Life Out Loud: The first cut is the deepest

My nemesis is small but stealthy. It lurks under the model of health but, in fact, it’s a silent slayer of innocent flesh.

I am speaking, of course, of the mandolin slicer.

A mandolin slicer is a flat utensil with a razor sharp blade that you quickly slide fruits and across. It allows you to dice fruits, vegetables, and random digits quickly and precisely using a specially designed safety pusher.

It is French in origin, which goes to figure. The French are not to be trusted.

It happened, as accidents do, without warning. One minute I was feeling quite proud of my commitment to eat more vegetables as I slid a cucumber across the blades. Next I was slicing the tip of my finger nearly clean off with that same razor sharp blade. So that was fun.

Home of the brave

As it turns out I’m not quite the big sissy I thought I was. I can, in fact, be brave.

Not in a skydiving or facing down a bear kind of way. I’m still a big baby about something like THAT. I’m just kind of impressed with myself that I went from “salad” to “do not bleed on the carpet” in an instant. I’d make a fine murderer. I’m very tidy.

It was just me and Wondergirl holding down the fort that day and she came to my aid like a regular Florence Nightingale. While I attempted to wash the copious amount of blood away so as not to scare her (or myself), she remained completely calm. In fact, I basically stood there trying to hold my fingertip on while she deftly wrapped it in multiple bandages as if she did this every day.

Clearly, this was just another adventure in parenting mom.

We’ve got a bleeder. I sat down to speed the healing and, because I like to remain low key, alerted Mr. Wonderful to my plight by tapping out a quick text.

I think “how long before I should worry if I can’t get bleeding stopped? xo” is a completely reasonable question to ask a loved one. I don’t know why he gets so upset.

An hour later, the bleeding had not stopped and it became apparent that I probably really needed to see someone with slightly more medical training than is generally provided in the sixth grade.

Maternal pride

I must say that the doctor was very impressed with my daughter’s bandaging prowess. He said that she had done a beautiful job and that, with her skill and level-headed response, she might have a future in medicine.

I thanked him because every mother loves praise for her child, even when she is BLEEDING TO DEATH. I then informed him that what she really wants is to be a veterinarian. He winked, smiled, and said “good call, they’re smarter.”

Well naturally. I bet cows know better than to mess around with mandolin slicers. If they do, they would certainly use the handy safety pusher. No one wants to clip a hoof.

I’m home with a new set of bandages and a dandy tetanus shot. I can never remember if I’d had one so I always say yes to a new one. I’ve either had one every 10 years, or three in the last five. I honestly can’t recall. Either way, I’m all set and can now juggle rusty knives with wild abandon.

Having your right middle finger encased in bandages tends to be eye catching. It’s as if I have taken my longest finger and made it a little white hat.

Hello, customer service?

Amazing is the number of people who responded to my (foolishly) honest reply to the nature of my injury with the idea that I should inform the mandolin manufacturer of the incident.

Right, because I want to share THAT kind of idiocy with the world. (Readers of this column are different. They are considered FRIENDS who should be forewarned of what I am capable of so they can hide the sharp objects should I ever drop in.)

Apparently providing an item they even helpfully call “The Safety Pusher” (that I stupidly did not use) to save unwilling flesh from slicing was not enough. A representative of the company should have DRIVEN to my home and placed it in my hand. Using duct tape, if necessary, to ensure I kept it there.

Clearly, this is not an equipment issue. This was pure operator error. Don’t try this at home.

I am now two weeks older, much wiser, and will never ever disregard the merits of an item prominently featuring the word “safety.”

I would also like the record to reflect that this eating of the healthy vegetables may not be all it’s cracked up to be. I bet few people ever experience copious bleeding after opening a Twinkie.

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt recommends just gnawing fruits and vegetables whole. She welcomes comments c/o LifeOutLoud@comcast.net; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460 or http://www.KymberlyFosterSeabolt.com.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

One Comment

  1. Wendy Sternburg says:

    Absolutely love this!! It wouldn’t surprise me if we aren’t somehow related!! But it also wouldn’t surprise me if there aren’t lots of us Mom’s who would end up in the same predicament!! Don’t give up the vegies though, just use the safety pusher!!
    Keep writing, I love real Mom stories!!

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