austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

He eats plastic food with a plastic knife and fork

Boy, you really don't appreciate your thumbs until you attack one with a knife. This probably needs some explanation. I was making a bagel for breakfast, and found that the bread knife had gone missing. Among my father's many strange beliefs is the thought that if the bread knife ever touches bread, then it cannot be used again until it has been run through the sink, run through dishwasher, thoroughly soaked and cleaned, and possibly radiation-sterilized. I'm an obsessive-compulsive nut, I admit, but even I think it's fine to just rinse it off and towel-dry it since, you know, it's just bread crumbs and they're not that adhesive. But in this case the bread knife was since missing, off to be re-forged in a NASA clean room, so I got another and rather sharper knife, and sliced the bagel while also giving my thumb a neat gash. One of the really awful ones, not deep but long, so there was a horrid guitar pick of flesh not quite in place anymore.

This was one of those cuts that you can't close up with pressure or patience, as I discovered while dropping frightening-looking blobs of red blood cells on the floor and one blueberry bagel. And it turned out we don't have any of the liquid skin or spray-on skin that works so well for cuts in awkwardly shaped, frequently-moving spots like the side of the thumb. As for bandages ... we're down to the last two of them. One, the long skinny kind that's pretty good for this part of the thumb; the other, one of those that looks like a fat H. The skinny one was fine for the rest of the day, but the next day it came off in the shower. I'd hoped that it had enough time to close up, but no, not yet. I went with the H bandage, and some of it stuck out past my thumbnail.

For dinner, we were just having sandwiches, since we'd got a healthy stockpile of sandwich materials, and I happened to be first to get at them. I remember, dimly, there being a time before those zip-lock plastic packages, but it's hard to visualize just how we carried on. But trying to open one of these when you have got this plastic and very slippery surface obstructing one thumb is not going to work. That evening, I went to the store and bought a couple packages of bandages and a tube of liquid skin.

Trivia: The Apollo 12 Lunar Module Intrepid's computer was programmed to automatically land in the middle of Surveyor Crater; the intent was to land on the rim. Source: A Man On The Moon, Andrew Chaikin.

Currently Reading: The Impossible Man, J G Ballard.


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