During a household move, several years ago now, I was on one end of a bulky piece of furniture, backing into our kitchen from our garage. The fellow on the other end will go unnamed to protect his identity, but for the purposes of this article, we'll call him Pat Stevens ----of Mt. Airy, Maryland. Before lifting his end, Pat had paused just long enough to put on a pair of heavy leather work gloves. As I was backing up, bare-knuckled, he was explaining that he had torn up his hands so often helping people move that he had adopted the gloved-hand practice. “That may be necessary for a young buck such as yourself,” I thought, “but I was an experienced mover when you were lip-synching to your first Milli Vanilli album. My cat-like reflexes were finely honed before you swallowed your first strained pea.”
Distracted by the thought, “I wonder if it was Mr. Gerber or Mr. Beech-nut who first made that ill-advised decision to strain peas?,” I receded through the doorway, somehow catching my left pinky on the latch as I went by. In the kitchen, I saw the tell-tale sign that I was bleeding--- blood proceeding from my skin. To make matters worse, it was coming from my little finger, which has always depended on me, and to which I've grown quite attached over the years. Perhaps you've already noted the irony of the situation. Seconds after Pat put on his heavy work gloves, explaining that he did so to protect his hands, I was leaving a substantial portion of one of my favorite fingers at my kitchen door.