Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hey! Watch This!

We've all heard those famous words "Hey! Watch this!". We know we shouldn't turn our heads and look. We know that if we do, we will only see something that should be featured on late night cable shows - something that makes us cock our head to the side, converge our eyebrows, and say "What the hell?" Shows that make us literally gasp in horror (or amazement) at what humans do. Humans are not the smartest creatures on the planet. Emergency nursing taught me that in my very first day.

Friday night, two ........ um .......... wonderful (and I say that not in jest, but in awe at the entertainment that they provided) men arrived in our ER. Jim walked in with bloody towels wrapped around both of his hands. Jay, following behind, was an exact replica, even down to the attire he was wearing. But that is a completely different story. What is it about drunk men on a Friday night in rural USA? Do they all grab clothes out of the same closet? "Hey JimBob - Can I borrow your red wifebeater?" "Sure BillyJay - but the blue one might go better with your eyes."

"Hey Miss!" Jim yelled, waving his bloody mitts in the air. "Hey Miss! Can we get some help here?"

"Hey, me too!" Jay, not to be outdone, yelled across the hallway, pushing himself in front of Jim.

"Shut up Jay! More of my fingers are missing than yours, you pussy."

Fingers? Missing? Oh, this was going to be good.

"Jim - you're a prick," Jay replied. "I outta kick your ass."

"Oh yeah? I'd like to see you try it. You can't even make a fist. Whacha gonna do? Punch me with your thumb?"

Jay started toward JIm, hands (what was left of them) in the air. The towels fell off and blood ran down his arms and spilled onto the floor. "Shit," I thought "I'm gonna have to clean that up."

"SIT DOWN!" I calmly shouted. They simultaneously dropped their butts down onto the stretchers in the room. "What did you guys do to yourselves?" I asked. Now, I've talked about this before. Asking people what happened or what they did to themselves often takes you to areas of human intelligence you never knew existed. It's like walking around a corner in some little town you are exploring and coming upon a man walking a Great Dane dressed in a tutu. You're just not quite sure if what you are experiencing is real.

Jay and Jim started talking at the same time, arguing like little kids. "It's your fault!" "Nuh-uh! It's your fault!" "I thought it was a stupid idea!" "You did it too!" "Nuh-uh!"

"SHUT UP! You guys sound like a couple of 5 year olds," I said as I grabbed Lucy and had her help me examine the wounds. Both men hung their heads low, but continued to whisper insults at each other. Rolling my eyes, I threw Lucy a few extra packs of 4X4's. Upon examination, I noted that Jay had lost the 1st through 4th fingers on his right hand, and half of the 1st and second fingers on his left hand. Jim had lost half the height of his 1st through 4th fingers on his right and left hands.

During our exam, Jim said something to Jay about his mother and I thought maybe some type of relationship with her brother. I'm not 100% certain what he said, since Jay jumped up off the stretcher and started towards the other side of the room, pushing me out of the way as he went. Luckily, the clatter of the metal mayo stand hitting the floor was enough to make him think twice. He called Jim a few choice names, sat back down on the stretcher, and then politely said, "Sorry Miss. I didn't mean to curse."

"All right boys. I'm going to have to separate you," I said.

"NO!" They both yelled. "I gotta stay with my Jim," Jay said. "He's my best friend."

"Oh man," Jim replied. "I love ya man." Then he started to cry.

"I love you too man!" Jay said. "I'm sorry man. I'm sorry!" Tears were flowing from both of them.

(And they say women are complicated and emotional.)

We finally got the story out of them. Jay had apparently thought it would be a great idea to use a lawn mower to trim a hedge. What's so bad about that, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Picture the scene: family BBQ, drunk men, kids running around screaming, Jay and Jim discussing how the hedge needs trimmed. Jay's wife yells something about how he can't even mow the grass, how the hell is he going to trim the hedge? The lightbulb goes off above Jay's head. Jay talks Jim into helping him.

"Hey! Watch this babe!" Jay yells.

His wife hears the engine of the lawnmower start. She slowly turns and watches as the men position themselves on either side of the mower. "I wouldn't do............." she starts to say.

They reach under the mower to pick it up. Yes! They picked the lawn mower up with their hands sticking under the machine. Under the machine that has rapidly rotating, extremely sharp metal blades. Metal blades that cut things - things like grass, sticks, FINGERS!

They were successful for about 2 seconds. Two seconds and 2 inches (sounds like some other things we're familiar with, huh ladies?) before fingers started flying.

"Why the hell were you picking it up like that?" I asked.

"Well," Jay replied, "I thought if we each got a side of the lawnmower and picked it up, we could just carry it down the hedge while it trimmed the top off."

I stood in stunned silence. Lucy snorted in the background.


"Yeah, I know. Stupid huh? When my wife mentioned the lawnmower I just thought, 'Hey, let's use it to trim the hedge.' I suppose it's a good thing we've had a few beers, huh? Helps with the pain."

"Helps with something....." I replied.

The ortho docs were called, came to see the patients, and closed and repaired what they could in the OR. No fingers were salvageable for replacement. The men were admitted under ortho services for IV antibiotics and observation.

It took less than 2 hours for a drawing of a lawnmower with fingers flying out of it to be posted at the nurses station. The caption read 'Hey! Watch This!'


Max said...

Doubly idiots for not salvaging their fingers.Serves them right

BellaLinda said...

Yay, you updated! Great story as always.

ERnursey said...

*snort*....."what're ya gonna do? Punch me with your thumb?"
That is the greatest line ever.

frectis said...

OMG. Unbelievable.

Jennifer said...

Wow! What are the odds! Two guys did that here in my city too last year, but sadly in their case they WEREN'T drunk, and came up with the stupid idea while sober!

Circles said...

Hilarious. I am enjoying your blog!

Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, that is a hilarious story!
I can't believe what guys can come up with!