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FortKnox's Journal: I'm not the whole man I once was.... 16

Journal by FortKnox
So, I was doin some chopping for my salad saturday evening. Red Leaf lettuce, endive, celery, carrots, tomatoes, then... the chives (green onions).

I had just sharpened (well, honed if you want to get technical) my wonderful Heinkel knives, and was chopping away. I told my wife that Alton suggests that you put your thumb all the way in the back and your fingers wrapped up so only your knuckles touch the knife, but that was far too uncomfortable for me. That was until I nearly chopped the entire tip of my thumb off... the cut started from around where your (left side) nail disconnects with the skin to about the middle of the nail where it connects to the base (I bite my nails, so there wasn't any nail there to stop the cut). And it bled like a sid. The onion juice on the knife made it that much worse.

No, I didn't go to the hospital (I'm not spending $200+ for them to clean it out and bandage it). I cleaned it myself (which was more painful than cutting it), neosporin'ed it up, then bandaged it up. I changed the bandage last night and it wasn't pretty looking. This morning it looks like the skin might fall off, so I will have a deformed thumb. Oh well, red badge of courage I guess. The only bad thing is its my spacebar thumb, so I'm trying out using my other thumb for that (not to mention its my joystick thumb, so no 'cube until it heals more).

The -7 F temperature (-23 C for you non-Americans) isn't helping my thumb feel any better, either...
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I'm not the whole man I once was....

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  • ...getting his hands in close proximity to the business end of very sharp utensils, that is. :)
  • Sarah and I had a big debate, and we went with the Voooost-hoff, instead of the Heinkel. Good knives. And it's fun to say, "Vooooost-hoff".

    • I like the Henckels because of the two little people on the knives.

      I mean, I know they're quality knives, but I've never been a fan of Wusthof (like it matters, though). Until I considered the finer points of saying "Voooost-hoff". ;)

      • We have a couple of Henckels, as well.. the little paring knife, a japanese-style chef's knife, and "Der Brottmesser" (I know I'm spelling it wrong, but it's almost as much fun to say as voooost-hoff). I tend to slice things very slowly to avoid the embarassment and pain involved in cutting bodyparts off.

        Nothing beats a just-sharpened knife, though.

  • My Mom once slammed a car door on her thumb. I wasn't there but she needed stitches and all of that. Ouch. It's always odd how these things happen. You end up sitting there thinking "Ok, I'm an adult. Why the hell did I let that happen?"
  • Professional chefs recommend you do NOT do things like, well, shove your thumb underneath sharp objects.

    Remember in the future, they are on TV, they are using sharp objects, and they have all of their digits intact. They just might know something you don't. :)

    Uncomfortable yes, but the muscles would eventually have gotten used to it. Same as typing right and proper, do NOT I repeat, DO NOT lean your wrists on your keyboard. This goes doubly so if you have a wrist rest.

    It is for RESTING your wrists, NOT sitting your wrists down on. :)

    A lot of things are like that, the "right and proper" way of doing them is at first uncomfortable, but then again so is a daily exercise routine. Don't that the discomfort discourage you from either. :)
    • by mekkab (133181)
      I have nothing more of substance to add to this very important Com2Kid note. but that doesn't stop me from flapping my lips...

      DUDE- the knucle thing is KEY! You ALWAYS know where the blade is, because you are always in contact with it. When you aren't in contact with it, your hands should stop and your eyes should re-asses- measure twice, cut once.

      Tha being said, if you use your other hand on top of the blade as a pivot for dicing- you can go fast. Becuase your hand is in contact with the blade (as a pivot) BUT no where near the cutting part.
  • than a dull one. Not so sure about that. We have the same knife set, and my bride scares the bejesus out of me when I watch her work the blade. Properly honed, they will make quick work of a fingertip. She has had a kitchen accident that required many stitches, I have not (so far).... I suspect it is more to do with a proper respect/fear of the instrument.

    Way back, I use to be the only first responder in a place that built studio sets. Most of them lost a chunk of a finger at one time or another. Just keep it clean and watch for infection. Few things are as morbid as digging through sawdust looking for some fingers. Surprisingly little blood when you use a table saw. Even more amazing how often they could re-attach the suckers.
    • Sharp knives are safer because you don't use as much force to do the cutting, which leads to fewer accidents.
      • If the blade just effortlessly slides through the skin with a gentle sawing motion, you can spend all your efforts on keeping the tomato steady.

        If not, the blade will slip off the current area of tomato skin, rest on your skin, FIND the friction it needs to be steady, and cut like anotherTrucker (say it real fast!).

        P.S.- for onions, use a cuisinart/food processor. Saves time*. saves fingers. and saves you from crying.

        * saves prep time. Clean-up time is a whole different matter. However, with a lil' guile and deceit you can make dinner and have your eating companion do your dirty work. It works for my wife (who is allergic to drying dishes)
        • P.S.- for onions, use a cuisinart/food processor. Saves time*. saves fingers. and saves you from crying.

          That is how my bride got her stitches... She was using a mechanical onion dicer that she was coerced into buying at one of those 'parties'. (grrr) An onion got jammed up, she had juice in her eyes, and somehow decided that a quick pop with her thumb would clear it. Eight stitches later.

          Reminds me of what my grandpa would say - "Any power tool can be a sander if you don't use if you don't know what you are doing...."
  • Firemarshall Bill (Jim Carey, or at the time "James" Carey) was making some salads for his friends. One of the ladies held up her fork with a finger on the end of it and said, "There's a finger in mine!" Another guy said, "Mine, too!" And FM Bill held up his hand with several bloody stumps and did that laugh. That was a funny skit.

    But that sucks about your thumb, dude. No videogames for a while... ouch.

  • I know I said watch out when cutting bread, but it was applicable to anyone using a knife [slashdot.org].

    The skin fell off eventually, but that's really my fault. I shouldn't have sat in the bathtub for such a long time. The stitches opened up and the skin just shriveled up and died after that.

    Luckily, there's enough regrowth of fingertip that it doesn't look deformed.

    Good luck with it!
  • Ah, yes, reminds me of the time as a kid, when we and several visiting relatives were just sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner and the phone rings. It's the guy two houses down. Apparently he said something to the effect of, "I just accidentally cut my thumb off. Can you come drive me to the hospital or something?" Man, nothing adds excitement to a family dinner like severing a digit or two. Even from a couple houses away. The implement of destruction was a powersaw behind his house, and no, they never found the thumb. Ew.

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