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Hey, it’s the weekend! In the wake of last week’s epically popular thread Show Me Your Favorite Scar, how about Dumb Things I Have Done?

That’s an unspeakably target-rich environment for me, but I already promised to tell you about the time I decoupaged myself into my panties. It’s not actually a very exciting story, but here goes.

I was living in an ancient apartment building, which was controlled by a single thermostat. Said thermostat was in the apartment of a very old lady. Needless to say, Beelzebub would’ve been comfy in that place. The rest of us went about all Winter in our beach clothes with the windows thrown wide.

This to explain why I was lacquering a wooden box wearing nothing but my underpants. I knocked over the can of lacquer, which poured into the top drawer of my desk, and from there to my lap. I had important things in that desk drawer; fiddly gadgety things — this was back when a decent calculator was a hundred bucks — so I was concentrating real hard on getting things out of that drawer and wiped.

I didn’t really think about the hardening puddle of lacquer in my lap until those oh-so-volatile lacquer solvents reached the oh-so-sensitive tissue of my lady bits.

And by that time, it was almost too late.

Lacquer dries real fast. Pain, flat panic, soap and an absolute horror of explaining myself to a paramedic is all that got me out of those panties. Large bits of me went with the panties. Large bits of the panties stayed with me…oh, for weeks afterwards.

It’s not the definitive dumb thing I’ve done in a lifetime of dumb-thing-doing, but it is representative of the type.

And you?


Comment from Gromulin
Time: April 30, 2010, 10:10 pm

Falling off the roof of a moving car with an open Buck knife in my right hand is the best I got, but it isn’t even in the same ballpark as that!

Comment from DirtyBlueshirt
Time: April 30, 2010, 10:25 pm

This is my memento mori:

I was standing watch at prototype (think a sub engineroom up on blocks) and had to analyze some water. I had three test tubes in my hand, two in my left one in my right. I needed to get the chemicals and instead of putting one or more tube in the rack right next to me I come up with the following brilliant plan: I’ll put the tube in my right hand in my middle hand, freeing up my right hand to grab the chemicals. So I move my right hand about a foot in front of my chest and release. As the tube commences the last seconds of its existence I have the following internal dialoge:

Grab it!

With what?

The middle hand!



I can be profoundly stupid at times.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 30, 2010, 10:59 pm

Well, I could always tell about how I learned that nearly empty gas can + stubborn BBQ grill = lack of eyebrows and forehead hair, but I was lost in my interest in the listed collection of under the butt nut huts on display above……

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: April 30, 2010, 11:27 pm

A twofer — this could also have gone in the “Show Me Your Favorite Scar” post, but as long as we’re addressing the nether regions…

About thirty years ago, I got thoroughly anesthetized on Polish moonshine — pronounced “speeree-TOOSZ” (with an epiglottal stop ‘twixt the syllables) — in the home of a Polish moonshiner. Sometime after the third five-ounce tumbler, I felt my eyeballs turning amber and ambled off to drain the fluid accumulation.

After accomplishing my mission, I zipped up my fly, rapidly, and all the way back up — but, in my thoroughly anesthetized state, neglected to perform the first step of what is, by necessity, a two-step operation.

First step being “re-insert external bladder-relief tubing.”

And, due to my thoroughly anesthetized state, experienced considerable mental confusion concerning the appearance of reddish chunks of what appeared to be human skin adhering to the *outside* of my jeans’ zipper. In order to resolve the confusion, I unzipped my zipper.

That accomplished three things:

1. It freed my external bladder relief tube from the zipper;

2. It allowed the blood from the tube-long gash (which the zipper had stanched by acting in lieu of stitches) to flow forth freely and colorfully; and

3. Despite my thoroughly anesthetized state, introduced me to a realm of pain of which, until that moment, I had been blissfully unaware.

I retained sufficient presence of mind to bind the wound with my (reasonably) clean handkerchief, made my way back to my host’s kitchen to beg forgiveness for the suddenness of my imminent departure, and departed.

The really fun part came the next day, after the clotting had superglued my handkerchief in place, and I decided that pulling it off *rapidly* would hurt less than peeling it off over several minutes. Boy, was *I* wrong.

On the plus side, whenever a lady asks how long my longest scar is, I can honestly answer, “That all depends on *you*…”

Comment from EZnSF
Time: April 30, 2010, 11:34 pm

I’ve never done anything stupid.

But the drunk night I jumped on the flat bed of a slow moving freight train and jumped off when it started speeding up a couple blocks from the start point still gives me nightmares, and my friends a reason to ridicule me.

It was jump or walk the 15 miles back home from the next stop. It’s not like the movies. Those steel wheels are big. And loud. And way closer to your head when you land than Hollywood depicts.

And I wear Y fronts.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: April 30, 2010, 11:42 pm

I want to delete my previous comment. Bill’s post is an obvious can’t win.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: April 30, 2010, 11:59 pm

LOL… Bill, did you know that the US Navy actually has an official response to such an ’emergency’ involving a pair of heavy wire snips?

You hold the guy down and have your pecker-checker (or whomever has the tools and a pair of gloves) snip the zipper clasp between the top and bottom plates to release the ‘grip’…..


