Monday, 20 October 2008

Jack Horner Was All Thumbs and So Am I

It is ingrained in family folklore that I am a true klutz with sharp objects. Knives, scissors, razors and the like have been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember. I could never manage to cut a piece of paper without hacking myself or the sheet in question. I have even found ways to slice myself on safety scissors that kindergartners use. My men have long since excluded me from bagel cutting duties for fear that I might lose a digit. I now use one of those razors that includes an all-in-one bar of moisturizer in order to reduce the number of nicks, burns and cuts that are constant fixtures on my legs. I have sliced open finger tips on Cuisinart blades with frightening regularity. Yes, I am not to be trusted with cutting utensils.  It constantly amazes me that I could have such dexterity with a musical instrument, but cannot manage to keep my hands safe from wayward knives.  And so, I employ all of my willpower to keep a safe distance from these objects.  

But, there is a problem with this avoidance mentality. I love to cook and bake. How can I properly operate in my brand-new state of the art kitchen with tools that are no more effective than a butter knife? The short answer is that I can't and so, over the years I have accepted that every so often, there might be a bit of blood with dinner. The husband has learned to accept and ridicule my klutziness, but he tries everything he can to help me protect my hands from sliding chef's knives and skidding cleavers. So, it was with some horror that he allowed me to purchase my latest toy, a Waring Pro Electric Knife Sharpener.  My theory goes like this-if the knife is kept sharp, there is less of a chance that it will skid and hurt me. In other words, the sharper the better!  What a wonderful gadget.  It plugs into the wall and the motor activates the grinders.  You place the knife needing sharpening into the grinders and voila, an instantly renewed blade!!  And so it was, with some excitement that I set out to sharpen my 8" chef's knife in order to slice the onions and peppers necessary for this evening's dinner. (You all can see it coming, can't you?)

Half way through the dicing procedure it happened.  My left thumb, as if operating with its own individual brain stem, stubbornly stuck itself right into the path of the knife just as I was completing the chop and was opened into a bleeding gusher. Screaming in pain from the cut and the mixture of onion and garlic juice that seeped immediately into the wound, I raced to the bathroom and immediately applied pressure.  First aid training is a wonderful thing.  It seems to automatically kick in when needed.  Not to sound too gross and disgusting, but the amount of blood that made its way from my tiny little thumb, was worrisome.  Upon further examination, it was becoming entirely possible that a stitch or two might be required to close the cut, but I was not yet willing to give into that possibility.  I wrapped my thumb in gauze, and secured it with 5 (yes-5!) Band-Aids so that my thumb now looks as though it is wearing a weird looking splint.  My thoughts are that if the blood seeps through my defense mechanism, then I will make my way to the emergency room. If not, then I am probably safe.  The amazing part of all of this, is that I actually returned to my meal preparation and finished slicing, dicing and cooking.  The good news is that tonight's meal is chili, so a bit of extra red will not be noticeable.

My thumb is throbbing and bound so tightly that I cannot move it at all. There is very little circulation moving through the tourniquet right now, so the thumb is about 5 degrees colder then the rest of me.  I need to practice some music for the upcoming Kol Isha concert, but I can barely grip the neck of the guitar.  Not only that, I am feeling like the perfect fool.  I am a grown woman for f*%$ sakes, who cannot cut a f*&@#*g vegetable without fears of amputation.  The only good news in all of this, is that my new toy works to perfection.  Hopefully, this will be my last Jack Horner moment, but I am highly skeptical.  Once a klutz, always a klutz!


  1. So.... did you need stitches after all? If so, we can compare scars... I have 5 or 6 on my thumb from a similar situation while making cabbage borscht!

  2. I probably should have gone for stitches, but I fudged it and stayed home. Even if they wanted to (and I guess that it needed at least one or two) the area is so small, that they probably wouldn't have attempted it. Instead, I have thumb wrapped like a mummy. I could hitchhike with the best of them. I stick out like a sore thumb! :)