Once upon a time I was making a doorway out of a sheet of A3 paper. You have to cut countless lines into the paper to form a continuous zigzag loop that when stretched out will make a vast, cyclopean portal (of paper). I learned that when using a very sharp knife to cut paper, there are two rules:

RULE ONE: Cut vertically, not horizontally, or you might cut yourself.

RULE TWO: If you see the knife bite into the very tip of your finger, do not pull your hands apart reflexively to prevent the injury. If you do, you will cut your fingertip off.

You will be frozen in horror for a few seconds.
In this moment, blood will go everywhere.
It will hurt.

Of course this is not a major injury, it only involves bandages and nothing has to be sewn back on, but it is still scary the first time you do it. It's also a tiny bit embarrassing: The emergency doctor will laugh at you, everyone you know will laugh at you, and your mother will laugh at you. If you are at art school your life will be very difficult (probably even more so if you hack off a piece of your good hand). You will look extremely silly if you have a tube bandage over your finger for three weeks - even more so than you think, because you will have to keep it elevated.

In the course of my finger healing I learned just how much contact my fingertip makes with the world: Too much. I'd injured my middle finger, and so I learned that it touches every door I open as I reach for the handle. It's the first digit to curl around a pen or pencil lying on a table, and so it comes into contact with the surface. It's also very hard to eat when you cannot grip a knife properly.

Anyway, the bandage came off after it was all healed, and naturally I returned to my mad project and promptly halfway hacked off the same piece of the same finger again - this time managing to keep calm in the face of accidental self injury and not complete the job in a panic.

I was, as you can imagine, not a very happy girl.

Why have I waited this long to share this amusing story of personal injury with you all? Because I had forgotten for thirteen long years - but something just happened while I was cooking dinner tonight to remind me. Can you guess what it was?

Go on, have a guess. Did you say "You sliced the tip of your index finger off while cutting garlic"? Well done if you did!

If you are laughing, then you are a bad person and I do not like you.

On the upside: I did not get blood and bits of my flesh all through my food: It's not a vegan dish if you cook bits of yourself. However, typing this is causing me discomfort (stop laughing) even though I can type without using my injured finger - the movement is irritating my poor, abused finger. I hope you all appreciate thi- Stop laughing!

After years of experimentation I have reached the following startling conclusion: Cutting off the tip of your finger is very stupid. Do not do it.

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