Thursday, February 23, 2006

You're so sharp you could cut yourself!

My ex-husband never liked to be thought of as accident-prone, but the catalogue of horror said otherwise. In particular his record with sharp implements is such that if he'd ever suggested running away to the circus as a knife throwing act I'd have been wise to book a permanent cubicle at A&E.

There was the time when I was about 3 months pregnant, and was recovering from an operation so unable to do much around the house. Before we'd known I'd have to go into hospital, we'd stripped out the kitchen to install a new one. Not just the units out, but down to bare brick & earth walls. So, we were cooking in the front room using slow cooker & microwave and washing up in the bathroom hand basin.

One Friday evening X was washing up while I was sitting on the steps in the doorway talking to him. He started wiping my very sharp little Sabatier knife, holding the cloth in his left hand and very vigorously running the knife blade back & forth between thumb and index finger. It was one of those split-second moments where you think "Do I say something and risk a row or do I keep quiet and..." he put the knife point clean through his thumb. In one side & out the other. Ouch big time. I couldn't drive for another four weeks, so I rang a friend who took him off to the hospital for a 2 hour wait, cleaning and stitching up.

Clearly a one-off accident. He's not accident prone.

There was also the cat. Poor cat, who was a little neglected after the baby was born. He was long-haired and needed regular grooming. Much more regularly than I was finding time for with the demands of a new baby, and so he was developing some felt-like matts in his fur. I'd been gently teasing them out with a comb and snipping away tentatively with some nail scissors. Says X, "I'll do that, you've got other things to do and it's going to take ages." So, off he goes into the garden with cat under arm.

Several minutes later I decide to investigate, and what do I find? Cat, very co-operatively (he was such a sweety) lying on his back with his legs in the air as X hacks away (and there is no other phrase to adequately describe the motion involved) at lumps of fur with (wait for it) a Stanley knife! I pause thinking the same "Do I say anything and risk the ire, or..." when he stopped hacking with an "Oh, f***!" having sliced the cat. And the cat's still lying there as good as gold with his attacker & knife still poised above him.

It was a fairly shallow cut but clearly in need of veterinary attention. "I tell you what," I say. "You can take him to the vets because I'm sure as hell not explaining that one!" Thankfully the vet insisted, not only in stitching up the cat, but also finishing off the fur-trimming excercise.

And more notably, going back a few more years, before children and in the midst of major DIY projects there was the Black & Decker Jigsaw Massacre.

One Saturday morning I went off into town in search of nails & wood glue, leaving X behind cutting up bits of wood. When I got back his left thumb was sporting a bandage of cartoon proportions.
"What the hell has happened?"
It transpired he'd been cutting a piece of architrave with the electric jigsaw, not using the workbench but holding the wood in his hand. He'd washed the cut, put a plaster on and it bled through. So he put on some cotton wool and another plaster and it had bled through. so He'd added a further layer of tissue and more plaster and more cotton wool & tissue and finally, masking tape.
"Shall I take you to casualty? It sounds as if it might need stitches."
"No, it's fine now, just a cut. Don't worry about it."

Well, on Monday I did worry and so did he. When he unwrapped the "pass-the-parcel" dressing it looked awful & didn't smell great either, so we went off to our GP who immediately said it had needed stitches (what did I say?! thinks I) but that it was too late for that so we'd better head to hospital to see a plactic surgeon. So, off we go, referral letter in hand. My hand, that is.

We made our way to the relevant ward where we'd been told to wait for the consultant to do his rounds. He took a quick look and said "Oh dear, should have had stitches in that, but it's too late now. I'll get a nurse to clean it and dress it properly" (What did I say?!)
Eventually the nurse arrived, took a look at thumb and notes and said "Ooh, nasty cut. It should have had stitches in that. Didn't you realise?" X, by now was not even looking at me, as she started to clean it up.
"How did you do it?" she said.
"With a jigsaw", said X
She continued cleaning, then carefully added a non-cartoon, neat as a pin dressing, but clearly the cogs were whirring round.
"What sort of jigsaw?", with a look of puzzlement etched on her face.
"An electric jigsaw", said he.
"Oh," she breathed, metaphoric light bulb glowing above her head. "I thought you meant a jigsaw puzzle!"

Lethal weapons, those 4000 piece puzzles. I wonder what the ex could do with one.


Blogger WDKY said...

Bloody hell. You've been busy while I've been... errr... busy, haven't you?

3:37 pm  
Blogger Mine is a Gin said...

Multi-tasking, wdky!

3:50 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Life must be much more hundrum now.(Hum drum is good.) Think- he's still to dicover hedgecutting and tree lopping. Could get very gory.

6:40 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

Ow! I am hovering over the loo!

10:44 pm  
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