Comment from embycil
Time: May 1, 2010, 12:00 am

For dumbest I’ll have to stick with the previously admitted stabbing myself in the ass, or maybe my first wife (which was kinda like stabbing myself in the ass).

Who knew decoupage and brazilian wax were synonyms?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 1, 2010, 12:12 am

Why do I have the theme from “There’s Something About Mary” running through my head?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 1, 2010, 12:16 am

There was the time. . .
[Nah. Too dull.]
Well, how about. . .
[No! Are you nuts? You can’t tell anyone about THAT!]
Once when I was younger. . .
[Nuh-uh, no way.]

Okey, dokey–this one is gonna take some thought.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: May 1, 2010, 12:17 am

I don’t know, Stoatie.. Have you been using any exotic new hair cream lately?

Comment from XBradTC
Time: May 1, 2010, 12:19 am

Don’t siphon gas while smoking.

Just saying.

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: May 1, 2010, 12:35 am

This is the first one that comes to mind… it’s kinda tmi, but I guess after Bill’s we’re all past that point. 🙂

Okies, when I met my DH I had never groomed my lady garden. It was wildly growing and I always thought that’s what it was suppose to look like. I had no idea I had married a porn connoisseur and would require grooming. I had the woman at the salon do it and all went well. Everyone was happy and it looked nice. But I started to take a drug that … well… made me grow hair in some odd places for women. When it got to the point I could braid it I felt something must be done. Brazilians weren’t even heard of at this point, so I asked the DH if he would help me out. Being the kind of warm, thoughtful hubby that he is, he jumped at the chance. (yeah, he’s a sick freak!) 🙂

We bought a pot of heat up in the micro wax and adjourned to the bathroom. I bent over the bathroom sink, reached behind me and spread em and he applied the hot wax. That in itself should have been my clue to stop. But when he ripped off the strip I didn’t even recognize the sound that came out of my mouth. My tail was gone, but so was a 1 inch wide, 2 inch long piece of my tender ass.

Then the blood started. Thank god we were in the bathroom, I leaned against the shower wall, with the warm water running gently over my ass, whimpering.

Comment from Joanna
Time: May 1, 2010, 1:48 am

“I had no idea I had married a porn connoisseur and would require grooming.”

Fuck that noise. I’ll keep it clean and keep it trimmed, but I ain’t waxin’ shit down there. Especially not after that story.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 1, 2010, 1:50 am

I can’t come close to most of these. I jumped over a five bar gate while drunk as a loon and popped every ligament in my left ankle, but that’s just a run-of-the-mill beer injury. Pretty stupid is the time I got a friend to crack my back by lifting me and broke three ribs. I’ve done some immemorially dumb things with home-made pyrotechnics (glycerine + potassium permanganate can be used as an igniter for thermite, which as I discovered should not be messed about with.)

Probably the most stupid was when I shot a TV with a shotgun. The screen imploded and then rebounded off the back of the case. Old CRT screens used to be an inch or so thick at the front. All I got was a couple of nicks but some of the chunks that whizzed past my head could have blinded me.

Comment from Allen
Time: May 1, 2010, 2:03 am

What dumb thing doesn’t involve a scar? At any rate when I moved my horses over to my fiance’s property several things needed to happen, primarily involving barn like structures.

The hayhouse/tackroom raising went off without a hitch. The horsehouse was fraught with peril. I moved the old one from my place to hers.

So, I’m past the line on the ladder that says “You freaking idiot don’t climb higher than this!” and I’m using the pneumatic nail gun to attach the fascia to the roof. Hand on top, nail gun underneath, kerthunk! In the ensuing pain I kicked the ladder out from under, ripped the nailed part of my hand and fell 10 feet to the ground.

At least I had a recent Tetanus booster.

Comment from MarkT
Time: May 1, 2010, 2:10 am

My ex-wife and I taught in London at a posh school. The ex-wife taught Kindergarden, and I taught 8th grade. I had a very short break between classes so I quickly sneaked out of the building to go have a surreptitious smoke. Exiting the building involved going through a single, guarded door, which became bottle-necked with people if more than one was walking through the door.

When I arrived at the exit, there was a big queue of Kindergardeners smiling and being adorable and going outside for recess. A few of the Wee Ones knew me and said hi. Because I was in hurry, I decided to squeeze through the door with them. When I did so, I tripped over absolutely nothing but my own two big feet, went flying through the air, landed in a tulip bed, and was the proud owner of a badly sprained ankle that took 1.5 years to heal. I was lying there wincing, and the Kindergardeners all–every last one of them–burst out in hysterical, uncontrollable tears. They were ushered back in the building, and even in my pain I was mystified at their odd behaviour.

When I got home for dinner, I was all ready to tell the Mrs about it, but she had already heard the tale–and the ensuing chaos it caused back in the classroom. In fact, that’s ALL she heard–they spent the rest of the hour calming down the little ones.

It seems the day before, the kids had gone on a class trip to see the Trooping of the Guard, and during a pass-by one of the horses fell down and broke its leg. The Guards in charge have swift and sure humane procedures for this, and they quickly erected a tent around the poor creature and put it out of its misery–with a loud bang that made all the tots jump.

