June 11, 2007

Wear Your Safety Glasses.

I've always been concerned about safety, at least in the abstract. Just like everyone else, though, in practice I've done stuff in ways that are unsafe, with the idea that since I was being extra-careful otherwise, I could get away with it, or that I could get away with not having to stop and go get some sort of safety equipment to put on.

Once more, I was reminded that Murphy's Law rules this world.

While I was cutting the grass, I'd given Jonathan the assignment of cleaning out Lighting's swank bachelor pad, then after that, the task of finishing breaking apart that old rotten rocking chair on the back porch. The washdown chore went fine, but then I saw him attempting to break the chair down. He was at first trying to do it by hand, which was comical but counterproductive, so I told him to go get a hammer and knock it down.

On a pass back around from the front to the back, I saw he'd gone and gotten the little heavy hand maul out of the garage. Not what I would have recommended, but it did have the benefit of mass. HOWEVER--he was still not quite understanding the best way to tear the chair apart. He was over there tap-tap-tapping with this big giant hammer, and barely making a dent in the chair.

Being "Big Me," I manfully strode over to him in a confident, manly, manful way and in my best Foghorn Leghorn voice demanded that he hand over the maul and let him be schooled by a manly man in how to destroy something quickly and efficiently. He'd gotten the seat part loose, and was about to try to tap each of the slats away from the two stretchers underneath.

[internal monologue] WHY, I SAY, BOY! It's OBVIOUS you just take this he'ah hamma' and whack those stretchers off with one big whack and all the slats will just fall apart! NO use to do 'em one by one, Boy! [/internal monologue]

"Let me show you, Son--just knock this one piece of wood off and all the slats will fall off."

I hammered the strip of wood off, and sure enough, they all came loose. Hammered the other strip off, and the slats were all completely free. Well, except for one. I leaned down to finish knocking it off, and just as it broke free, it rebounded up and the end of it caught me square in the eye.

Felt just like I'd been punched.

The only thing that saved me from a trip to the emergency room (and the possible loss of an eye) was the fact that I had my glasses on, and they do have shatterproof lenses. But I would have been better off to have a clear work area, and not been so eager to act quite so butch, and done a bit better job of being careful.

There's still a faint white mark diagonally across my left lens where the slat hit it.

Handy reminder, that.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at June 11, 2007 11:12 AM

In all, I suspect Junior got a good lesson from your efforts. I hope you told him not to be a moron just after you demonstrated proper moronic technique.

Posted by: skinnydan at June 11, 2007 11:27 AM

I wish I'd have thought about trying to teach him that sort of object lesson, but at the time I was stunned like a cow that had just been poleaxed.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at June 11, 2007 11:30 AM

I don't know why, but for some reason I've always thought that Foghorn Leghorn is from Georgia. Something about that accent of his, and the booming voice, just says Middle Georgia to me.

Posted by: mike hollihan at June 12, 2007 12:30 AM

The Internet is something else--the Wiki article on Foghorn Leghorn says he was an homage to a character on Steve Allen's show, Senator Claghorn, portrayed by announcer Kenny Delmar. And then I was able to find this 1945 article from Time magazine about Delmar, who says the character was based in part on a man from Texas he knew.

Those Internets are sumthin' else, Boy! Sumthin' else, I say!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at June 12, 2007 08:30 AM