Keep your head on straight!
Early one morning I was up in the
bone yard searching for a little valve. Whatever I needed it for
was clearly not important enough to overshadow what happened
I was very sleepy for one reason or
other, and it was kind of cold and I hadn't worn enough
fortification or had enough coffee.
I scrounged back into the big mess
of twisted piled metal and plastic and wood sticking out it all
directions, climbing when I had to and threading my way past
skin or even bone removing obstructions and found my valve, only
it was still attached to piece of flexible pipe. Not
wanting to go back for a hacksaw, bolt cutter or other safer
implement (big mistake, DOH), I pulled out a Carl Schleiper Eye
brand, stag handled trapper from my pocket. This is a
knife of good Solingen high carbon steel with a 4" handle.
The hose was cold and old and
brittle so even though the knife was razor sharp, resistance was
in the air. Like a further idiot I pushed hard. The
hose suddenly flew apart and the 3 1/2" blade buried to the hilt
in my leg!
Instant shock set in as I jerked it
free and just stood there panting steam into the air, blood
making a big warm wet spot on the front of my jeans and oozing
down. Luckily it didn't hit an artery but no shortage of
blood flow regardless. Soon as my eyes cleared a little I
looked for the truck and my way out of the tangle. It was about
40 yards away.
I braced myself for the trip and in
that next instant found something out I never knew. A
muscle that has been punctured will refuse to work, whether you
will it to or no. My leg was a rubber! It wouldn't
support any weight at all. So now I had to hop and lean on
sharp metal and broken wood etc. and drag the leg pouring blood.
It seamed like it took forever, minor injuries galore to my
hands and arms when pulling or leaning and sudden shifts in the
mayhem of material. Light headed from blood loss, going...
Finally I made it to the truck and
remembered it was a big 4wd and so I had to climb in, wiggling
like a snake on my belly while pulling against the wheel.
Got up behind the wheel finally and them remembered my right leg
didn't work so had to further move to put my left in line with
the gas pedal and clutch both. I was lucky the truck was
pointed downhill because I don't know if I could have got it
moving at all. But move it did.
When I rolled up the plant a
few minutes later a friend ran out and started right in good
naturedly "What the hell took you so long and where's the valve
and... ohhhhhhhhhhh crap!" Me sitting there
drunkenly in a puddle of blood.
He jerked open the door and
unceremoniously shoved me to the far side away from the wheel
and jumped in and we were off to 'ol Doc's office in a flash,
him yelling back out the window to another guy to call ahead and
have them ready.
And I was the Safety Director!! Imagine the report I got to
fill out later.
in Happy Camp, CA