This is one of a collection of stories that are tragedies, with technical details surrounding the fatal (or nearfatal) event drawn from real cases in the US OSHA incident report database or similar sources and are therefore entirely realistic, even if seemingly outlandish.

Charles B. Holloway was not a very healthy man, and he was constantly surprised that he was still alive and partially kicking. At 54, he was the older of two brothers by 3 years and not a day passed without him crowing about it to his brother, one Christopher K. Holloway. Chris was not very much healthier than Charles, but he never let a day pass without mentioning it to Chuck. Chris had heart irregularities, for which he took digoxin. Chuck had recurring bouts of bronchitis that sometimes became pneumonia. Chuck also had frequent episodes of pink eye, sinusitis, middle ear infection, and strep throat. Chuck took many medications.

Chuck and Chris bickered like only an old married couple, or bachelor brothers, can. Things may nonetheless have worked out fine had it not been for Rebeca Correia Cavalcanti (nee Carvalho), and the fact that their father had been a first-class ass. Chuck and Chris had met Becky at bingo and had fallen over each other in response to her Brazilian accent, exotic looks, and perfume. Rebeca was 5 years younger than Chuck, in good shape, and vivacious compared with any of the rest of the bingo and bridge crowd. A grim rivalry grew between the brothers after that first meeting 2 years ago.

Their father, Hank, had done them the immense disservice of encouraging competition between the boys that made them bitter, suspicious, and scheming. The boys grew up convinced that life was unfair, hostile, and sneaky.

Rebeca liked both brothers but saw neither as a long-term prospect for romance or partnership. Their constant rivalry was amusing in the beginning, but they both seemed to be getting way too serious and competitive, and she was starting to pull back from them a bit.