A Cut Above the Rest

Just last night I was sat in this very spot trying to think of something funny to write about. I tried and tried, but my poor brain just wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I answered one of those survey thingies I’m so fond of. And that’s fine, because I definitely have a doozy of a story today.

Now I should start by saying that Thanksgiving Mindays are nothing new. Ever since I took up cooking for Turkey Day, I’ve walked away with battle scars. One year, I burnt my left thumb, and just a month later, at Christmas, I burnt my right in the exact same spot. And then there was Thanksgiving with the Murphys.

So, as you can see, I probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a kitchen.

This year, I had lucked out. I wouldn’t be cooking the entire feast. Instead, I was only responsible for two things: mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Easy, right?

If you’re anyone but Mindy.

I started with the sweet potatoes. With the exception of having selecting four massively huge sweet potatoes, which meant I would have to boil them in two batches, they were easy-peasy, bacon-cheesy. I did scald myself slightly on the water as I was removing a chunk of sweet potato, and I did think of Thanksgiving with the Murphys, wondering if that would be the worst of my drama.

I really think I jinxed myself.

Not even 10 minutes had passed, and I had set up a new pot of water so I could boil the potatoes. As the water warmed, I grabbed my brand new Oxo veggie peeler and a small potato.

And two seconds later, I gasped in pain. I had mistaken my right ring finger for the potato and now had a diagonal gash across the top, through the fingernail.

Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. <— Standard Mindy reaction to blood, especially her own.

Alexis, who was sat on the floor eating lunch, immediately looked up to see me wrapping my finger in a kitchen towel. She didn’t learn what was going on until a few seconds later, when I called her mom and asked, “How do you know if you need to get stitches?”

I have since learned that, if you need to ask that question, you either need stitches or you don’t need them. Yes, I know that makes no sense, but I had to share a little of what I dealt with today.

Brandy called Allen, who came right over to look at my finger. His first thought: I needed stitches. His second: let’s try wrapping it up. So, with a large chunk of gauze and a lot of whinging from Mindy who was experiencing some pretty horrific pain, he tried wrapping it.

Yeah, pretty quickly that proved to be a failure. And as the blood began seeping through the gauze, we decided to go with Allen’s first idea, so off we headed to the hospital.

On the way, I couldn’t help but joke. One, it’s my way of dealing with things I can’t really handle. Two, I was certain I was not the first, nor would I be the last, Thanksgiving casualty they saw at the emergency room.

I was right, by the way.

When we walked into the hospital, everyone asked how I got my injury. I was the first potato peeler injury of the day. Go me!

No one was surprised to hear it, though.

In the emergency room, I found myself getting nervous, especially when words like X-ray and tetanus were thrown about. Fortunately, it was determined I didn’t need the X-ray. Unfortunately, I did need the tetanus shot. Along with two other shots to numb my poor finger.

Okay, I had already been stabbed by needles twice this week. I got my flu shot Tuesday, and I had blood drawn Wednesday. Now I was getting stabbed three times???

Let the fainting begin.

It’s silly to say I don’t like needles. As the guy who drew my blood joked, “Does anyone really like being stuck with needles?” If you do, you are fricken weird.

I got the tetanus shot first, and surprisingly, that hurt less than the flu shot did. Though I currently feel like I’ve been punched in the arm for the past eight hours straight.

Then, the doctor came in to work on my finger.

I’m pretty certain he could sense my apprehension. Well, I’m pretty sure everyone within a 50-yard radius could sense my apprehension. I turned away with a sickened squeal as he unwrapped my finger. But then he became generous and laid the bed down flat so I didn’t have to watch him work.

Then I proceeded to crack everyone up.

I had been holding on to my wallet, but as the doctor prepared to work on me, I clutched on to it for dear life, my head turned to my left and my eyes squeezed shut. And he hadn’t even started yet.

The doctor warned me that he would numb my finger with two shots, one to each side of my wounded finger. And boy did he ever.

As the first needle broke my skin, I burst into loud hysterical laughter.

No, seriously, I burst into loud hysterical laughter, which in turn caused all of the attention in the place to turn to me.

And when he administered the second shot, I laughed even harder. But you know what, my finger went numb nearly immediately, and I still can’t feel that puppy eight hours later.

I got a grand total of four stitches. I know, I’m going to have a fricken sweet scar. Jealous? You should be. Dear God, I can’t even type that with a straight face.

