Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The candlestick holder was a beaut. It was a little metal sculpture of some kind of shorebird with long leggedy legs and a big beakity beak. I picked it up when we were cleaning out my sister's house and claimed it for my own. "I love this," I told Dave.
"I'm not surprised," he said. "You loved it when you bought it for her in the first place, twenty years ago." Oh.
There he was with the candlestick holder hanging out of his hand. He'd been good and beaked. Blood was fountaining out in every direction. The bird was still in mid-stab and dangling from the back of his hand. I jumped into action. Don't praise me; anyone coming in on that scene would have planted her foot in Dave's torso and grabbed hold of the wayward heron and yanked. That's when the yelling started. This particular shorebird had suffered a fall and a nose-blunting earlier in its career, and the sharp pointy ends of its beak had curled into a fishhook shape, and required a more careful extraction from Dave's hand meat, which he accomplished himself once I'd been shooed away. Now we were left with a soiled bird and an enthusiastically bleeding wound. "Sew me up," Dave said.
The wound had exposed eighteen layers of tissue and a gaping ravine of muscle with a row of little alien teeth winking away at the bottom, which you could just make out between blood gobbets. "No! I've got butterfly bandaids. Hang on a minute." The butterfly bandaids got no purchase. It was like damming Niagara with Kleenex. The butterflies flapped wings with every arterial spurt. Dave pinched the chasm together with his fingers. "Just sew me up," he enunciated.
"No! I will not just sew you up! I do not know how to sew you up! I will take you to the emergency room."
"I can't go to the emergency room. My potatoes are boiling. You've got a needle. You've got thread. You know how to sew. Just sew me the flick up," he said, or something a lot like it. I hate that tone of voice. But I went for my needle and thread. I can't help myself. I'm a softie. I've just never been able to say no to a large irritated man with a bunch of kitchen knives.
There are lots of lessons here. Foremost: if you want Thanksgiving dinner to go smoothly, and you think you're likely to outlive your sister, linens are always a good gift choice.