How to React When a Man Falls Through Your Ceiling

"Hey Ryan." "Hey Billy." The viral-video health parable of the day.

This is video-of-unknown-origin is becoming popular quickly today. The intrigue is around the calm responses to a man named Ryan taking an unsettling fall through the ceiling of a pro shop and landing on his spine, then going about his business. It's watchable, don't worry.

The older man, Billy, reacts in a way that people are laughing about. Let's delve into his response. Inappropriate? When a man falls through your pro shop ceiling, best practices include:

1. Remain calm.

2. Assess man's consciousness by addressing person by name.

3. Tell man not to move, because spinal injury is a concern.

4. Get a phone.

5. Take a photo of man—wait, no, no. I mean call an ambulance. His spine, remember. That is where it gets strange, I suppose.

If I may add further speculation as to the circumstances of this video—which may turn out not to be real at all—Billy and Ron seem to have discussed the possibility of falling through the ceiling prior to this encounter. Ron was in the attic looking for some extra golf clubs, and Billy had told him to be sure to only walk on the joists, and Ryan said, "You think I don't know that already?"

"Well, I'm just saying."

"I'll be fine."


Addendum: The man in the video has been identified as Ryan Veltkamp of Baneberry, Tennessee. I regret that I previously interpreted his name as "Ron" and have corrected the post accordingly.

Presented by

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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