So, I took a couple of pics. The first should only be viewed if you can handle gross stuff. The second is the PG version. When viewing these, remember how you spent your day chilling with relatives and stuffing yourself silly. You could have had a much more awesome day, a Minday to be exact.

Of course, tomorrow, when the numbness has worn off, and the pain kicks in, I won’t be so silly. In fact, I will hate this particular Minday.


For the record, typing this hilarious story up took ages. You never realize just how much you use the ring finger on your non-dominant hand until you try lopping it off.

My Parents are Asexual, Right?

Recently, I’ve endured several conversations on how my friends and family learned about sex or conversations about their sex lives and sex toys in general. For the record, I played no role initiating these conversations, and in most, I was only subjected to them; I was not an active participant. Remember? No?

Hi, I’m Mindy, and I’m a prude.

I blame Sex and the City. Good God, pretty much every woman I know has seen the TV show and/or films. (I’m refusing. I made it more than 10 years without buying into the hype. I can survive this. God, I hope I can survive this.) As a result of the craze that is SATC, everyone and their Manolo Blahniks are talking sex. And unfortunately, I’m being pulled into the mix.

Some of the conversations have made me turn redder than my shoulders after 15 minutes in the summer sun. Such as the one a couple weeks back when it was asked if I had…well, you know…a toy.

And at times, the conversations were entertaining. For instance, there was the conversation I heard where the speaker threatened to rent a hotel room for…ahem, self-satisfaction, so that the ghost of her dead mother couldn’t see what she was up to. I would hope that ghosts can read minds, and at the mere thought of…hands-on lovin’, the ghost would want to go see what her other children are up to. Otherwise, do you think ghosts can wash out their eyes with soap? I know I wanted to after my mom made the aforementioned threat.


No child ever wants to this about his/her parents having sex. Horrific, I mean, ew! Parents are asexual, and the muffled noises we hear at night, well that’s just them playing army commandos, right? I don’t ever want to think about the process my parents used in conceiving me. I prefer to believe that I miraculously appeared in my mom’s uterus. I know it’s not true, but really, that’s a visual I don’t ever want to have again.

I remember Mom trying to talk to Paul and I about sex back in 1989. It was probably the most mortifying day of my life. Yes, it even tops that time I fell on my face in front of my entire office and flashed my underwear in the process. On that fateful day in fifth grade, the boys and girls were split up so that we could learn about our respective puberty cycles. Even though Paul and I had a pretty good grasp of what to expect, Mom still felt compelled to review it with us that evening following school. Worse, she did so with her mom sat next to her on the couch.

Say it with me, y’all: AWKWARD!

Some people may not mind learning about the birds and the bees from their parents. Okay, we didn’t mind that, but with Grandma there, it was a tad uncomfortable. I mean, it kinds begs you to start walking through the process of how you came to be. And not only did I have that disturbing mental picture of Mom and Dad doing what Barry White always alluded to, but I also had the same with my grandma. No wonder some people choose to rot their brains with drugs or video games.

Now do you wonder why I’m so strange? Or is it starting to become a bit more clear?

The Interview

Throughout my life, I’ve learned that there are some people who are a bit hesitant to believe just how accident-prone I can be. I find it funny, because I am very upfront about this fact.

How the heck could I keep something like that hidden? I’m the same girl who can’t be around a hot guy without seriously injuring myself. I seriously once nearly gave myself a concussion trying to retrieve a cap to a water bottle because a hot guy was sat about 10 feet away from me.

Usually, the way things work is that, when I disclose my not-so-secret affliction, people think, Oh, isn’t she cute? She thinks she’s accident-prone. I bet she’s tripped like once in her life.

Ha! I wish.

What then follows is that I do something, quite by accident of course, that proves that, if anything, I underestimate just how much of a walking disaster this girl can be.

And sadly, the person doesn’t quite believe how bad it gets. Then I tell The Interview Story. (It gets caps, because it’s totally epic in terms of having a Minday).

So, to show you how much of a Minday I can cram into a short span of time, I present The Interview Story:

Back in July of 2006, I was ready to move away from being a clerk at The Star and do something different. I applied for higher ed jobs, but just to fully cover my bases, I also applied for jobs at other newspapers in the area.