“Mrs T! Mrs T! Are they going to SHOOT Mr T???” was the hysterical Concern of the Day down in the Kindergarden room . . . .

“No, kids, he’ll be fine . . . .”

I was also the center of attention in the Faculty Room the next day. Harumph.

Comment from MarkT
Time: May 1, 2010, 2:28 am

Did you see the CSI episode the other night? It was entitled The Panty Sniffer

You should’ve vacuum-packed those lacquered up knickers, Sweasel, and stuck them on Zazzle. If you were getting the going CSI rate, you’d be $2000 richer!

Right after that, the telly delivered Part III of Joanna Lumley’s Nile. She was in the middle of the Sudan, trying out a local women’s custom, sitting on a specially crafted stool with a hole in it, covered with a blanket, while they stoked the fire below with acacia wood and essential oils. She was having her, um, fanny smoked out on National Television. God, I love this place!

Comment from DJMoore
Time: May 1, 2010, 2:43 am

“Man, I can’t believe you did something this stupid:”

This would have been about thirty years ago, when I was in high school.

I was, uh, experimenting with my new .049 model aircraft engine, and, um, maybe put some gas, or something, I dunno, into the tank? maybe?, and then somehow sortakinda hooked the glow plug up to the battery, and, well, flipped the prop a time or two, I guess, and for some reason, the damn thing started up with a good healthy roar.

But since I was in my bedroom and it was about one o’clock in the morning and I didn’t want to wake anybody up, I grabbed the prop to make it stop.

Yes, lovely scar across the palm of my right hand, thank you.

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 1, 2010, 2:49 am

Ok wease….that story was so much more mundane than I was expecting….all in the delivery! My most stupid event was my first trip to Greece. Endured the train ride thru Russian controlled Yugoslavia et all with the Russian guards waking me up every two damn hours. Arrived in Athens and promptly went to the docks to see if we could catch any ride out to any where sunny. I don’t even remember the name of the island, but the beaches were all nude. What the hell, I was 17 and had a nice looking body. That’s when I learned why pale pastey white Irish girls don’t go nude sunbathing in the Med. As a friend of mine put it…”I burned all my bits.”

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 1, 2010, 3:01 am

But I must confess that Mrs. Compton wins this thread! Baby, I’m all about the neat, but there’s just no need for wax and that kind of agony!

Comment from Janna
Time: May 1, 2010, 3:07 am

I took off a good chunk of my thumb with a biscuit joiner (power saw)
If you flip up the SAFETY BAR (There’s a hint) so you can see the centerline.
DO NOT hold the wood with your fingers.
The spinning blade retracts when pressure is released.
The blade retracts…but not nearly fast enough.
It tends to get your undivided attention when you pick up the end of your thumb off the garage floor.
I should have paid attention before that.
God protects idiots and children. I don’t qualify as a child anymore.
I’m just thankful I wasn’t using the table saw.

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: May 1, 2010, 3:15 am

Armybrat, I didn’t think it would hurt! I’d been waxing at that point for about 8 years. I didn’t wince any more from the front bits. It was only a tail, how bad could it be?

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 1, 2010, 3:26 am

Mrs C…..I’ve been waxing the eyebrows for 20+ years…still hurts now and then. You’ll never convince me that wax and bits are a reasonable combination.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 1, 2010, 3:46 am

Armybrat: I slathered pretty much every square inch of my body with sunscreen, got brutally liquored up and fell asleep in a sun-lounger at a hotel in Guanacaste. Pretty much every square inch. Except the soles of my feet (who puts sunblock on the soles of their feet?) I woke up about five hours later. It was a week before I could walk ten feet without feeling faint.

That was kinda stupid.

Comment from armybrat
Time: May 1, 2010, 4:31 am

David….I spent the next 2 weeks of my trip medicating myself with Retsina and Ouzo. I don’t remember much of that trip.

Comment from Pavel
Time: May 1, 2010, 4:43 am

Oh man. I tried to assemble a respectably stupid story (of which there are so very many in my life; very few involve potentially massive damage to my genitals), but how the hell do you top that, Bill? And you even saved the best line for last.


Pavel rises to feet, starts slow but enthusiastic clap.

Another commenter rises to feet, and starts clapping with greater intensity and speed, followed by a third and a fourth. Crowd rises to feet, clapping, mixing to tumultuous applause and wild cheering.

Fade and cut to sweet grey-haired lady. It is Bill’s mom. Her eyes are teary with pride at the crowd’s acclaim of her son’s story.

That’s my boy! That’s my son, who, as an Iraqi-based fan, represents a tiny fraction of the universe of sweasel fans!

Bill’s mom turns to Pavel, who is now wearing a stovepipe hat for some reason.

What was that he said about a star?

A star? No, ma’am. Not a star, a scar. A scar.

Bill’s Mom cups hand around ear to hear better over roar of the crowd. Man in Hat sees befuddlement in Bill’s Mom’s eyes.

A look of understanding crosses Man in Hat’s face as he realizes Bill’s Mom understood only a tiny fraction of what her son actually said.

MAN IN HAT. (Shouting now, to be heard over crowd.)
Yes, ma’am. A star. He said no man can be a star without having a mom who raises him right.

