Shovel This

Today is my firm’s annual golf tournament. While I hate playing scrambles, it’s a fun event, held in Miami, at a great club, and it’s going to be 73 and sunny. At about 7 PM last night, one of my partners e-mailed me and said, “I just cut my hand and I’m heading to the ER for stitches. I’m out for golf tomorrow.” Poor guy. He has to miss the golf and he’s got a big boo boo. This morning, he sent me a pic of his sutured hand. I thought about including it in this blog because it’s super gnarly, but I suspect I have at least a few squeamish readers and I didn’t want them to upchuck their breakfast so the picture is available upon request.

I didn’t want to bother him last night with a lot of questions so I didn’t ask him how he sliced his hand. The explanation came this morning:

“Pretty embarrassing. Carving the end of a replacement handle for a shovel and slipped.”

I replied, “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what it means to carve a replacement handle for a shovel or for that matter what it means to own a shovel. Usually the workmen bring their own shovels, don’t they?”

I really wasn’t kidding. OK, I do own a snow shovel because every third year it snows a foot (or five) in DC and I have to get out there and shovel. But, seriously, who carves a replacement handle? If you really need a functioning shovel at all times and the handle breaks, don’t you run to Home Depot and buy a new shovel? Indeed, if you type “shovel, Home Depot” into the Google Machine, you get an entire page of shovels. Prices seem to range from about $18 for the Ames 47” Fiberglass Handle Transfer Shovel with Comfort Step all the way up to about $82 for the Nupla 48” Fiberglass Handle with 16” Solid Shank Blade Heavy Duty Drain Spade. I have no clue what any of that means, but the point should not be lost. If the handle on your shovel breaks, you go to Home Depot and buy a new one. Period. Full stop. My partner makes good money and slicing half your hand off is not worth even $82 at the high end.

The good news is he’s going to be OK, though he has to see the hand surgeon today to make sure there’s no nerve damage. Nerve damage for $82? Really??? Sorry, I said I’d move on.

This episode got me thinking that there’s a bigger story here so I decided to make a list of ways I will never hurt myself or, worse, die. Here goes:

1. Carving a replacement handle for a shovel (duh)
2. Shoveling stuff
3. Falling off a roof
4. Falling off a ladder
5. Cleaning the gutters
6. Using a chain saw
7. Using any power tool of any kind, including a battery operated screw driver
8. Changing the blade on a lawn mower
9. Mowing the lawn
10. Carving a replacement handle for a rake
11. Raking leaves (sprained ankle potential for sure)
12. Building shelves
13. Dusting shelves (wrist injury potential?)
14. Laying a hardwood floor
15. Laying on a hardwood floor (caveat: after enough bourbon, anything can happen)
16. Hammering a nail
17. Getting hammered (just kidding)
18. Using a nail gun (totally not kidding)
19. Building a deck
20. Writing blogs about how fucking lazy I am when it comes to handy work (hahahahaha)

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About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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