One newspaper called, and the editor asked me to come out for an interview that Sunday. It was a bit weird having to head off to Overland Park to meet with the editor on a Sunday, but hey, I know they tend to work some crazy hours, so who was I to judge?

The night before I crawled into bed and the nerves kicked in. Oh my God! What if he starts asking me all these questions about Kansas? I only know that the State Song is “Home on the Range” and that they’ve been having a massive debate on evolution since we crawled out of the primordial ooze! What if he asks about the Gross Domestic Product of the average tree trimming service in Olathe? Oh no!!!

So obviously, giving in to an exhausted sleep was a blessing…until I woke up at 2 a.m. and started right in again.


The next morning I awoke, not refreshed per se, but as ready as I pretty much could be. I showered and did the normal morning routine. I even actually did more to my hair than just my standard French twist. I straightened it, and I felt pretty darn confident about myself, even if I had to suck it in to squeeze into the skirt of my suit.

At 9:15 a.m., I was as ready to go as I could be, so I grabbed the portfolio of my stories, my wallet, cell phone and a pair of flip flops to change into once the interview had completed and I was back on the road heading toward home. I said goodbye to Zeus and the evil Satan Kitteh then walked outside, shutting the locked door behind me.

I shut the screen door and turned toward my car, my arms ladened with all the things I needed to take with me. Then, as though I had walked into an invisible brick wall, I stopped short. Without even looking at the items in my hands I knew what one thing they were not carrying: my car keys.

Son of a….

I dropped everything on the porch and turned back to the door. Even though I knew better, I turned the knob, which of course did not give due to it being locked. Crap! I thought. I needed to get going as soon as possible, but how could I do that when my keys hung on the other side of the door, laughing at me for being so stupid as to walk out without them???

The back door! I thought, then ran round the house, but it too mocked me as I jiggled the locked knob.

I needed to get in as soon as possible, but how? What could I do?

That’s it! I’ll call Brandy! I rushed back around front, grabbed my cell and speed dialed my sister. When the answer machine clicked on, I wanted to scream. Instead, as calmly as I could I said, “Brandy, it’s an emergency! Please call me on my cell when you get this.”

I hung up and waited, but as the second minute passed, I knew she wouldn’t call in time. I needed to get to Overland Park in 35 minutes, and if there was traffic, I would be out of luck!

So, I did what any desperate woman would do. I walked around the side of the house, found the basement window that Paul had once broken into and did the exact same thing. Of course, not realizing how the window opened, I kicked out the wood covering the broken window pane, and shimmied into the tiny gap. I actually (and surprisingly) fit, but of course scratched up my stomach and arm along the way. A small price though, because I WAS INSIDE!!

I rushed upstairs, grabbed the keys, rushed out the door, grabbed my items and jumped into the car. I sped out to Johnson County and arrived at the newspaper’s office with 10 minutes to spare.

As I had been instructed to do, I started to punch in the editor’s number when a man walked out of the building. He noticed me and knocked on the window. “You’re here for the interview?” he asked, and I nodded. “I’ve got to go cover a fire. Want to come?”

Knowing that flexibility is what comes with the territory of being a reporter, I said sure, grabbed my portfolio and hurriedly followed him to his car. During the drive he asked me quite a few of the standard interview questions. We drove from 435 and Metcalf to 135th Street and Metcalf but we couldn’t find any sign of a fire. So, the editor said screw it and drove back to the office so that he could continue the interview.

In all, the whole thing took two hours, but it gave me a glimpse not only of what the job would be like, but also what my potential boss would be like. And to be honest, I really enjoyed it. I could easily do the job at this paper.

Interview completed, we made general chit chat as he walked me to the front door. I even joked about my hectic morning, but it wasn’t until I was outside and walking to my car that it dawned on me. My keys weren’t in my hands. Nor were they tucked inside my portfolio.

Nope, they were hanging from the ignition inside my locked car, where I left them when I had jumped from my car to join the editor.

Oh joy.

The good thing is that I kept my hatchback unlocked specifically for this occasion. Back at that time I locked my keys in my car on average of once a month. (Fortunately, since I got the new car I don’t have to do that anymore.)

So, in my suit, I climbed through the hatch and into the front seat. As I was sliding down into the driver’s seat, I looked up to notice that the editor had walked out of the front of the building and was looking right at me.

Awesome, huh?

The funny thing is that I actually got a job offer from the paper. Unfortunately, it came one my first day of work at UMKC.