Think safety first

Safety has no season but summer, with its outdoor activities, seems to be when the discussion of it comes to the forefront.
When the bass tournament at Fat Frantic was full swing last month, for instance, lures of every description were whizzing through the air like deer flies over Drizzle Lake.
The term catch-and-release takes on a whole new meaning when it’s your own or your partner’s rear end that’s had a close and personal experience with a dozen-treble hooks.
Fortunately with the removal of barbed hooks from the competition, not one team reported to the weigh-in with their partner’s rear end soaking in the live well. And the only thing to an unsafe incident occurred when Tiger Ted from Hooterville, in the heated flush of second place on the second day, phoned home to insist his brother, Gyrating George, sell the cows and close the dairy–Tiger Ted was hitting the bass trail as a full-time professional.
“If you’re not back here for milkin’ first thing Monday mornin’, I’m comin’ after you wit a pitchfork,” Gyrating George is reported to have said.
On the industrial front, there have been a few minor incidents. Otto “Junkyard” Recker, for one, was sitting in the coffee room at the OSB (Our Saviour of Bailiwick) with his thumb wrapped up like a banana.
“Got a little close to my work,” he explained about his close encounter with the grinder as he slurped in a mouthful of hot coffee and tried simultaneously to suck in his gut as a sweet young thing strutted by.
“Workplace hazards,” he managed to sputter and cough as he averted his eyes, choked on the high test, and suffered comments about where he now puts that big bandaged thumb while standing around.
But Junkyard’s little faux pas was nothing compared to some of the beauts one hears. Take the case of the mechanic up at Rat Portage who was removing wheel nuts from a truck. When one of the nuts wouldn’t come out of the impact wrench socket, he stuck his finger through the threaded hole to pull it out.
When the pressure from pulling on the nut forced his trigger finger against the switch, John got a reminder of right-hand threads and the power of that 3/4″ impact as, with a “Thrrrrupppp!,” it threaded the wheel nut all the way on his finger.
But being a quick-witted soul, he quickly reversed the switch and with lots of blood for lubrication–Thrrrruppp!–he instantly threaded it back off and headed for a month of “light duty.”
This little tale was courtesy of Vic, who has lots of time to talk these days as he keeps his hand elevated to promote the healing of a finger that nearly parted company with him after an encounter with a piece of steel plate.
But perhaps the best one, repeatedly related, is about carpenters who, having banged a finger nail, decide to drill a small hole at the base of the nail to relieve the pressure. Great idea except the drill, after breaking through the nail, catches on the edge and is an inch through the finger before stopping.
That’s why you see a lot of carpenters sucking their thumbs.
So remember, safety first. I’m practising it this week, too, as I haven’t made one wisecrack about the Pearl of the Orient.
Too many mosquitoes to sleep in the dog house.

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