May 17, 2005
It Took Me Two Days To Type This.

Hell Week is now history. 

Jolene returned to the Dirt Company this week, looking rested and radiant from nine glorious days of vacation.  When she walked through the door on Monday morning, I had to resist the urge to leap from my chair, hurl myself into my arms and whimper  "Never  ...  leave  ...  me  ...  again."  Instead, I simply welcomed her back  --  "You were missed," I said, flashing her my big twinkly World's Best Administrative Ass smile   --  and I gave her a nutshell account of the previous week.  [One Lunch Seminar, four Soil Density reports, two last-minute/ quadruple-urgent/ bazillion-dollar proposals  ...  one minor Meltdown Moment on Thursday afternoon:  "The Young Prince was in fullblown *Peel Me A Grape* Mode," I explained   ...  plus a dead fax line and a couple of spectacular office machine failures, requiring expensive emergency service calls.]

"And then there's this," I said.  And I reluctantly held up my right hand.

Jolene took one look at my hand  --  at the miles of gauze and adhesive bandage circling my thumb and three fingers  --  and rolled her eyes in exasperation. 

"NOW what have you done to yourself?" she sighed.

I plucked self-consciously at the big wad of gauze around my thumb, and smiled a tight embarrassed smile.  "I had a little  ...  um  ... domestic accident over the weekend," I replied.  And I told her the story: about how I was cooking macaroni and cheese on Sunday afternoon  --  the good old-fashioned HOMEMADE kind of macaroni and cheese, not the pukey prefab stuff from a box ...

...  and how I was simultaneously boiling macaroni noodles on the back burner of the Ugly Pink Stove, while melting cheese into milk and flour on the front burner  ... 

... and how I removed the boiled noodles from the back burner, once they were cooked, and dumped them into a colander in the kitchen sink, then returned to stirring the cheese and milk  ...  

... and how I noticed that the back burner had been knocked ever-so-slightly askew, at some point in the macaroni-making process, so I absent-mindedly reached over to straighten it with my bare fingers ...

... forgetting that I had just removed a BOILING POT OF WATER from that burner less than fifteen seconds earlier.


"The doctor says it's only a second degree burn," I finished limply. [I didn't mention that the ER doctor who treated my burn was the same ER doctor who treated my stoopid infected toe last month ... and my broken ribs last year ... and my back injury, the year before that.] "Plus," I added, "I can type almost as well with my left hand as I can with my right."  And I wiggled the fingers of my undamaged left hand in demonstration.

See? I may be a klutz  ...  but by god I'm an AMBIDEXTROUS klutz.

Jolene just shook her head a little   --  what else is there to say in the face of such relentless clumsiness?  really?  --  and then she hung up her coat and shuffled down the hallway toward her office  ...  already beginning to look a little frayed around the edges. 

I figure that by the end of the week I'll have her looking just as exhausted and beat-up as *I* do.

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the other good news?
i'm keeping the gauze and adhesive bandaging industry in business.