Monday, November 24, 2008

What good is a thumb?

The gift of an opposable thumb is something we often take for granted. Being able to pick up cups, tie shoes and button your shirts are all things you need a thumb to do. This you all knew, being lifelong members of the prehensile thumb club. They say people can often see when bad things are going to happen before it happens. It didn't take any amount of premonition to know that what my husband told me he planned to do was going to end up bad.

We were in Leah's room working on hanging the shelf he made for the area above her desk. That was the easy part. Putting the shelf up went as planned. It was the hanging of the bulletin cork bar thing. The purchased cork bar was not equipped to be affixed to a wall rather it was supposed to be placed on a magnetized surface. There were two nice magnetic stickers to place on the back of the bar. Since that was not going to work we figured we could return the product and exchange it for the proper one. Except. That the Man tossed out the receipt while he was at the car wash thinking that he had what he needed and there would be no reason to keep the receipt. OK. Now we were stuck with the wrong product and his ever obsessed desire to actually get the darn thing on the wall kept increasing. His bright idea was to "power through" the bar and just screw the thing to wall just like butter. I looked at him and thought he was joking. Nope. He was for real. I voiced my opinion. Making it clear how the idea of powering through the metal with a power drill etc, etc, was not a good idea. I don't think that registered. Anyhow he persisted and well as we had the bar on the wall he was making little progress getting through the aluminum. Figure that, eh? His solution? More power of course. Within seconds of him increasing the power and force he slipped and the drill bit made contact with his left thumb. Pain was instantaneous. He hid his thumb behind his back all the while sounding a string of "ouch, ouch, dang it, ouch, ouch, ouch" as he paced the room. I chased him around until I could get a glimpse of the wound. I, as any mother am the perpetual clean up crew, was just looking for blood. I got a look, noticed some bleeding, and instructed him to get into the bathroom immediately.

I washed the thumb under running water as a way to ease the pain and to distract the injured while I assessed the wound. It was, thankfully, just a flesh wound. Though it does not mean it was not 1) painful 2) gross 3) bloody. Because oh my was it ever. When he slipped while using the drill the bit came across his thumb from an angle removing all the skin along the proximal nail fold, where his cuticle was. It was a lucky injury considering that he very well could have screwed his thumb to the wall. I bandaged him up gave him some meds and told him to not do that again. Though that injury did not stop him from actually hanging that cork bar, no, indeed it did not. He said that now he just had to work smarter not harder. With my supervision the cork bar went up without further injuries. I don't think I could take any more bleeding.

So, how was your weekend?

5 comments :

Carolyn said...

Wonder why the TV show Home Improvement comes to mind

wealhtheow said...

As mine would say, "SOY HOMBRE!" I think that's about the extend of the though process,

Rick said...

You're not really a man until you've had a 2x4 stuck to your foot because a six-inch-long nail went through your toe.

Liquid bandaid/skin does wonders.

Judith said...

Was he just angling for a new drill? I think he might need a few shop safety tips. Or some new drill bits for Christmas.

Sydney said...

For variety's sake, Keith could take a page from my Dad's book: try to do it yourself, get super irritated and shout a enough obscenities to make a longshoreman blush before leaving the house to cool off, giving your wife the opportunity to cooly and calmly do the thing herself. Hrm. Well, maybe he'd be okay with the only other page in that DIY manual: don't bother with all the potential frustration and pain of doing it yourself; just hire someone. ;)

Pete is pretty much Captain Safety. Although it's a natural state for the risk-averse, I think Pete's safety-philia was really solidified at luthiery school. There wasn't a lot (read: there was no) safety training with the power tools in the shop. Just vague suggestions that you should wear safety glasses and maybe be careful. I think the band saw no longer had a guard because it "got in the way." Hey! Maybe Keith should take a luthiery course in the woods in Canada once his thumb heals. ;)

Ironically, the word verification below this comment box is "hande." I think if you put an umlaut over the a, that's German for "hand." Of course, I don't actually speak German, so I'm probably the wrong person to ask.