The screwdriver incident |

The screwdriver incident

I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room filling out the information sheet before my physical exam. As I zipped down the list of diseases, allergies, surgeries, and current bank accounts, I realized the list of boxes to check was incomplete.

My ol’ friend Swanny worked in a factory. He was in maintenance. There was a breakdown in one of the forms for plastic molding. Antifreeze was leaking; a round hose clamp was loose.

Swanny knelt in the puddle and attacked, tightening the screw with his screwdriver. Everything was wet and slick. As he bent to the job, the screwdriver slipped and he stuck it up his nose!

“YEE OW!” You can imagine how that felt! Or maybe not? Having a horse step on the back of your hand? Sitting on an implant gun? Passing of a football-sized kidney stone? Dropping a shoeing anvil on your shin? Having a bear eat all your fingernails off? Even getting kicked squarely in the groin by a draft mule?

Suffice it to say they gathered up Swanny, called the paramedics and loaded him in the ambulance. In his confused, painful state, blood all over his face, blind on one side and face swelling rapidly, he concluded that he must have put out his eye.

At one time or another, most of us have thought about losing our sight, or a limb, being paralyzed or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. How would we, each of us, handle the handicap? Would we be brave like many we have known? Would we contemplate refusing life-sustaining treatments? Would we develop a stronger belief in God, or would we blame Him.

Swanny tried to imagine life without the ability to see. He had dark moments, then miraculously he began to see light. It improved so much, by the time he reached the hospital he figured out what happened.

The doctor asked him for an explanation.

“Stick skruver ut mindo.”


“Stk skruded ut no.”


“I stuck a screwdriver up my nose!”

Obviously, the doctor would not have had to ask if in his medical history there was a box to check that said, “Have you ever stuck a screwdriver up your nose?”

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