Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

The stupidest thing I ever did

Or, why there were 13 firefighters in my kitchen at 1 am.

I've been known to do stupid things. Really stupid things. But tonight I believe I topped even myself. It all started because The Boy is a wimp. He doesn't like messy stuff, he likes to be clean and dislikes having to touch anything grotty.

Tonight as he was washing the dishes he turned on the disposal and there was a loud grinding noise. He immediately gets upset and starts whining about how he doesn't want to stick his hand down there. I tell him to buck up and he finally puts his hand down the disposal, switch off, magnetic top off to the side. Nothing dangerous. But he can't find anything. He says there is nothing down there, so I tell him to turn the disposal back on. Grrrrrrr, there is that grinding noise again.

I look up at the ceiling and pray to God that he is going to eventually stop being such a wimp, and tell him to go back down into the disposal and do a better search. He's whining full pitch now, about how stupid I am, and how there is nothing down there, blah blah blah.

I go into the kitchen and remind him that my hand barely fits down there, and ask him again, but nope, no go. So I stick my hand down, move my fingers around and find the plastic end of a small paring knife. I start to pull my hand back out and....

It is so frigging stuck in there that there is no way it's ever coming out. At first I don't panic. I pour some lovely lavender liquid soap down around my hand and try to get it out. No go. I pour more soap and some hot water and mush it around my hand. But the plastic collar at the top of the disposal has very sharp edges and there is no way my hand is coming out. Plus, I'm bent over the sink in this horrid position and my back is starting to ache.

Over a half hour I try and try to get my hand out and finally give up and tell the Boy to call 911. First the police show up, then one fire truck, then the Lt. and his crew, and another truck and the EMTs with an ambulance. All in all, 13 of our city's finest were in my tiny kitchen. It must have been a really slow night in town.

At first they try to pour a bunch of salad oil down on my hand, but that isn't going to work. Even I know that. They try a bunch of things but nothing is working. So they get the great idea to pull out the sink so they can see what they're doing. This takes some time as they have to disconnect the water, and then the disposal from the sink. Finally they pull the sink out (very very not clean under the stainless steel. Ugh) and put it on the counter.

My hand is still very wedged in the disposal, and the sink is hanging off my arm. They try taking the disposal apart, piece by piece, but eventually they get to the realization that the only way this sucker is coming off my hand is if the saw it off. With an electric saw. A loud buzzing power saw. Cutting through metal with my bare hand underneath.

Now, I'm going to admit I'm not a brave person. I'm afraid of horror movies. I can't stand roller coasters. I cried in the Raiders of the Lost Ark ride at Disneyland. When you look up the word wimp in the dictionary, my picture is by the definition. So having a large power saw running above my hand sort of freaked me out. Ok, I went totally over the edge.

My two fears as the saw was going were not of them cutting my hand, but of me having to pee and not being able to get to the toilet with the sink stuck on my hand. And, I was petrified that my defibrillator would go off and I'd fly backward and they would cut my hand off. See, wimpy wimpy wimpy.

They sawed and sawed and sawed. It took a long time and I was freaking out so badly that the EMT was making me breathe with her because I was just sobbing I was so scared. I hate being scared. Hate it.

Once they had sawed enough, they finally got the pliers to pull apart the disposal (which, BTW, is less than 6 months old), and then they could cut the frigging plastic collar and free my hand.

I ended up with 3 large cuts on my wrist near my thumb, and 2 on the opposite side of my thumb, and another one on the side of my hand by my pinkie. My hand is horribly swollen and so sore. It really hurts even after icing it. The firefighters were in my house for 1 and a half hours. They were really nice and they promised that this would not make the local paper. If it does, I'm going to be mortified.

They left the kitchen in a complete mess, sink on the counter, crap from under the sink everywhere, and all the pieces of the disposal on the counter. I'm too tired to clean most of it up tonight so it will have to stay until tomorrow.

They also said that nobody has ever been this stuck before in the disposal. I'm so proud!
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Blogger Erin said...

Oh, dear.

What a story! With pictures, even. Good job on having the forethought to take pictures - I never remember to do that in a crisis, even when it would enhance the story. I have to say I was so scared when I read the title and subcaption. I'm really glad you're okay, or at least, mostly okay. (Hope your hand feels better soon)

I bet The Boy will never, ever live this down. The day he got his Mom's hand stuck in the disposal. Hee. He'll love having you tell that story to his girlfriend sometime down the road.

20/7/06 1:52 AM  
Blogger Happy Mama to Three said...

