Saturday, June 03, 2006

so get this. At work on Friday, on my way with a client to get the video for the night, I stopped to mail a letter. It was an important letter, signed by the psychiatrist, so I opened the hatch to make sure it went in okay. I always doublecheck, being a bit of an obsessive even though the mail never gets stuck. Except this time, when it's an important letter, one that was a pain in the ass for me to get signed by the psychiatrist on official letterhead my boss keeps locked in her office. There it is, stuck, just inside the rim. Hold the hatch open just so and you can see it sittin' there. "Wish I had a stick, " I said to M. "Wish I had a pen."
No stick, no pen. But no worries, I can just reach right in there, brush it enough with a fingertip to knock it down. No problem. So I was doing that and it turns out it's not as easy as it looks. So I'm trying, reaching in a bit more, a bit more... "Shit." (oh no.) "Shit, this isn't funny."
(oh no.) "My...hand's stuck." (so this is how things like this happen to people)"Run, fast, back to El Rey, get the first staff you see..." M. didn't
let me down and Mary appeared after a long minute. "Do you want me to call the fire department?" "Yes!" My fingers were seriously jammed. Visions of fingerlessness. Of cut circulation while the blowtorches take their sweet time, followed by amputation. Damn! A few minutes later, the firetruck (didn't they have anything smaller??). The sirens. The crowd of my co-workers gathering. The digital cameras of strangers. The flashlights and strategizing. The crowbar pushing the hatch down a quarter inch for a quarter second. The relief. My fingers are still stiff at the joints, but they're working. My arm's a bit sore but it's working.

Lesson: Humility happens.

And don't mail yourself. If the Velvet Underground taught us anything it's "don't mail yourself."

18 Comments:

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous momster said...

oh PETE!!!!!!!!!

I'm glad you are ok.

 
At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please tell us that one of the strangers with a digital camera offered to send you a picture to put on your blog.

I have this image of you with a hook for a hand unwilling to tell your story to curious school children.

t

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Slick said...

I'm with T.

About the digital pictures, that is.

I don't believe in curious schoolchildren.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger la Ketch said...

oh my gosh. that is too much. it's like sticking your tongue to a flag pole, kind of. I love that you drew a crowd. it's crazy!! i'm glad you are ok!!!

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger pete. said...

The people who took pictures were very sneaky about it, as though they thought they were being rude. I waved. When I was free I looked for them, but no luck...

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger tina said...

Oh, Pete!

When I read your post to Dave - before which I'd told him about Blade's stress fracture - he started yelling in sympathy in a strangled voice, "Hands and feet! Hands and feet!"

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger DBD said...

Man--I'm glad you're OK! I've got to tell you, I feel somewhat guilty. Last week, I posted a cartoon that someone close to me told me was "over the line" and it made me think I might be putting scary energy out there. It was about, among other things, cutting off hands and feet. And then, I read this, and THEN, I read that someone close to you injured her foot...and now I truly think I should only draw cartoons about happy things.

Wow, I really didn't mean to make this about ME....

Glad you're OK!

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Adam said...

that is hilarious!!

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Small Fish said...

glad you are okay... and some people are thinking about imitating your adventure just to get rescued by some firemen. but the real question is - what happened to the letter?

 
At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hee hee hee. hee hee and hee some more. hee hee hee. you were never in danger, which makes this such a nice little story because it provided you with some interesting tales. go see the movie puffy chair. that will make you go hee hee.

 
At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor babe. when pete called to tell me this story, i laughed first and asked second if he was okay. (i know, not a nice wife!!!)

then yesterday i was examining a mailbox to see how this could've happened, and when i looked inside it seemed very dangerous. i felt sad and scared that my babe got his sweet fingers caught in a scary box, and that for some minutes he didn't know what would happen. his fingers might have had to been cut off. :(

pete i'm glad you're ok. and thanks to the seattle FD.

love, blade

 
At 7:51 AM, Blogger Brikin Blog said...

Yes did the letter make it? Did the fireman make any jokes or were they sympathetic?

I have to admit I laughed and laughed because, well, it's so funny, but then I too realized just how scary that could be. I'm glad you're okay.

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger pete. said...

The letter: Soon as my arm was out I peeked back in: The letter was still sitting there. I threw my newly-freed hand up in exasperation. The kindly firefighters got back off the truck, put the crowbar to use on the letter. Or tried too--turns out it wasn't stuck at all, just sitting vertically on top of an overstuffed mailbox's letter pile. Sheesh...

 
At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is one of those interesting things that only ever seems to happen to pete...

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Ash said...

First off, I am so glad that you are ok. I was laughing to the point where I almost fell out of my chair while reading this post! Did the firemen (or fire people) give you a teddy bear? Sometimes they do that if they think that you are really traumatized. ;)

 
At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic story Pete :D
You've gotta get hold of a photo ;)

much love,
bez

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Arturo E. said...

Nice, Pete! Now you've made me paranoid about man eating mailboxes!

 
At 6:06 AM, Blogger wherlinb said...

T is right. I've got to start checking in on Pete's blog more often.

WB

 

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