Bill’s mom holds hand over heart. Her tears flow freely now.

He’s a star! My baby!

MAN IN HAT (aside, under his breath)
I wish I had done something wildly stupid and potentially seriously injurious to my genitals so that I could be competitive in this comment thread.

Bill’s Mom cups hand around ear, as aforesaid.


MAN IN HAT (shouting, as aforesaid)
I was just saying that I wish we could all have had moms as good as you so that we could have been competitive in this world.

Well, aren’t you just sweet.

Yes, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. And that’s quite the boy you got there. Quite the boy.

That’s my baby!

Slow fade to black. Crawl credits.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: May 1, 2010, 4:44 am

Howzabout some *scientific* stupidity?
So, there may have been a time where a graduate student looking remarkably like me was working, in a lab, in summer, in central Pennsylvania. (Translation for furriners: hot, humid, and a regularly scheduled 2:30pm thunderstorm). One of the bits of equipment made use of a dewar (that’s the double-walled glass guts of an old-school thermos) filled with liquid nitrogen to help remove gunk from a helium gas line. I was running my experiment pretty much every waking hour for a week, filling the LN2 dewar as soon as I got in and gathering data all day.

(Did I mention it was humid?)

So, one morning I fill the dewar with LN2 and go behind the equipment bank to poke something. Suddenly I hear a zzzpGBANG!, dart out from behind the equipment rack, and the glass dewar is spread all over the lab in shards, along with chunks of ice. See, you need heat (which doesn’t get through dewars very well) to evaporate water, which used to be ice, which condensed from all the humidity, which eventually accumulated in sufficient quantities over the days to build up a little iceberg big enough to shatter the glass from the inside. Fortunately nobody else was there or it would have been bad.

And one of those little shards, days later, I found with the heel of my hand when I took out an equipment catalog from a shelf halfway across the lab. I forgot to mention that scar previously…

Comment from d3ft punk
Time: May 1, 2010, 5:41 am

After reading all this, I will never look at lady bits (shorn or unexpurgated) the same way again.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 1, 2010, 8:20 am

Mmm, Armybrat: retsina and ouzo. My brother and his wife did a Greek night on their houseboat in Amsterdam one time (dolmades, yum. Moussaka, yum.) I had two bottles of retsina and a half bottle of ouzo. I was out of commission for two days.

Interesting thing: all Mediterranean cultures have an anise-flavoured drink, but as one goes clockwise they become more and more lethal. Spain: Anis – 30% or so. France: Pastis (40%). Italy: Sambucca (40+%). Greece: Ouzo (40-50%). Turkey: Arak (God help you). Syria: Raki (blindness will ensue, and will possibly be a blessing). I once got so hammered on Raki while eating ground lamb and coriander pitta kebabs with a Syrian friend that I lost a whole day, like a missing surveillance tape from a supermarket security camera.

Come to think of it, that was pretty stupid, too.

(As for insane liquor, nothing beats the plum brandy I scored off a Bulgarian buddy. 80% ABV. A good sized shot would have your ears feeling warm within five minutes.)

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: May 1, 2010, 9:10 am

Why do I have the theme from “There’s Something About Mary” running through my head?

Pavlovian response?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 1, 2010, 10:46 am

Retsina! Just reading the word gives me a headache.

Retsina is much beloved of art students, on account of it smells like turpentine. Why that should count in its favor, I cannot say. All day long in an unheated studio full of open cans of turpentine and really ugly naked people. Talk about your probable Pavlovian responses…!

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 1, 2010, 5:04 pm

My dad used to let me start and warm up the car before I got my driver’s license. This practice came to a horrific end when I neglected to notice our parked (manual 4-speed) Honda Civic had been left in 1st gear when I hopped in and turned the key. This was in the dark days prior to car makers installing the switch which prevents the car engine from sparking if the clutch pedal is not engaged.

I probably would have been OK if I hadn’t panicked when the car initially lurched forward, but it startled me and quick-like-a-bunny I tromped my foot down in the general vicinity of the brake.

Unfortunately, the ‘general vicinity’ included the gas pedal, which I stomped to the floor, causing a second, more violent lurch as the motor caught, propelling the car through the (closed) overhead garage door and about halfway through the garage.

I’m told it made a horrific noise and shook the entire house. I heard nothing but a roaring sound in my ears. Time seemed to slow down, and as the adrenaline surged through my body, my tiny prehistoric teen-aged brain decided ‘fight’ would be the proper reaction over ‘flight’. Stupid brain.

As my father slowly and carefully opened the door from the house to the garage, a close second stupidest thing I’d ever done occurred, when I accused my dumbstruck father in my outdoor voice of leaving the *&#^!@ car in gear.

Luckily, the shattered 4 section 10 foot door and various associated debris that prevented me from exiting the vehicle also prevented him from getting his hands on me long enough for us both to cool down a little.

As a side note, the huge springs attached to garage doors store quite a bit of energy. The car had pinned down a section of the door with the spring stretched out to the maximum, and when I pulled on it to try and free it from under the bumper, a rather large and splintery section of the door flew toward the ceiling at an alarming rate, narrowly missing my and dad’s heads.

