Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Pop Quiz

Which of the following things sliced open my left hand this past weekend? Was it

a) A BBQ,
b) A backpack full of loose-leaf paper, or
c) A steak knife?

The correct answer is: all three!

In a fit of error-prone clumsiness this past weekend, I think I did more consistent damage to my hands in the space of two days than ever before. On Friday afternoon, I was starting to get all giddy (as I usually do on Friday afternoons at the thought of not having to wear a tie for two whole days). I'd spent my afternoon, as usual, catching up on online comic strips and hacking away at a new project on Adobe Illustrator. After printing up a copy of my new image and reaching down into my backpack to gingerly place it in a paper folder, I dragged my index finger along some loose-leaf paper that was already in there and gave myself a bad paper cut.

Yeah, I know, a paper cut. No big deal, right?

I then followed this up with a deep gouge into the SAME index finger with a razor-sharp steak knife while cutting an especially-tough loaf of French bread. Honey, if you're reading this, we need to buy a bread knife. If I were an American right now, I'd probably be cursing France because they didn't support the war in Iraq and because of their tough (yet so delicious) crusty bread. Like the call of the Siren, the French loaf called me to my wounding.

Again, boo fricken' hoo. People cut themselves with steak knives all the time, right?

Well, to add insult to injury to injury, I managed the unbelievable feat of slashing the palm of my hand open on my mother's brand new BBQ. If it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't have thought it was possible. A few days ago, if I was making a list of things that were sharp and could easily cut me, a BBQ would have been pretty far down the list.

I was putting the death-trap together with the help of my two lovely co-workers on my Mother's living room floor. It was INSANE how many pieces there were. We arranged them all neatly around our work area and set about trying to decipher the tiny, practically illegible instructions. My sister Alison and I were doing the construction while my girlfriend Stacey was arranging the bits and pieces we needed and reading the instructions. Everything was going well (albeit slowly) when we tried to put the bottom pan on the metal frame. As I was picking the piece up and maneuvering it around to get a look at it, my palm slid across one of the metal edges and I practically threw it across the room on my way to the sink to take care of the blood that was pouring down my wrists.

I'm not sure WHY the nice people at the BBQ manufacturing company made a BBQ with razor-sharp serrated edges all the way around its lid. And even if this was something they knew about, surely they'd put a warning on or something in the instructions, right? I suppose that it's sharp because it was cheap and the company cut some corners (pun intended). It's the only real answer. I mean, what possible purpose would a BBQ built like a machete have, anyway? So you can slice the meat with the lid before putting it on the grill?

Everyone was so wonderful. As I was cursing the designers of the BBQ, their families, and their potential, unborn children, my sister was holding my arm above my heart and applying pressure to the wound, my girlfriend went to the store and brought back bandages and anti-septic, and my mother got me a stiff drink and a chocolate-covered croissant. And thanks to their efforts, the wound is healing nicely and should leave only a small inch-and-a-half-long scar.

Honey, if you're reading this, remind me NOT to buy a BBQ that's sharp enough to shave with. Nice, smooth, beveled edges will be fine, thank you!


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