In Which I Almost Go to the ER on Thanksgiving

Posted: 26 November 2009 in observations
Tags: , ,

As I stood there, peeling potatoes, I was thinking about how this particular peeling tool always nicks my fingers.  Every time, no matter how careful I am, I end up with a bandaid around a knuckle and blood in the sink.  Daydreaming about my soon-to-be nicks (maybe that’s why I’m getting nicked to begin with), I started thinking about how folks end up unexpectedly spending their Thanksgivings in the ER.

Ordinarily, I’m a reasonably good cook.  Dinner is an important part of our daily ritual and the more cooking involved the better.  Sometimes we’re too exhausted to whip up a feast (or anything at all) but when we do I feel more grounded and more satisfied.  Cooking a Thanksgiving meal is like a year-long version of that grounding.  It’s a capstone that makes me feel confident in the coming year, grateful for my connections and relationships, and quietly thrilled at my increasing mastery of the traditional meal.  And I don’t even like turkey.

Ordinarily, I have reasonably good technical skills.  Today I quickly chopped fresh sage and thyme into a sweet pile of fragrant, miniscule herbs.  It was indistinguishable in the stuffing, lending flavor but no earthy texture.  I mashed potatoes in a stable, sturdy pot.  I helped walk my wife through a perfect carving of the Norman Rockwell bird.  Knifes I handle, heat I manage, dishes stay intact.

Ordinarily, I’m not worried about stabbing myself.

Last night, I had a moment (after the finger nicking and before The Incident) when I wondered if I would call an ambulance or drive to the hospital if I sliced my finger open with my freshly sharpened chef’s knife.  Fortunately, it was the dull paring knife that slid off of the turkey and plunged into my stomach.  Stabbed.  I managed to stab myself directly in the stomach. The knife skidded off the bird, my wrist bumped the edge of the sink, the knife slammed into my shirt and punctured my stomach and then…stopped.

So here’s what I’m thankful for: that I am too lazy to sharpen the paring knife like I do the other knives; that I had a paint stained t-shirt on with a thick dried wad of paint right over the belly; that I am too lazy to use a rag when I paint; that I was using my non-dominant, less-strong hand; that my general high-stress personality caused me to freak over dropping the turkey (the dirt!) and simultaneously suck in my stomach; and, that I didn’t do more than draw a drop of blood.

Seriously.  Who stabs themselves at Thanksgiving?  Thankfully, we avoided a trip to the ER and a home evisceration.  We’ve a lot to be grateful for.

  1. STABBED! I’m happy you are okay! 🙂

  2. Patience says:

    Yikes! An accidental self-inflicted stab wound to the stomach on Thanksgiving would be an injury the ER staff wouldn’t soon forget. Thank goodness for the blob of belly-protecting paint.

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