We were late for church.

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 1, 2010, 5:53 pm

Oh, and thanks for the clarification on the panty decoupaging. I missed the ‘myself into my’ part of the previous discussion, and thought you had just decorated a pair with colorful bits of crepe-paper.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: May 1, 2010, 6:01 pm

Pupster reminds me of the dumbest thing I’ve ever SEEN.
My family lived in So. Cal when I was in High School. My sister’s best friend lived a couple of doors down the street. Think ranch-style tract homes in a cul-de-sac. My sister’s friend was not named Karen. Think Sophomore.

Lots of people in So. Cal have fireplaces. But, being So. Cal, few people practice the art very often.

Early one evening, Karen, home alone for the day, evidently decided to play Little House on the Prairie, and lit a fire. Shortly after, Karen was banging at our front door, crying hysterically about her house being on fire. Dad, Sister, and me ran down the street but didn’t see anything happening. No fire. Until we got closer.

The garden hose trailed from Karen’s front yard to the living room. We entered. The living room was soaking wet. All of it. The walls, the rug, the bookshelves. But there was no fire. Only a soaking mess from top to bottom.

Evidently the fireplace flue was closed and smoke started to fill the room. Karen, thinking the house was up in flames, dragged in the garden hose and sprayed the entire living room trying to put out the smoke.

It was at this time I learn that sometimes the thought process of humans defy explanation.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: May 1, 2010, 7:15 pm

I don’t think I can beat that, Stoaty. But I’m laughing anyway. 🙂

Comment from Mike
Time: May 1, 2010, 8:38 pm

Working on a bike in the Harley shop I used to work for with a cheap but kinda bulky chain bracelet on my wrist. It dangled onto the hot terminal of the starter, turning white-hot in about two seconds. I didn’t know I had Superman-like strength until I snatched the damned thing right off, snapping it in half and taking a good chunk of seared wrist along with it. Still have a nice, fat keloid scar on my wrist, to remind me that only a total dumbass wears jewelry when turning wrenches.

Comment from Janna
Time: May 1, 2010, 9:42 pm

When you were young, did you have a reserved room at the local hospital, or did “The adventures of Bill!” begin at adulthood?

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Time: May 1, 2010, 10:47 pm

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Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: May 2, 2010, 12:36 am

I don’t have any stories that good. Sadly, I am askeert of just about everything, so I rarely take risks. The dumbest thing I’ve done is probably dating the same worthless dude for four friggin’ years. BUT I didn’t marry him, which is one of the SMARTEST things I’ve done.

Also, I prefer bikini style undergarments.

Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 12:50 am

When you were young, did you have a reserved room at the local hospital, or did “The adventures of Bill!” begin at adulthood?

Don’t be silly. In his childhood he self-treated his wounds with confectioner’s sugar, cornstarch, and cobwebs, with perhaps a soothing potion brewed from poppies, or mullein leaves, or some damned thing out of the front garden to help him through the initial pain. Possibly disinfected the wounds with some illicit alcoholic potion. Probably stitched them up himself. With baling wire. One of those John Henry childhoods–picked up his hammer and he went to the mine, yes? This is of the American mythos! Hospitals, forsooth!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 12:51 am

Stoopid backslash! And the Edit feature doesn’t let you edit your name. Pah!

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: May 2, 2010, 1:12 am

Kinda looks sexy Can’t hark!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 1:20 am

Oh, Mrs. Compton, the sad thing is that after I finished snickering, snorting, chortling and guffawing. . .I found myself contemplating the name with a backslash in it to try to discern why. . .

Well. Never mind. But thank you, I think. Maybe.

By the way–I know you’ve already given your all in this thread (and, as I have concluded there is absolutely no way I’m going to contribute an amusing anecdote or unusual story to this one, I’m flying under false colors even in asking) but. . .clay? Other bits? We’re all still curious, but will certainly understand if you feel you’ve already done your part. . .

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 1:22 am

TOTALLY OFF TOPIC (but I think I’ll be forgiven)–nice reorganization of the Sweasel boutique on Zazzle, Sweasel! Elegant. . .

And I’m eagerly awaiting my skull t-shirt and stickers.

Comment from Bashful
Time: May 2, 2010, 3:18 am

I hated my life in high school. It was OK, really, but I was kind of a nerd. I knew I could be cool if I just had a chance. I couldn’t wait to go to college and get a new start on life. So, I studied hard, real hard to get out of there.

On my first day of college, I met a bunch of cool guys and girls! too. We instantly formed a elite snobby ‘cool’ clique and a few of the less worthy who wanted to join us were turnd away. Not bad for the first four hours of my new life.

Our little pack went gaily sailing through main ballroom of our school’s old Master Hall laughing as we went. . As we walked, I was talking over my shoulder to a pretty blonde who had kept smiling at everything I said.Things were cool, very cool. Suddenly I saw her eyes, looking past me, get large.

I wondered what she was looking at, and so I turned to look ahead of me – just in time to walk nose-first into a large marble column. The clique all laughed and, without saying anything to me, moved on. None of them ever talked to me again during my four years at the school. Sigh.

