After the merriment sparked by the previous post, I thought everybody might enjoy this unnumbered list.
- Once I carried a kitten down a spiral staircase to meet a barking dog. This may seem to some of you to be the height of stupidity, and verily, it did turn out to be that. I don’t know why I did this, and I soon wished that I hadn’t. The kitten tensed up about halfway down, but I ignored this sign and kept going. At the bottom of the staircase, the kitten went apeshit, bit all the way through the web between my left thumb and forefinger, scratched the shit out of my arm and chest, and disappeared back up the steps. My thumb and forefinger swelled up to the size of ballpark franks, and throbbed for days. Since at the time I was a working guitar player, I had to learn how to play without those two digits. In fact, I had to learn how to do it that day. The good news was that, while playing, my left hand was elevated, so it didn’t throb as much. Also, nobody much noticed the difference in my playing. But for a week or so I was able to easily make those contorted rock’n’roll faces.
- Another time I was building a recording studio, and my partners did not know that I am not allowed to use power tools. I should have been spackling the sheetrock or something, but instead I was attaching a heavy surface to a counter, a task that involved drilling some holes up through the bottom of the counter. Since the counter was not yet fastened to the floor, I placed my hand on the top of it to hold it down. While I drilled up through the bottom of it. See where this is going? Yes, I put an eighth-inch carbon steel drill bit through the palm of my left hand. Not all the way (hell, I’ve had carving forks in deeper), but quite a few revolutions of the big Makita drill went by before my sharp reflexes kicked in and I dropped the drill, thus stopping the carnage. That scar is about three quarters of an inch from where my new scar will be, from the fork incident.
- Are we having fun yet? I’ll stop after this one. This involves a single-edged razor blade, a couple of car-alarm remote controls and a plastic tie of the type the riot police use when there are so many damn protesters that they run out of real handcuffs. Some stupid person had used one of these plastic ties to attach the remotes to the windshield wiper control stalk on the steering column of a car, and I had to get them off. Don’t ask why – it’s another story. I was crabby from lack of sleep and my first thought was to just grab them and pull until they came loose. But a tentative yank showed that the stalk would break first. Remember, this is a government-issue, handcuff-quality plastic tie, not some wimpy supermarket vegetable thing. Not only that, but it was tightened pretty much all the way down, leaving almost no slack. Those remotes were fixed to that stalk like Joan of Arc to her stake. So I did the only thing a man could do under the circumstances: I went and got a single-edged razor blade, the sharpest object known to man, a blade that could disembowel you before you even felt the bite, a device with no safety mechanisms built in. For a few seconds I sawed gingerly at the plastic tie, but the environment was cramped and the tie was thick, man, so I angrily hacked at my quarry and of course, stop reading if you’re squeamish, neatly sliced most of the way through my left index finger at the first knuckle. There was no real pain, but I screamed anyway, because I was already angry and this pissed me off even more. And I have never made so much blood. It just kept spurting out. I ran and got the Universal Bandage – a piece of toilet paper – and wrapped it around my finger about thirty times. Fifteen minutes later I took it off to get back to work, and the blood was still gushing, plus the end of my finger seemed to be kind of… dangling. Somebody with a first aid kit put a real bandage on it, and I went to an emergency place. That part is a (lengthy) story in itself, so I will spare you, except to say: two hours of surgery, magnesium screws, six weeks in a hard cast, a pin that is at least three inches long, eight weeks of rehabilitation and a lifetime excuse whenever I make a mistake on the guitar.
There you go. You see how I have suffered for your many sins? How many times I have stuck metal objects into myself and spilled my blood? I only thank my father above that my right hand has been mostly spared, so that I may continue to touch myself in impure – but effective – ways.