A few months ago, someone on Facebook asked, “What was your stupidest self-inflicted injury?”
I didn’t even need to think about it.
When I was three or four, I had my three pet toads (1 big one, 2 little ones) in one of those big, barrel-shaped pickle jars. My dad had helped me poke holes in the lid with a hammer and nail.
It was a Sunday. After church. We were getting ready to sit down for dinner, when my mother very unreasonably declared my toads could not be at the kitchen table with us. In fact, they didn’t belong in the kitchen. I was to take them to the back porch.
The cinderblock chimney was right there. I thrust down the jar of toads. The glass shattered. My toads were getting away! I started crying. I wanted my toads. My mother started yelling. I looked down. Oops. There was a huge bleeding gap on my left knee. I don’t remember pain. I remember my toads escaping.
My dad drove me back to town. Someone must have called Dr. Opalot, because he was in his office, waiting for us, on a Sunday afternoon. He must have numbed my knee before he started stitching, but I don’t remember. What I remember about that is it tickled. Turns out I have ridiculously ticklish knee caps. I kept twitching my leg, and the doctor would tell me to be still. “But it tickles!” I said. He laughed. He told me that was the first time anyone had ever told him getting sewn up tickled.
It took five stitches in my 3 or 4 year old knee to close the gash. I carry the scar to this day.
If only my mom hadn’t been so unreasonable about toads at the dinner table.