and one thing “lead” to another

Notice the quotation marks around the word “lead” in this post’s title? I was worried people wouldn’t have enough faith in me to assume I knew the difference between the homonyms. I’m fine with blogging all the idiotic things I’ve ever said and done, but thank God I don’t mistake “lead” for “led.” Anything but that.

Anyway. Nothing terribly interesting/bloggable happened this week—nothing that I can share, anyway—so I thought I might regale you all with a classic: the “Story of How I Got Stabbed”, alternatively (and much less excitingly) “Why There’s Pencil Lead Embedded in My Hand.”

I know pencil lead is actually graphite and, therefore, non-toxic, but I didn’t know this until a year ago, and at that point I’d already told the story to pretty much everything with a pulse and couldn’t break the habit. Plus, when you open a tale with “so I could be slowly dying of poison,” people tend to be more interested and tend to treat you nicely for at least a couple minutes.

The Story of How I Got Stabbed

It happened in second-grade art. I don’t remember much of anything I learned in this class, except for my one strangely vivid recollection of Mr. L telling us to always paint the yellow before red in sunsets, but, to be fair, that’s still more than what I can recall from World Geography and History combined. And that sunset tip has proven remarkably useful, too.

Oh, I also remember Mr. L loved to draw anthropogenic, muscled horses. I’ve always assumed this was what he was doing while I got stabbed, considering the time it took for him to notice.

“Can I borrow that?” I asked some girl sitting across from me, pointing to a gold colored pencil.

She frowned, but we were of that age when we could no longer claim ignorance to “sharing is caring,” and she reluctantly acquiesced.

I stretched out my hand, palm up, and a pencil landed in my hand. Except it wasn’t the gold one. And the pencil was quite literally inside of my hand.

Someone else’s 2B sketching pencil had flown out of the sky, for all I knew, a missile on a trajectory into my palm. I blinked and found a pencil standing perpendicular to my hand, its sharpened tip buried right beneath my right ring finger.

pencil missile

“Ow,” I said, uncomprehendingly. It didn’t really hurt, but I felt as though it should.

The girl across from me gasped, the gold pencil forgotten. “Whoa. You got stabbed and there’s blood! Who did it?”

We looked around. One of the boys across the classroom waved cheerfully. “Me!”

By now, Mr. L had noticed the gathering crowd and started hurriedly ushering me out of the room. (I don’t know if he pulled the pencil out before that.) The next thing I remember is waiting quietly for twenty minutes in the nurse’s office with a Band-Aid wrapped around my finger and immediately bursting into anguished tears once Mom appeared in the doorway.

6 thoughts on “and one thing “lead” to another

      1. I definitely didn’t cry. Okay, maybe a little. Consent is a difficult concept to grasp for an 8 year old prior to the act ‘consented’ to (which, of course, is when it counts). It was a different time then (1989), and I’m assuming the loud incessant intercom messages (“Daniel Ames, please go to Gate 74 to meet your party…Samantha Hill, please go to customer service for a very important message”) drowned out my screams. My dad was also wearing a pilot’s uniform (not because he was a weirdo, but because he was a pilot…maybe a weirdo pilot, but not weird primarily as a result of wearing a uniform for a profession that you don’t have credentials for) so if anyone noticed they likely thought ‘oh, he knows what he’s doing.’ But really, I’m sure that my memory of a Crocodile Dundee sized knife being incessantly and carelessly stabbed into my palm is at least somewhat inaccurate, and it’s more likely that in actuality my dad was carefully trying to extract the offending, out-of-place element in my palm with the care and precision a surgeon and a father.

        Liked by 1 person

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