Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Almost Losing a Finger to Save My Life

by | May 12, 2024 | culture | 0 comments

Life has a price and so does each body part

Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

My mistake was clearly dumb.

We were in the middle of the pandemic, and after getting my MasterClass subscription, I started making Thomas Keller recipes. I would’ve done Massimo Bottura because I love his commercial, but he only does pasta.

I don’t eat pasta, but I must have seen that commercial more than two hundred thousand times, and the commercial is all about pasta.

But Bottura is so adorable!!! I can’t resist it.

At one point, I had the speech memorized, “Who is going to eat this? Me!” Basta! Vado via! Basta!” “This is like the pasta is talking to you and is saying, ‘Eat me, please, eat me. I’m ere for you.” “This is panettone you can make from the leftovers!!!” “I want to tell you a story. What are we going to do? Breadcrumbs!!!”

Breadcrumbs was never the answer to any culinary question until Massimo Bottura turned them into pesto — more like breadsto. Get it? Get it? You combine the word for… Okay, fine, I’ll move on.

I even thought of making a satirical skit where I walk around my backyard with a big scarf over my black, long-sleeved turtleneck in my underwear to the background of Massimo’s beautiful speech.

Instead of plating masterful dishes, I would do basic kitchen things, like toasting pop tarts, putting hot water in a cup of Maruchan, and microwaving hot pockets.

I would close the video by saying, “Non sono Massimo Bottura and questa non é una Masterclass.”

It’s not quite there yet, but I don’t have time to edit it. It is the same reason I haven’t produced it, either.

Maybe the world is a better place because I have no time.

As much as I love Massimo, I love more not suffering from eating gluten. So I decided on Thomas Keller’s class instead, whose French recipes rely more on meats and vegetables.

That wasn’t the dumb part.

MasterClass was a great investment because it gave me things to do when the pandemic started. What was dumb was that I was FaceTiming my mom and carrying Jovie in a baby sling while cutting carrots with a Santoku. Why a santoku? Because I’m not a weirdo, and weirdos like Chef’s knives over the superior Santoku.

I was going to make Thomas Keller’s glazed carrots. The suggested cutting method was to cut one inch diagonally, flipping the carrot and cutting another diagonally, and then on and on.

I took out a very fat carrot — the size women talk about at tea parties — and as I was cutting it, the carrot rolled on its weight; my Santoku rolled on the top of the carrot and landed on my left thumb and close to my bone.

I told my mom, “I have to call you back. I think I chopped my thumb off.”

I calmly called my wife, “Babe, I cut myself.”

She stomped into the kitchen, looked at my blood waterfalling out of the gash, looked at me in the eyes, and then matter-of-factly said, “Nope!” Turned around and stomped away.

I covered my finger on the biggest wad of paper towels I could rip off with my right hand. I called Justine back to help me get Jovie off.

That was the dumbest mistake: to have my daughter on while chopping carrots. I can blame it on the fact that the baby’s brain is overwhelming, and you believe there are great ways to be more productive while caring for your nine-month-old, like FaceTiming with your family with a baby on you while filleting carrots. But it doesn’t make it any better.

I looked at the wound, and it looked back almost as if saying, “Why so serious?” I knew then I could not take care of it at home. I knew right there I couldn’t aid things thing with a band. I needed to go to the ER.


Luckily for me, the times I can’t count on my wife, I can count on her mom, Nuala. It takes a village to raise a husband.

On my drive to the hospital, I called Nuala and told her what had happened. She just said, “Come over.”

I wanted to go to the ER, but it was the beginning of Covid. I quickly did some body part math, and the proof kept telling me it was preferable to lose my finger than to lose my life.

I stopped by their house. I unwrapped the paper glued by blood, and my Nuala didn’t even flinch. She cleaned my wound and poured a magic powder on it. The powder was supposed to bind the skin.

She had plenty of it in store because my father-in-law used to be a bartender, and apparently, it is very common to cut yourself cutting citruses. Which bartenders don’t seem to complain enough about. They just sit there and listen to people complain about their dating life, their jobs, their lives, politics, or whatever other excuse people have for not enjoying life.

If that was me, I’d be standing there with a towel over my shoulder, drying a glass and telling them, “You think your job is hard, try zesting your thumb twice a day.”

I headed back home and called my local Thai restaurant for pineapple fried rice and yellow curry. I was in no condition to finish cutting carrots. I did not finish the recipe that day.

As a matter of fact, I don’t remember the last time I made that specific recipe. As they say, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Or, in my case, stop filleting my thumb because that would’ve been dumb.


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