The Night I Nearly Stabbed Myself in the Foot…

The Night I Nearly Myself in the Foot...

Our mothers told us. Each and every one of us.

“Don’t run with scissors.”

“Don’t play with knives.”

“Don’t stick batteries in your nose.” (Ok, maybe that last one was just me…)

And we all ignored them. Each and every one of us.

Thankfully I made it to adulthood without any incidents, not with knives and scissors anyway, and I thought I’d done really well. Until the night I nearly stabbed myself in the foot… 

It was a Saturday night and I was getting ready for my regular Saturday night grill-fest. My wife and son were having a quiet moment together cuddled up on the couch watching a 4WD Action DVD. My son is only three, and knows Graham, Roothy, Shauno and Brenno all by name and can even pick them and their trucks out of a magazine! Whenever we play trucks my son always gets to be Graham. I never get to be Graham. It’s not fair…

Anyway, I was in the kitchen half watching them, half watching the DVD, and half paying attention to the food I was preparing. It was a simple cook while I was fine tuning my method: just steak, broccolini, honey carrots and grilled capsicum. The steak had been seasoned a few hours earlier and was sitting patiently on the bench while I was preparing the vegetables, rising to room temperature. The honey carrots had been prepared, and I was working on the capsicum.

I put the knife down and turned to get a glass of water. And that was my mistake. I knocked the knife with my hand and everything slipped into slow-motion. As soon as I knocked it, I knew that I was going to be in trouble. I turned back to my cutting board to see the knife slip over the edge of the bench, turning towards me as it fell toward the ground. It turned once end for end, heading for my feet.

I grabbed the bench with both hands and spread both of my feet outwards, ‘assuming the position’. With a loud ‘clang’ that rang in my ears, the knife hit the tile. Tip down, completely vertical. Right where my left foot had been. The knife hit so hard that the tip of the knife broke off and went flying across the room, coming to rest under the fridge. I said a bad, bad word, but fortunately my son was too busy watching Graham winch his beloved Shorty out of a bog-hole to notice.

I was in shock. I like a nice heavy knife: I like the balance of it when I’m prepping food. But with the weight of the knife, the height of the bench from the floor, and the fact that it landed point down, if I hadn’t moved my foot, the knife would have gone right through it. And if it had landed on one of my toes, the toe would have come clean off!

Perhaps the moral of the story is to wear steel-cap boots when you’re working in the kitchen. Perhaps the moral is to not split your attention into three halves. Or perhaps the moral of the story is to drink beer, not water. I’d mentioned earlier that my mistake was reaching for my water: if I’d reached for my home-brew in the fridge I’d have turned to my right, not my left and I wouldn’t have knocked the knife at all. Yep… we’ll go with that…

What life-lessons has your Q’ing taught you? Let me know in the comments below.

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