Once, when Dad was working in the Air Force, he grabbed a ladder and put it against the side of the plane. He began climbing the ladder without checking if it was secured first. As he reached the top, the ladder fell. My father scrambled frantically along the slick side of the airplane, trying to avoid falling with the ladder. A moment later, he was in the cockpit, his face bright red, staring down at the others with enormous eyes.
One of our friends who witnessed this said, "It's amazing what you're capable of when it's over a ten-foot drop to the ground." He joked that if anyone had looked closely at the plane, they may have seen fingernail marks from Dad's desperate climb.