Wednesday 16 May 2012

A Magic Kiss

I am convinced that the older you get the more sensitive your nerve endings become. Pain is so much more painful now that I am older than it ever was when I was young.

I was just in the garage doing some work on the table saw, and when I slid my hand along the wood I got a sliver in my thumb. Not a totally unexpected happening, but it hurt like the dickens. I had to pull it out with my teeth and it started to bleed right away. Oh, not a lot I will admit, but there was blood and an inordinate amount of pain. More pain than a sliver should cause. I decided to be proactive and try to prevent this from happening again, so I got a piece of 60 grit sandpaper and started to work on the edges. Yep, I got another sliver! This one was larger than the first and drew more blood. At least it was smooth. I decided to be really proactive and put on a pair of leather gloves that seem to be pretty much sliver proof.

I am reminded of a story about my dad when he was a kid. My grandmother had a beautiful old house built in the early 1900’s with all of the expected fine wood work you might expect in a house that age. By the time I came along, gram had pretty much painted over every surface in the house, including that beautiful wood work. It was impossible to tell where the mortar lines were in the cinder blocks in the basement because they had been painted so often. I bet there was a half inch of paint on those walls. Crazy old lady! Anyways, one day dad decided that it would be more fun and a lot faster getting to breakfast if he slid down the banister. It was fast alright. According to the story, he had a sliver about nine inches long in his ass.

God, it hurts me when I write about that! He cried and screamed and cried and screamed and I suppose he cried and screamed some more. Gram put him on the kitchen table, took a pair of pliers and gave that sliver a yank. Most of it came out, but I understand that there were pieces that would surface up to a month later. She doused it with peroxide or knowing Gram she would use turpentine to stop infection. It is a good bet that there was some more crying and screaming when she did that. She let him stand to eat breakfast and then sent him limping off to school. That must have been one unpleasant day at school. Dad told me this story when he saw me with one leg over the banister. I guess he loved me after all.

My brother would do some pretty stupid things. Well, I guess all kids do some pretty stupid things from time to time, but they never convinced me to do them like Steve could. Steve found some cardboard from some appliance that one of the neighbours had bought and brought it home to make a fort. I guess we did the fort thing the first day, but even with a kids imagination a cardboard fort eventually reverts to being a piece of cardboard. That is when we decided that sliding down the stairs on the cardboard would be just like tobogganing in the winter. You know, it was just like tobogganing, a little bumpier perhaps, but it was a lot of fun.

Well, it was a lot of fun until the cardboard caught on a stair and the large industrial sized staple tore its way through my brother’s ass. There was some crying and screaming I’ll tell you. He screamed especially loud when mom put the Bactine on the gash. Probably would have hurt less if she had used Grams turpentine.

I never rode the cardboard toboggan after that, but there are times when we have a certain kind of cardboard that I am tempted. I think in a few years I might just tell Hurricane and Tornado about cardboard toboggans, well, not around their mom or dad.

 Maybe it hurts more now that I am older because I realize just how stupid I have been and there is no one around with a magic kiss to make it better.

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