One cold winter a fire restoration contractor I worked with asked me to go to a site where a kitchen fire had done quite a bit of damage to a two-story home the previous night. Since the power company had pulled the meter to kill all the power to the home, the contractor wanted me to come in and restore enough power to get the furnace, a string of lights, and a GFCI outlet working so the other trades could get to work right away on the cleanup. I got there around lunch, and no one else was there. I went about my duties, and after a while I felt the “call of nature.” I found the only bathroom on the second floor and did my business, but when I went to flush, I found that the water had been turned off. I filled a bucket with some water from the water heater and poured it down the toilet. When I went downstairs to leave, I saw the carpenters had already removed most of the contents of the kitchen, including the ceiling and a 6-foot section of PVC waste line from the second story bathroom. Those guys will never know how lucky they were to have closed their toolboxes before they left for lunch.
While installing an outlet for a new stereo in an old residence and after a few trips and measurements from the living room to the basement, I proceeded to drill up from the basement and into the living room partition. Well, I missed the wall by about 6 inches and instead drilled up into the bedroom and through the bottom drawer of the owner's dresser. The auger wrapped around the clothing inside, and I couldn't get the drill bit back down or open the drawer. After removing the drawers above it and removing the wood separator, I was finally able to remove the drill bit and install the outlet — pro gratis!
Illustrations by Clint Metcalf