Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Have a Penknife...

...therefore I am educated.

But not always real bright.

Friday March 7th. A day like any other day. Normally I have every other Monday off but since my birthday was this past weekend I arranged to take my day off on Friday so I'd have a three day weekend. I got to sleep in, wake up next to my beautiful wife and have a relaxed day of pampering. Later in the day we decided to venture out to run errands one of which involved going to Lowes home warehouse so I could pick out a new shop-vac. While there we also picked up a few other things like gardening supplies to get ready for Spring, and a new dog gate.

Since we got the ShihTzupoop for Christmas we've tried to keep her in the kitchen and family room which are non-carpeted. From this area there are two primary routes of escape. There's a doorway of normal width which goes to the dining room and a much wider doorway which goes to the entrance foyer and front door. We had one kiddie/doggie gate of normal size which functions quite well at the dining room checkpoint however we've had to improvise at the other wider, and much more heavily traveled route. This improvised barrier consisted of the ironing board (which is rarely used for its intended purpose and happily volunteered for service) laying across the doorway and backed by various other objects like a suitcase and a cardboard box. It looked remarkably like this:



The new gate is much more practical since, in addition to being wider, it actually mounts in place and has a hinged gate that opens and closes with relative ease. It is also tall enough and sturdy enough to hold back the hounds of hell so it has the added benefit of being able to keep the puppy contained should she suddenly sprout wings and fly. Here it is post installation:



So there I am on Friday evening back home from the adult-male-toystore. I'm standing in my kitchen and I decide that I'm going to put up the new gate. I remove all the pieces-parts from the package and realize that the actual gate portions of the pieces-parts are secured together presumably to keep them from rattling around in the box. They are secured together with nylon zip ties. I suppose someone at the factory thought that in the event the gate parts got high on PCP and went on a crime rampage the police would be saved a step by having them pre-handcuffed. Naturally I did what any educated (male) person who just returned form the home warehouse would do. I took out my trusty penknife.

Now here's that part where I have to issue the obligatory warning. I am a health & safety professional. I have been trained and train others to perform their work safely. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME.

Taking the penknife in my left hand and holding the gate in my right I sliced through that nylon tie wrap like it was butter. In fact the knife went through that thing so fast that it was embedded in my right hand before I ever knew what happened. It took about a half a second for two things to occur. 1) For me to register that I was cut, and 2) For the blood to start flowing like a freakin' river from the vein I hit. My middle daughter was standing there when it happened and when the blood came I'm not sure who's eyes went bigger hers or mine.



Fortunately I'm a former Emergency Medical Technician and I remembered the training. I put direct pressure on the wound, first with my bare thumb, then with a now ruined dish towel. I asked my daughter to get the first aid kit and took the opportunity to show her how to apply a proper pressure dressing. Then my wife and I had some quality alone time on a Friday night in the Emergency Room.

I actually make it sound worse than it was. I caught myself in the fleshy part of my hand between the thumb and forefinger. Since it was a stab rather than a slice the actual cut wasn't very long. But like I said, I did get a vein so because of that and the location it wasn't going to close by itself. It needed two stitches. And of course the always fun tetanus shot.

And the moral of this story is...

Though you may be educated, you may not always be smart. Or...the sign of an educated man is pointed but so is a dunce cap.

14 comments:

Kitty said...

Oh my word ... you poor thing. I'd offer to kiss it better, but I'm sure you're well on the mend by now :-p Don't do it again!!!

Did you manage to get the gate together eventually?

x

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Aww Kitty, you're sweet. Thanks for the offer. Does strumpet sauce have healing properties?

And, yes, I attempted the gate on Saturday and completed it without further incident.

Mike said...

First of all, I'm not offering to kiss it for you. That's just flat effing out of the question.

See, I don't have that problem with knives or other such sharp objects, but you put me anywhere near electrical stuff and I am a shocking failure.

Malach the Merciless said...

I did that last year, practically sliced the tip of my index finger off

Colonel Colonel said...

My profound sympathies. yes, I and sharp objects do not mix, to say the least. Can you say severed nerves, stitches, and that electric zap! they give in the ER to cauterize the bleeding...

However, tetanus shots, ouch?? Tetanus shots are for sissies. You have to do rabies shots to be An (exceptionally stupid) Man!

Colonel Colonel said...

ps- the lesson there is, do NOT play with bats...

Malicious Intent said...

hahaha, you are about as graceful as I am. I have been to the ER twice in two years for burning my hand while cooking. Amazing how many lovely nerve endings are in your hands and how many vulgar cursing rampages I can go on when I burn said nerve endings. It's not a pretty site. Fortunately I too have training in emergency medicine and saved myself some serious grief. But damn, I do hate getting those obligatory tetanus shots!

I walk into walls all the time, so smart does not equal graceful.
Pretty sure we were seperated at birth.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Awww, come on Mike just a little peck? Alright, maybe you could just pour a little gin, you know, for medicinal purposes.
Maybe you could use that electrical expertise to cauterize it for me like they did for the Col.

Col that sounds like a nasty one. While I was waiting for my shot I heard them talking in the other exam area. There was a guy in there who had come back to get his stitches out. He had 42 in his hand and arm. Seems he had a run in with a chainsaw. Between him and you I somehow feel inadequate. And forget about the rabies shots, thank you. I never realized booksellers led such dangerous lives.

Ouch Mal. Bet that one made it hard to type.

MI, cursing? You? My wife carries cooking scars from a candy receipe that she makes every Christmas. Dangerous stuff, but sooo good.
And don't ya hate it when somebody puts a wall up right in your way while your back was turned?
Did you see my comment above about the guy with the chainsaw? Perhaps you should reconsider the tools you use when you go on a rampage. Next time use the force Leia.

moooooog35 said...

I had a similar experience stabbing myself with something I also got from an adult toy store.

Oh...you meant you went to a hardware store...

...forget I've said anything.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Moooooooooooooog, I only go in those toy stores when I'm Christmas shopping for just the right present.
"Stabbing yourself"? Consider it forgotten.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

that sucks... arent you a hazard prevention guy for your occupation?

anyway, dont use that thing to cut a lose thread from the crotch of your jeans.

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Yeah TM, I'm a safety guy. It was bad enough my hand hurt but then I had to have the lady at the hospital ask, "occupation?" Crap.

Thanks for that last thought. Gave me a shiver.

Malicious Intent said...

Get your ass over to my site and figure out some interesting questions to ask me. And no, I will not answer the one about my birthmark. Is it me, or has blogger totally sucked canal water this week?

meggie said...

I feel your pain. At least you are not a Fireman, giving Fire safety lessons to a class of school children. The fire got out of control- he had started it, for the lesson- & he ended up with 3rd degree burns on his stomach & arms & legs. After initially going into hysterical laughter I did feel sorry for him. Cousin's husband.
I enjoyed the post about the dogs too. Very familiar territory!