Think, given the choice of the two, I’d have rather laquered my privates into my, er, boxers. In private of course.

Comment from Spad13
Time: May 2, 2010, 3:24 am

To add to Pupsters garage door story.

Last week I was putting down the early 60’s vintage garage door on my house. When those springs get too old and snap they go nearly supersonic. I swear by this threads decoupaged panties that the spring going by my ear souded just like a bullet.

Luckily no new scars.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 2, 2010, 4:44 am

Oooh, oooh, oooh! Thought of one that was a bit dummerer than most of the rest of the dummerer things I did! Even got a tiny little scar (hardly worth mentioning kind of) that I still have!

I haven’t ever been particular fond of electricity, even though you can do lots of fun things with it, like read under the covers at night when you were a kid, or make an electric hot dog cooker by poking two nails through a board and wiring them up to a power cord and then plug it in the wall using a hot dog in place of a lamp filament. Maybe had something to do with sticking a butter knife in an outlet in the garage when I was about six and teh huge lightning and smoke show that ensued scaring the bejeebers out of me. Or maybe it was not getting clear of a stretcher in the ER when the doc yelled “Clear!” and only having one leg to walk on for three days after that when I was 16.

Anyway, I eventually growed up and ran away to join the Navy, where they decided to put my love of all things electrically powered to good use and teach me the arcane arts of electronical warfare, which I actually got purty good at. They also taught me how to get shocked electrically without getting kilt, a skill that I pretty much figgered was better discussed theoretical wise in a classroom than in the lab…or at sea, for that matter. In fact, I made it all the way through my first enlistment without ever putting that bit of theoretical knowledge to the test.

Anyway, one summer I took a job between enlistments working at a company called SpaceLabs, who, as one would surmise from the name, makes cardiac monitoring equipment. You know those things on House or whatever that go “Beep. Beep. Beep. …” in the background on the soundtrack. I was a “Final Test and Calibration” kind of guy, and after a monitor would come out of the oven with all the goo from its flyback transformer all baked out, I was supposed to make it work again before they hooked up live (and wanting to remain that way) patients to them. I got one of ’em out of the oven, but it wasn’t working quite right because it would not show anything on the display, which at that time were “Cathode Ray Tubes,” a sort of a cheap X-Ray generator that used high voltages to toss electrons at high speed against the back of a screen that lights up where they hit. This one didn’t appear to be having the high volts, about 7,000 of them, stay on long enough to throw enough electrons around to be useful.

So, thinking that I wanted to see just how many of those volt things it had, I unhooked a wire (pronounced ‘wahrr’) so I could attach a meter lead to it. Sadly, I couldn’t see both the places I needed to touch with the meter leads at once, so I thought, I’ll just tape the thing I can’t see into place so I can find it by feel! Which I did, but then I was distracted by the Great Waldo Libby momentarily, and the sumbitch came untaped at which time it fell on the knuckle of my index finger on my left hand proving a) that there really was 7000 volts in there, b) that you don’t have to scream into a canyon to hear the echo, any building of 100 feet or so in length will do, c) that the Great Waldo Libby is much more unflappable than me, and d) the knuckle of my left index finger smells just like a hot dog when they are both cooked the same way.

And the last thing it proved was that if you were paying attention to that part in class about how to get shocked without getting kilt, it works.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 2, 2010, 9:25 am

Jeez, EW1, just about the stupidest thing you can do with a CRT other than shoot it with a shotgun from close range is poke about in the back of it and not be afraid you’ll get nailed by a flyback capacitor. Good thing you were working on piddly monitor sized CRTs. You can get a 20 kV shock off a big tube with enough joules behind it to kill your ass stone dead.

Here’s a fun thing: if you still have a big CRT TV, tape a sheet of aluminium foil over the screen before you go to bed and leave the TV on. It makes a very high-voltage, very low capacitance (<picofarad) capacitor. First person down in the morning says, "which dumbass taped tinfoil on the TV?" and gets an exciting, but harmless shock. Much hilarity ensues. Tee hee.

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: May 2, 2010, 10:22 am

Probably stitched them up himself. With baling wire.

Safety pins. My dad didn’t trust me with the wire cutters.

I haven’t had Adventures With Electricity since my first encounter with it, except for getting hit with lightning three times — all within the same general location, and all within the same month. And, since I was actively taking steps to *avoid* getting whacked, I don’t think they really qualify.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 2, 2010, 12:15 pm

David Gillies:

Jeez, EW1, just about the stupidest thing you can do with a CRT other than shoot it with a shotgun from close range is poke about in the back of it and not be afraid you’ll get nailed by a flyback capacitor.

I blame complacency. After all, I hadn’t been kilt yet by some of the dummerer things I already did.

One of the older pieces of gear that I had aboard ship used a relatively high current high voltage power supply, and had a nasty habit of burning out the bleed off resistors so the very large (coffee can size) very high voltage caps would stay charged up for a very looooong time. It had its own shorting probe, with a handle three foot long, and a heavy gauge copper probe tip that was originally 12 inches long~9 by the time I arrived. Every time you used that son of a gun, it would vaporize about a quarter inch of the probe tip~always causing me to leap about a foot in the air, and to remember that the lineman’s gloves I was wearing were about 2000 volts underrated for what I was doing.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 2, 2010, 12:26 pm

Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T:

Safety pins. My dad didn’t trust me with the wire cutters.