Frankly Margalit, I think you have pulled one of those "Breezily Elegant" events off. Including having some men dressed in uniform filling your kitchen.

I hope the hand improves quickly.


20/7/06 3:08 AM  
Blogger amusings_bnl said...

(i came via universal hub)

that was an awesome story. and i bet The Boy is happy he wasn't the one with the hand stuck down the disposal.

did this get logged by the boston police department blog? that would be even more awesome.

glad you weren't badly hurt.

20/7/06 8:05 AM  
Blogger Charles Foster Kane said...

I recommend having a pair of tongs on hand for just such an occasion--I use them to cook with but they're also perfect for picking things up out of the garbage disposal.

20/7/06 8:18 AM  
Blogger Ron Newman said...

Yikes! How did you manage to write all of this after such an experience?

Hope you're doing better today.

20/7/06 8:36 AM  
Blogger Queen of Spain said...

Oh. My. God.

20/7/06 12:32 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I hope your hand is feeling better soon and I am so glad that you are okay. I wish I could help you clean up :) I stick my hand in my garbage disposal all of the time. Maybe I won't anymore...

20/7/06 12:37 PM  
Blogger Emily Barton said...

OUCH! Don't despair, though. I've done even stupider things in my life, but I'm not brave enough (and you thought you were a wimp!) to share them with others.

20/7/06 2:16 PM  
Blogger gordaboo said...

OH MAN. I hope your feeling better. That story is almost as good as the one where my hubby was stuck in an underground pipe and had to have the fire trucks air lift him out.

20/7/06 2:39 PM  
Blogger Uisce said...

wow, that's some story! I'm glad to hear it had a happy ending! not so happy for the disposal though, I guess.

21/7/06 4:09 AM  
Blogger Over 40 said...

You poor thing. I am glad everything turned out all right.

21/7/06 8:59 AM  
Blogger Becky, Mom, Mommy, Hey you, said...

ahh poor you...I hope you feel better...

21/7/06 12:51 PM  
Blogger NotSoccer Mom said...

oh, i was going to say something like were any of the uniformed men good looking... but i really need to know if the boy learned his lesson! listen to mama!

21/7/06 1:43 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Glad you're okay. Although that's exactly the reason why my wife warns me to stay away from the garbage disposal, and knives, and the food processor, and other dangerous things...
come to think of it, it's pretty amazing this hasn't happened to me

21/7/06 2:29 PM  
Blogger Grins said...

OH MY GAWD!! Margalit I have never ever heard a story like that. I'm going to direct a few friends at a popular website your way to read this. They won't believe me unless they read it with your words.

21/7/06 7:17 PM  
Blogger Carmi said...

This is why we haven't yet gotten a disposal unit. But with garbage pickup limits getting tighter every year, we may soon have no choice.

I wish I had a money tree. I wish we all did.

21/7/06 7:20 PM  
Blogger Common Sense Beauty said...

I was mesmerized reading this. I had about 8 firemen one early morning (1 a.m.) with my ring cutting off circulation and my arm turning blue and numb. Rather embarrasing but thank goodness you are okay. I can relate to the $ not being there for the big stuff. Sigh.
Here from Michele.

21/7/06 7:37 PM  
Blogger Grins said...

OK this is too funny Margalit. The popular website I said I was going to share this post with happens to be in your link section. JokersUpdates. I didn't know you had it in the links though and someone there noticed it and asked me if you are me. How is that for something to make your head spin. The post I made about this thread is over in the Joker Stewart forum. Care to share what name you use there?

21/7/06 8:08 PM  
Blogger panthergirl said...

OH MY GAWD!!! Is that your blood on the metal stuff??

Well thankfully you can still type!! (you know, the most important thing in a blogger's life). I would have been freaking out too. So glad you're finally free! (and I'm cracking up that you took a picture. Although it would have been good to have one of you stuck.) ;)

22/7/06 11:53 AM  
Blogger MysteriousLady said...


That was so scarey! Thank God your alright! OMG!

Can't believe the plumber put the same disposal back in! OMG! Don't stick your hand in there ever again!

Keep you hand elevated, ice for swelling. Keep it clean. OMG!

Firefighters can be cute though!

23/7/06 4:16 PM  
Blogger Twinmum said...

Wow!! You sure did have a bad night!! Glad it all turned out ok though!!

28/7/06 6:13 AM  
Blogger your welcome said...

I only saw one scrach on your wrist, 13 firefighters is our normal response for this type of call and as we told you that nite your hand was never in danger of being cut, thats why we cut open the tamato can and placed it over your hand

31/7/06 6:51 PM  

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