Friday, November 21, 2008

Surgical Strike

I was chatting with an old boss the other day and he was telling me how amused he used to get every time I left him a voice mail about missing work. My absences usually involved some sort of accidental mutilation, and he used to cry with laughter every time he heard my voice on the phone.

Like the time I called him shortly after stabbing myself.

You would think that upon ventilating one’s person, your first inclination would be to call authorities and have them rescue you to prevent further gushing blood loss.

Not me.

I called my boss and calmly left him a message saying that due to a slight knifing issue I would probably be late for work the next day.

Bosses should note here that such dedication should never go unrewarded. A Loyalty Stabbing Bonus would be appropriate – in the several thousand dollar range per incident. If I ever get mine I’ll be able to comfortably retire.

Why would I stab myself you ask? Well, I’m sometimes referred to as Lurch for a reason.

This particular incident (there’s been a few) happened after supper when I, as a male, was actually cleaning up. Walking to the dishwasher, the utensils slipped from my dirty plate, perhaps because this random act of householdness was so foreign to me.

Now a normal person would just let them clatter to the floor and pick them up later. I, however, have excellent reflexes, so in slow motion I lunged for the tools and in mid-air deftly caught the steak knife by the handle.

The look of exultation erupting on my face quickly vanished as my angular momentum somehow caused me to plunge the implement into my thigh.

It didn’t go in very deep, possibly due to the armour my wife makes me wear around the house, or it could have been the sudden, involuntary shrieking which caused my arm muscles to contract and remove the blade in a rather hurried fashion.

I grew lightheaded from the shock, and old-fashioned newspapers spun before my eyes, shouting bold headlines:

“Man dies of Self-inflicted Utensilectomy!”

“Bernaise Sauce Infects Local Stabbee!”

“Pearl Harbor Attacked!” and so forth.

It was refreshing, in a way, to stab a lower extremity for a change. The incident before that one was aimed at a hand. With a hatchet.

My then fiancĂ©e, now tourniquet-wielding spouse, and I were spending a weekend together at her parents’ cottage. For shame.

While preparing for departure, I was carrying several sharp implements in one hand, as men do, one of them being a wood chopping device with a finely honed blade.

If visualizing this, now is the time you would see the edge of the blade give off a bright, star-shaped twinkle and a “Ting!” sound to emphasize its razor sharpness.

In my exhausted condition (ahem) I dropped something, including the hatchet, and once again, using my excellent reflexes, I lurched for and caught the implement. By the blade. With my finger, which almost departed my person.

Thinking quickly, I ran for the bathroom and had a quick lie down.

Actually, I was holding the profusely bleeding digit under cold water when everything went white, then I lay down on the floor for a while.

When I came to, I assuredly announced to the love of my life that all was well, stood up, started to wash off my hand again, then quickly laid down one more time for good measure.

My darling Florence Nightingale, perhaps anticipating that our life together would mainly consist of her staunching my blood flow, cleverly wrapped a life insurance policy around my finger and wearily reached for the Mr. Clean again.

Eventually I made it to the emergency room, where I was greeted warmly by name, and told to go sit in my usual spot and await repairs.

I realize this story may make you hesitate to come over for a barbecue some day, but believe me – we are a fun couple and I don’t always injure myself. Honest.

Maybe brush up on the first aid though. I’m asking Santa for a table saw.

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