When I was a teenager and needed to go to the emergency room, my mom would usually hand me the keys to the car and tell me not to be late for dinner. (Unless the blood was actually, like spurting, in which case she would send along a younger sibling to apply pressure to the wound on the way there.

Had a sweet deal at the ER, since I worked there, I could usually get in and out pretty quick as long as I did all the work myself. Unless of course, I couldn’t reach it. Oh, and the guys in X-ray just loved to putz around…they always enjoyed giving me a hard time when I wheeled myself in in a wheelchair.

Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 3:25 pm

My dad didn’t trust me with the wire cutters.

Gee, can’t think why not.

As proof that you should never say “no way”. . .I have actually rememberd a Really Dumb Thing I did that was neither utterly mundane nor of the “I will never tell anyone about that, not ever as long as I live, so help me god” variety. Not a great one, but here it is. . .

Once on a time I lived in an apartment that was the end of the short arm of an L-shaped commercial building. (I have no idea why it was an apartment–once it had been a post office, and at some point after my occupancy it became a yarne shoppe, but when I was there it was an apartment.) At the farther end of the long arm of the L was a local coop grocery store.

One day I thought I’d try out a recipe for cucumber soup I had cut from the paper. Not cold cucumber soup (I already had that one taped)–this required cooking the cucumbers. I was nearing the end of the process, working in my tiny kitchen, and lifted the pot of soup off the stove to move it out to cool on the ironing board in the living room (did I mention the kitchen was tiny? Virtually no counter space.)

I dropped the pot. The pot landed on the floor and splashed boiling hot soup on my right foot. No, I wasn’t wearing shoes. Who wears shoes in the house? So, splashed the soup on my BARE right foot.

OK, that’s not the dumb part–I mean, it was dumb, but of the mundane dumb variety. However, what I did next was, in this order. . .

I cleaned up the floor, and the pan.

I put on my sneakers and went to the grocery store to get ingredients to make another pot of soup.

I got the soup going.

Only at that point did I realise that I had a 4″ x 3″ blister on the top of my right foot, which hurt. Quite a lot. And I had no idea what to do about it. So I called my parents and asked if they knew. My father called his friend the industrial doctor, who said “Ice, zinc ointment, and go see a plastic surgeon.” So I iced that sucker for an hour or so, went around the corner to the drugstore (at my end of the long arm of the L) for some zinc ointment and some protective bandaging material, and the next work day made an appointment with a plastic surgeon. I went to work wearing one standard shoe and one squaw boot, an ankle high moccasin with LOTS of room in it.

Didn’t need surgery, and it healed completely without a scar (why it wasn’t in the last thread).

Ever since then, the first thing I do after injuring myself in any way (unless it involves copious blood) is grab an ice cube or a cold pack–which I keep in my freezer. Ice really, really works. Unless you need stitches.

I ultimately threw away most of the ointment–I never needed it again once that foot healed.

The soup was passable, but not to die for; I threw the recipe away, too.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 2, 2010, 3:31 pm

What, did it take that long for your foot to start hurting?

Pain is generally an indication that something, somewhere, is not right.

Too bad about the recipe though.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 4:05 pm

Nope–I knew it hurt, but figured it would go away. Most things (including little blisters) had before that. . .

Yes, well, I’ve tried a slew of recipes in my life, and most of them were disappointing–but the good ones make up for it.

Stoopid backslash!

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: May 2, 2010, 8:11 pm

I think the backslash is rather fetching, Mizz CH — it gives your tag a certain raffish look, sort of like a hussar’s pelisse.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 2, 2010, 8:38 pm

Oh, man, a nice derangement of epitaphs I’m garnering for the backslashed version. Possibly I should just switch to the CHMC. . .

Or, of course, be more careful. Yeah, right! I just had to edit out 4 distinct and separate typos. . .which I caught seriatim, so it was 4 separate edits.


Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: May 2, 2010, 11:59 pm

//Cant’ Hark//

I can give out all my stories!! I’m sure Mz Stoaty will give us all opportunities to tell our tales!!

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 3, 2010, 12:14 am

Mrs. Compton: Gotcha! Yup–best not to squander all one’s wealth in one thread; patience is a discipline that will harm none of us. I look forward to hearing the clay story. . .someday!

Comment from porknbean
Time: May 3, 2010, 12:14 am

Sweet Holey Jeebus. If the good Lord wanted my bits bare, he woulda kept me a wee lass.

Stories like the cement my belief in leaving things the heck alone. Though if I grew a curtain out my crack, I’d go with a close trim and then a Daisy pass-through.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 3, 2010, 12:25 am

porknbean, it’s not something I would ever have contemplated doing in the first place. Hell, I don’t even use makeup. But the following story cemented (you should pardon the verb) my opinion.

