Injury

I recently used my new mandoline to slice off about an eighth of an inch of my right index finger, along with a good chunk of the nail. I didn’t buy a mandolin to cut my finger but, let me tell you, it did a bang-up job.

Among my myriad weaknesses is a fondness for kitchen stuff. My lovely wife has referred to me as the King of Dish Towels, and rightly so. I am also King of Kitchen Tools and Emperor of Napkins.

So I was breaking in my latest kitchen tool, as opposed to a smallish stringed instrument played elegantly by the incomparable MaMuse. Potatoes were the subject at hand, sliced with my new mandoline at varying thicknesses, a useful and tasty experiment. I was about to change the straight blade for a wavy one when I decided not to bother with the excellent food holder designed to keep my hand away from the blade and ran a potato across the blade with my bare hand over and over until what I figured would be the last slice, and I felt the cut. It didn’t hurt. The blade was too sharp for that. . . . Then it hurt.

I’d been making one-eighth-inch slices, and that’s how much of my finger was missing. Where that eighth of an inch used to be was air and blood. I don’t know what you do when you injure yourself, but this time I said “Shit” thirteen or fourteen times, as I wrapped my finger in a paper towel, found my sandals, and dragooned my son into taking me to Enloe Medical Center’s emergency room.

Although there were a bunch of people in the waiting room, I got right in, probably because I was bleeding, and the whole hospital experience frankly struck me as about as good as it could be. I’ve been in other emergency rooms, and Enloe is as good as the best, which is very good indeed.

Most institutions include jerks and dummies, and if you have enough contact with it, you will find one or many examples, with the occasional full-blown asshole. In the last year or so I’ve been to Enloe many times for various reasons—only that one time as a patient—and I haven’t found even one jerk or dummy, much less an asshole.

In fact, without exception the people I’ve dealt with at Enloe have been outstanding for their competence and compassionate good cheer. Management is likely a different kettle of fish, or maybe a horse of a different color, but the caregivers are terrific.

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