Make it Stop
Telemarketers can sometimes present a challenge. While these individuals are only trying to make a living, the calls seem to come when there is something else going on that prevents focusing on the product or service they are promoting. Some represent businesses that believe the “Do Not Call” registry does not apply to them, and they can be relentless. And some of the callers are surprised or even hurt when asked to stop calling and remove the telephone number from their list. So how can we shut down these calls? Perhaps instead of being annoyed, these calls can become an entertaining break by considering one of the following responses:
- Oh, I thought you were my driver – can you call Uber and get a car for me?
- I am happy to schedule a time to speak with you; as an independent consultant I charge $500.00 an hour. Just provide me with your credit card number now and I’ll reserve time on my calendar.
- I am so glad you called! I just finished memorizing Hamlet’s soliloquy – do you have time to listen to it?
- Great timing! I am in the middle of an argument with my kids – can you listen to both sides and give me your input?
- What are you wearing? (Or: Would you like to hear what I’m wearing?)
- Thank goodness you called! There is a Nigerian prince who left me $10 million. I need a bank account number to collect, and if you give me yours, we can split the inheritance.
But sometimes it’s surprising what can be shut off. Niagara Falls is a set of three waterfalls on the United States-Canadian border. Collectively, they have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with about 600,000 gallons (3160 tons) of water going over the edge every second. Horseshoe Falls is the largest, and American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls complete the triad. In addition, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States. Established in 1885 as the Niagara Reservation, it was the first of several such reservations that eventually became the cornerstones to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Three of the Great Lakes (Superior, Huron and Michigan) drain into Lake Erie, which in turn drains into the Niagara River. The River then plummets into Lake Ontario via the Falls, so technically Niagara Falls is connected to all of the Great Lakes.
In the late 1960s, American Falls was showing some rock buildup at its base, caused by centuries of rockslides. Officials were concerned that if the upper shelf’s floor tumbled, a rock buildup in this area could cause American Falls to turn into rapids. However, due to the massive amount of water flowing down the falls, surveying the erosion was impossible. The Army Corps of Engineers decided that the only solution was to temporarily shut off American Falls. The task force decided to build a dam upstream, diverting the water into Horseshoe Falls in Canada. Sure enough, American Falls became bone dry and tourists were even permitted to walk onto part of the temporarily arid riverbed. Once the engineers completed the project, they blew up the temporary dam to reinstate the flow over American Falls. A few months later, the experts decided not to restructure the rock bed – instead, nature would be allowed to literally take its course.
Niagara Falls has also been a locus for daredevils. For example, in 1859 Charles Blondin successfully made several 1100 ft. tightrope walks across the falls while blindfolded, in a sack, carrying someone on his back, trundling a wheelbarrow or on stilts. In 2012, Nik Wallenda spent 25 minutes on an approximate 1800 ft. Niagara Falls crossing. On October 24, 1901 Annie Taylor was the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel. Though bruised and battered, she successfully completed the journey. Annie was followed over the Falls on July 25, 1911 by Bobby Leach, who took the plunge in a steel barrel. Bobby broke both kneecaps and his jaw during this daring event. ICD-10-CM can help describe Bobby’s injuries:
S82.001A Unspecified fracture of right patella, initial encounter for closed fracture
S82.002A Unspecified fracture of left patella, initial encounter for closed fracture
S02.609A Fracture of mandible, unspecified, initial encounter for closed fracture
W16.112A Fall into natural body of water striking water surface causing other injury, initial encounter
Y92.830 Public park as the place of occurrence of the external cause
Years later while touring in New Zealand, Bobby slipped on an orange peel and died from complications due to gangrene. A different set of ICD-10-CM codes are required for this misadventure:
W18.31XA Fall on same level due to stepping on an object, initial encounter
I96 Gangrene, not elsewhere classified
There are eleven more recorded trips over the falls, in containers ranging from a large rubber ball, to various types of barrels, and even a jet ski. Although not all of these fearless risk-takers survived to tell their story, one gentleman went over Horseshoe Falls in nothing but street clothes, and received only minor injuries (he was also assessed a large fine, and was banned from Canada for life!). Many other things have gone over Niagara Falls: fish (of course), waterfowl and even a flaming boat. Perhaps it is as Mehmet Murat Ildan says, “There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you.”