My law partner and our secretary both have grown-and-married daughters (I’m childless); I eavesdrop on the stuff they tell each other about their kids. My partner told our secretary about the experience of one of her daughters who, in the course of her first bikini wax, more or less ripped the arm off the chair she was sitting in. The waxer/owner of the chair’s reaction? “Oh, that happens all the time.” The two of them (partner and secretary) proceeded to trade daughter waxing stories, while I stared with wide eyes of horror. I’ve managed to repress all but that opening image; to the best of my recollection, it was all pretty grim.

Hunh. Wasn’t there a thread a while back about what constitutes torture?

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: May 3, 2010, 12:39 am

I have been zinged by lightning, but only once and I wasn’t being stupid. It’s a great ice breaker at parties. 🙂

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 3, 2010, 12:56 am

Oh, yeah, btw–MarkT, sorry it took so long to say, but your story was a stitch–I laughed out loud and I don’t do that a lot. So. . .how did your ex-wife and others explain to the wee tots the distinction between horses and humans?

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: May 3, 2010, 4:13 am

“Four legs good, two legs better”…?

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 3, 2010, 6:00 am

So, ladies, what I gather from all this is if I’m looking to gussy myself up for a date, wax is a bad course of action?

Jes’ askin’.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: May 3, 2010, 12:31 pm

Nah, David, men can get by with a close shave I think. Women not so much!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: May 3, 2010, 3:50 pm

I can’t win on quality, so I’m gonna go for quantity, since I believe stupid consistency is the mindless hobgoblin of little–oh, fuck it. Here’re some of mine:

1a. Girlfriend’s Epi-Lady.
1b. My utter disdain for manufacturer’s warnings.
1c. My pubic hair.
1d. Scream.

2a. Tote-goat out of gas.
2b. 55-gallon drum of gas nearby.
2c. Length of hose acquired.
2d. Heroically inhale air from hose to start siphoning action.
2e. Gag. Choke. Attempt to scream. Gag. Choke.

3a. Start walking into town down a gravel road.
3b. Hitch ride with local hermit.
3c. Show wisdom by refusing to ride in cab; chose pickup tailgate.
3d. At about 35 mph, decide the hermit is too crazy to drive, and slip off the tailgate.
3e. Note for later consideration that while feet plant on the gravel road as expected, the body itself remains a slave to Newton’s first law of motion.
3f. Slide head-first on back down the gravel road, abrading huge swaths of butt, back, and skull.

4a. Saddle horse.
4b. Search ranch for newborn calves.
4c. Discover calf apparently abandoned by mother.
4d. Dismount and bend over to pick up calf.
4e. Fail to properly identify loud thumpety-thumpety-thump sound.
4f. Look up in time to ensure full face contact with charging mama’s skull.
4g. Collect pieces of eyeglasses while holding head in such a manner as to minimize saturation of blood on shirt.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: May 3, 2010, 4:18 pm

Anyone have Lynn Redgrave in the pool?

Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: May 3, 2010, 5:33 pm

Nah, David, men can get by with a close shave I think.

Judging by this and the scars thread, some of the men here have gotten by with VERY close shaves!

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 3, 2010, 6:30 pm


4a. Saddle horse.

That was yer first mistake right there.

“Stupid, livestock, proximity of” is an entire class of stupid all its own~and the source of many a humbling scar whose presence I generally only acknowledge with a mumble.

/Holy cow! Uncle, how many fences did you say Auntie S’s 900 lb heifer dragged you through ’cause your glove was stuck in its halter lead an’ you couldn’t let go? Because it sure looks like a lot more than that!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: May 3, 2010, 8:26 pm

Yup, EW1, horses ain’t in the fast readin’ group. A horse I milked three cows for five years to pay for stumbled during a gallop, and I flew over her head, landed stunned in front of her, and had a worm’s-eye view of her get up and return to her gallop, stomping my head in teh process. I had a hoof-shaped abrasion/bruise circling my left eye for a week. But it coulda been worse. She coulda been shod.

Comment from Allen
Time: May 3, 2010, 9:28 pm

I didn’t even want to bring up horses and dumb things. It’s an oxymoron. A few rules of thumb, believe me, I know.

1. If it’s not trained to be a mountain horse don’t go into the mountains.

2. Horses and llamas just don’t mix.

3. If the horse you’re on does not like cattle do not participate in a cattle drive.

4. A pack horse is just that, a pack horse.

5. When you get kicked don’t try what you just did again.

6. Riding a stallion in the wilderness is akin to gasoline and matches. Things could get out of hand quickly.

7. When the horse is new to you discretion is the better part of valor.

8. Keep in mind that when someone says their horse is a “sweetheart” they might have never had the horse in the situation you are now in.

9. Some horses just can’t be trained.

10. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, the horse will pull a new one.

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 3, 2010, 9:29 pm

I feel your pain, jw. I never owned a horse of my own, my sister’s livestock was too busy stompin’, draggin’, kickin’, buttin’, or buckin’ me to ever feel like I needed to pay out a money for that.

Comment from Hotrodelectric
Time: May 3, 2010, 10:12 pm

Jesus, Stoaty, I’ve done some dumb things with my body, but I don’t think I’ve ever lacquered my manbits. That’s an interesting possibility though, with a woody.

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: May 4, 2010, 9:28 am

I didn’t even want to bring up horses and dumb things. It’s an oxymoron.

No, it’s a redundancy.

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