Monday, April 14, 2008

I Have A Rare Genius ...

For being an idiot. I crushed my thumb Sunday and probably couldn't duplicate the maneuver if I tried.

I'd been at Craig Rennebohm's Pilgrim Church reading and decided to treat myself to Than Brothers on the way home. I left my book and jacket on the chair and hit the head. As I headed back to my table, I heard a crunch just as I noticed that my thumb was caught in the back hinges of the closing bathroom door. My strangled scream followed by the word "shit!" caught the attention of a nearby table.

I looked at the deep red indentations on both sides of the offended digit. "I think I might have just broken my thumb in the bathroom door," I offered apologetically. "I heard it crunch."

"Ice it right away," said the helpful diner.

A bag of ice came with my medium number three. The pho smelled delicious. I felt the minor shock begin to set in and considered my options.

"I think I just broke my finger in your bathroom door," I said to the waitperson a few feet away. She gave me a blank look and said something in Vietnamese to the person next to her.

"No wonder we won the war," she probably said.

I held up the thumb and gestured to the untouched soup. "I can't eat this now. Are you going to make me pay?"

The answer was no. I thanked them and walked to my car with an ice bag wrapped around my hand. I was at Safeway and Ed McLain was there, selling his Real Changes.

"Want to hear a good one," I asked? "I just broke my thumb in a bathroom door. Think I should go to an emergency room?"

"They ain't gonna do a Got-Damn thing for a broken thumb. It's like breaking a toe," he said. Can you move it.

The thumb wiggled. The first knuckle was fine. The second one moved a bit, but the swelling had already limited movement to maybe twenty degrees.

"It ain't broken," he said, "and they ain't gonna do a Got-Damn thing!"

Maybe they'd at least give me a pain killer?

"Sheee-it," Ed laughed. "They ain't gonna give you no pain killers for that! Just keep it on ice."

My thoughts turned to the half bottle of codeine cough syrup on top of my fridge. For months I'd been saving it for a special occasion. This, I decided then and there, was it.

I thanked Ed for the medical consult and drove home with my right hand on the steering wheel and my left in the ice bag on my lap.

I've noticed since that when I type, about the only thing this thumb does is to occasionally hit the shift key. It still works for that. Playing my guitar, however, will probably have to wait.

And I just put new strings on yesterday. Got-Damn.

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