Rescue? Me? But why?

Dieter Holmblutter is a professional roofer, so he's used to tromping around on top of other people's residences to estimate how many courses of shingles and pounds of nails it would take to replace worn-out surfaces. Indeed, that's what he was doing the other day on a five-story building in Saarbruecken, Germany, when someone saw him standing precariously close to the edge, assumed he was suicidal, and telephoned the police. You can guess the rest: Within minutes, the city's fire department dispatched a ladder-truck crew to the scene, complete with emergency chutes and a trained negotiator to try to talk him out of jumping. And all the while, as sirens wailed below and the cops detoured traffic and kept the curious at bay, Holmblutter was engrossed in a conversation with a woman friend on his cellphone, oblivious to the commotion. Until, that is, she asked about the loud noise in the background. At that point, he looked down and saw the extension ladders reaching toward him and realized what was happening. To the satisfaction of the would-be rescurers, he explained the situation, and they left him to finish his estimate. Oh ... and also with a warning to expect a bill for the expense of mustering the emergency crew, which will come to several thousand dollars. No word on whether he got the job.

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