Friday 8 July 2011

The Perfect Shape For Holding a Beer Bottle

I just hurt the little finger on my left hand!

No, it really hurts! It’s my favourite finger and it has always been overly sensitive to pain. I was getting up from the desk and for some reason my little finger decided to get pinched between the desk and my lap. You know that saying “I have more sense in my little finger than that guy has in his entire body!” well it may be true about my right hand pinky, but old lefty strikes me as a bit of a moron. Sure, he knows his way around a glove and knew how to shield a match in a windstorm back in my smoking days. He’s not so good when it comes to the guitar or keeping time to the music. I guess I can’t blame him as he is handicapped after all.

The fault lies completely with my mom. It isn’t a genetic thing, although my entire left side is pretty useless. Okay, so the right side isn’t winning any awards either. One day when I was about five, my brother and I were loaded into the car and we went to visit mom’s brother Alex. Uncle Alex was a really cool guy, he could pick up any instrument and within a matter of minutes he would play you a song. Amazing! He gave me a Roy Smeck ukulele a few years later, I imagine he thought that I might have inherited his talent. Sadly, not at all. I still have the ukulele, and Ewan loves to play it when he comes to visit.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, my mom took us to see Alex and his family and I would imagine that we had a good time because there were four cousins and they weren’t too bad. I think that later on in life I found that they were pretty much a waste of skin, but that was many years later. We were heading home and piled into the car. Back in those days there were no car seats for kids or seatbelts for anyone. Inside of a car in those days it was pretty much anarchy, the only thing that kept us in place was the back of dad’s hand. The adults were saying goodbye and I was waving to my cousins when mom closed the door. I mentioned that I thought I think my left hand was retarded, because he stayed in place while the car door slammed on him.

I don’t remember the pain, but if tonight injury is an indication, it really hurt! My parents cared for me, so they called the doctor to look at it. That’s right, house calls! It was pronounced broken and was set and taped or put in a cast, whatever was the practice back then. No one looked at it again until it was too late and the second joint on the finger had fused. Not the end of the world, and if anyone had really cared I guess they could have rebroken it and set it properly. My parents were pretty smart and figured that there would be far less screaming and whining if they just let it be.

Over the years when I would mention my deformed digit from time to time, mom and dad would say “It is the perfect shape for holding a bowling ball.”

“That is true, but as you know mom and dad I am right handed and it is my left hand finger that is deformed.” I would say. I would say deformed because it was an impressive word.

They would counter with “Who ever uses that finger anyway?”

“Well, not me!” I would screech.

“Would you like to have it broken and reset?” They would ask.

I don’t mind pain, well, other people’s pain. Mine I am not so fond of, so I would walk away thinking of all of the things I could do if I just had a functioning pinky finger on my left hand. I vowed that when I have kids I will never slam their finger in a car door, and I have been true to my word. It was the front door and I am really, really sorry Brendan, but it is the perfect shape for holding a beer bottle.

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