sporting goods store, which cost me a little over $100,fully installed."
One reader told me what happened when, while living in Alaska, he returned toa supermarket to retrieve a box of crackers he had paid for but mistakenly left behind。
"It was snowing and the roads were slippery. A Jeep Cherokee in front of mewas stopped in the middle of the road. I braked but skidded intohim, smashing the front end and totaling my car (without even scratching the Jeep). To top it off, I got a ticket for rear-endingthe Jeep. All for a box of crackers. What was I thinking?"