Just read a funny bit, Handfuls of Trouble on The Corybantic Badger blog. It’s an entertaining look back on how stupid kid decisions (and the resulting incidents) made in childhood influence one’s life many years into adulthood.
Reminded me of my own story.
A few evenings ago, I was telling Hubs how I got this really cool scar on the second knuckle of my right middle finger. I was trying to show him how the finger’s crooked because it healed funny . . . without flipping him off.
Got it when I was in junior high, riding my bike the mile or so to school. Looked down at some insect I had in a jar in the front basket to see if it was surviving the trip and ran straight into the rearview mirror of a parked car. Oh, don’t worry . . . the car and the bug in the jar were fine.
Me, however . . . ripped my finger at that second knuckle rather badly. But couldn’t be late to school. I was going for the three-year perfect attendance record and I wasn’t going to let a small incident like ripping my finger wide open ruin my momentum. So I picked a dirty rag up off the street (it was oily, too) and wrapped the cleanest part of it around my finger to stop the bleeding until I got to school.
That was dumb because I was only three blocks from home and about ten blocks from school.
Got to school and the nurse carefully peeled the dirty rag off my finger. Apparently it was beyond her scope of nurse’s office supplies because she called my dad while I washed the crusted mess of blood, dirt, oil (and whatever else was on that rag) with that awful smelling nurse’s office liquid soap they used back in the 70s. Dried it off with a rough, brown standard bathroom supply paper towel.
Dad had been at home this entire time and could’ve tended to it immediately had I turned around and gone home. Yup.
I met him outside when he pulled up in the car. He poured hydrogen peroxide over my wound and we let it bubble and drip off onto the street. Then he added a dollop of Silvadene creme, wrapped it with gauze and tightly attached it with first aid tape. Done. Back to it.
It healed into a cool Pi symbol (can you see it?) and the finger leans a little to the right. Granted, the tip of that same finger was slammed in a car door many years before, so it was heading that direction already.
I ended up getting the three-year perfect attendance award. Frankly, I may have been the only one to whom it mattered. I think it was a certificate or something. Have no idea where that is now and the school was demolished years ago. But neither this little finger-ripping incident, nor walking pneumonia, prevented me from achieving my historical perfect attendance record.
My stubborn focus on the perfect attendance record seems stupid considering the permanent physical damage I caused to my fingers. Any lucrative hand modeling career hopes would have been dashed, . . . had I had any.
Back to present day . . .
I haven’t changed much since then. Still pretty goal-oriented. But, I wised up. Gave up bicycles when I got my driver’s license.