As an adult I have performed a number of tasks that in hindsight seemed dumb, irrational... Lacking in forethought. Many of these things have not resulted in great bodily injury or fiscal damage, although there has been the rare exception. As a teen I lacked the more mature common sense that I now approach projects with. This lack of common resulted in more frequent damages.

On two such occasions my injuries were the result of poor planning and an x-acto knife.

I sat in my bedroom, early one Saturday morning, watching cartoons and assembling models. When I say "assembling models" what I really mean is cutting up and or breaking anything plastic and using superglue and wood screws to affix it to another, larger piece of plastic; normally a G.I. Joe vehicle or some other toy that I believed had not arrived with an appropriately deadly assortment of weaponry or accessories. I was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor and had my appropriate safety gear on. By "Safety Gear" I mean I was practically naked, having donned only a T-shirt and briefs. At the time nothing seemed dangerous about that.

I was merrily making my way through several odd bits of plastic when I happened upon a particularly thick length. I was having some difficulty cutting it and was growing impatient with its reluctance to sever. Being a reasonably bright young man I realized that what I needed was leverage, and that was easily provided by my thigh. My soft, naked thigh. In retrospect I could have chosen a more resilient cutting surface. My appendage admirably succeeded as an efficient fulcrum and the plastic bit was cleanly separated, unfortunately, the sharp blade did not cease its perilous path and just as cleanly continued into my pale flesh.

I was shocked to see the handle quivering as my quadriceps spasmed. The sharp little blade had sunk to its hilt. An unnatural calm settled over me that was more the result of shock than rigid nerves. I plucked the knife from my leg and attempted to conceal the wound from my younger sister who had been in the room with me. I asked her to retrieve a band-aid, for I feared ambulating my damaged leg. She was reluctant to do as I asked, as I'm sure any sibling would have been if ordered to task for no clear reason. She returned shortly with one of those ridiculous little circular band-aids.

I really shouldn't blame her, she was unaware of the severity of the wound. A the time though I was fairly upset and yelled at her until she returned with a larger bandage. By now of course I had piqued her curiosity, and she insisted on discovering the wound. I considered the matter closed and with the placebic soothing magic of the band-aid I felt no further action was necessary. My sister felt otherwise and so did my mother once the little scamp had notified her.

A brawl of sorts erupted. My mother insisted on washing the wound in the bath tub. I was old enough to be reluctant about exposing my adolescent nudity to my mother. We struggled, and I finally relented when she threatened to retrieve our neighbor, a nurse, to perform the naked bathing.

After a 45 minute wait at the emergency room I was rewarded with barely twenty seconds of a doctors time, some butterfly tape as the doctor didn't believe the wound warranted stitches and an eighty dollar bill that my mother insisted I would reimburse her for. I was then shepherded back home and lectured on what a trouble maker I was. My mother then confiscated my precious x-acto knife, "For my own good."

Why is it that mothers are always so right.

While she had removed the knife she had not thought to impound its replacement blades. I had learned my lesson from the last experience, and this time I made sure my snoopy sister was not present when I began my "Model Assembly," I had also taken the seemingly wise and foreshadowing precaution of stashing some bandages nearby. I wasn't stupid, I had learned my lesson from the last experience. I no longer used my fleshy appendages as cutting boards. This time I held the item to be cut in my left hand, well away from my body. This time the narrow blade pierced my palm.

My mother had the x-acto hilt in her possession, a fact which probably saved me from more serious damage, for I'm sure the blade would have completely pierced my hand. As it was, my fingers firmly clutched at one end of the naked blade, prevented full penetration. The blade did pierce my palm though, and it created a grotesque peak of tented flesh on the back of my hand. I stared at it with obscene fascination for several moments before carefully removing the blade and bandaging my hand. It bled a lot more than my leg had, but the flow stopped relatively quickly. It hurt for a long time, but I downplayed the severity of the injury and managed to convince my mother that it wasn't worth another trip to the hospital, especially in light of the grand reception we had received during our last visit.

I'm a little more careful these days, in fact I haven't been to the hospital in several years. Not that I would go if I needed to.

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