Alligator Tale

I have a sore finger. Some people call it my “ouchie.” I really try not to think about how it happened. It is all sort of hazy now. I was outside doing yard work and became tangled up with an apple tree and a pruning saw. Never tangle with a pruning saw – the pruning saw will always win.

I thought I’d best go to the emergency room. There was a lot of blood and it looked pretty bad.

“Ever have stitches before?” the medic asked me.

“STITCHES?” Argh! I don’t know how I’ve managed to reach my age without ever needing stitches. I felt a little dizzy. The doctor came in and proceeded to casually sew me up with a needle and thread, chatting about the weather and her own similar encounter with a hedge trimmer.

I was very brave. You can be proud. I didn’t cry or pass out or anything like that. Keeping my eyes closed and not looking helped a great deal. I told them it didn’t hurt much. Actually, it hurt a whole lot. “Hold it up,” they said, “that helps the pain.” Well, I’ve been holding it up for about a month now. It still hurts.

They put this big metal thing on my finger to protect it. I don’t know what they call them, finger protectors, I guess. I felt a bit like Lurch or another monster of some sort, practically dragging my huge finger on the ground instead of my knuckles.

Needless to say, computers and keyboards became a bit difficult with a huge metal finger. I became pretty good with practice, using one hand and two fingers on the other hand. About the time I became a seven-finger keyboard master, however, I was able to remove the bandage in favor of a band-aid and life became nearly normal.

I had to return to the clinic numerous times for antibiotic shots, rechecks and getting the stitches out. The clinic became like a second home. The receptionist and nurse knew me by my first name and I was almost part of the family.

Once a little kid came up to me in the waiting room and said, “What happened to your finger?” I told him how I cut it doing yard work, and he showed me the cut on his foot. We sympathized with each other and had a nice chat about stitches, and tetanus shots.

Next time a kid asks, though, I’m going to have a better story ready. How about, “I was bitten by an alligator!” Or “A pirate tried to cut my finger off to steal my ring!” Or “I was attacked by a shark while swimming!” or … well, you get the point. Something a bit more adventurous would be more interesting.

No one really wants to hear about an encounter with a pruning saw. How mundane! Mostly people think, “Why don’t you learn to be more careful!” Of course, they don’t know what a nasty disposition my pruning saw has.

Wouldn’t ya know it had to be my ring finger that was injured? Now I’ll have a big ugly scar when I try to look dazzling. Of course, it will be a while before the swelling goes down enough to think about wearing jewelry anyhow.

You don’t have to sympathize about my ouchie if you don’t want to. Just don’t get too smart with me, though, or I might have to hit you with my metal finger. Get your alligator story ready.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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3 Responses to Alligator Tale

  1. The Goose says:

    I always go with alligator or wild boar attack… Although some encounter have been with actual gators… Having worked the ER for almost a decade i’ve been blessed to see some pretty amazing things. Glad you are ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laughing out loud …. seriously.

    I too have a scar on my hand where I had to have stitches. An accident as a child – which I was loved and hugged and told off for being so daft, all at the same time.

    I wish I’d have thought about making up an interesting story about the scar … but now you’ve planted the seed into my brain, I’m going to let it grow and see what comes up. lol.

    I want a great story for when my grandson eventually asks: “Grammy, what did you do to your hand?”

    I want a tale so wide and so tall that I want to knock him off his feet with wonderment and wide eyed curiosity about how amazing his … HIS … Grammy is.
    Oh yes!

    Fabulous post Sheila. Thank you so much for the share, the story and the seed of an idea.
    ~ Cobs. x 😀


  3. Lois says:

    LOL, sorry to hear about your “ouchie”. I did not mean to laugh, “snicker”, about your encounter with the alligator/pirate/hedge trimmer. I somehow have never had stitches except for surgery either. My Jeff does the yard work and so far has not damaged himself to that extent. He did have a ladder collapse and he fell and ripped off part of his ear, and another time sliced his toe with a bad tempered jackhammer. I guess those power tools just have a mind of their own. The power goes to their head. Good to know that you are doing better.


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