I have an Etsy shop wherein I sell pieces of jewelry and other products of my creative energies. I have a habit of cleaning my jewelry pieces before I mail them out so they look FABULOUS when the buyer opens the package. I like to imagine rays of light and beautiful choir voices as they open the bubble mailer, totally in awe. That kind of thing.
This particular day, I had a couple orders to send out but had forgotten to clean the silver before I left the house. So on the way to the UPS store, I ran into Wal-Mart to pick up a box of silver cleaning wipes.
If you’ve never had the misfortune of opening a new container of cleaning wipes, consider yourself lucky. It looks simple enough, right? Pull the first wipe through the hole and you’re good to go.
I was in a bit of a hurry and was having trouble getting the first wipe through the little triangular teeth surrounding the hole in the top of the container. Thinking back now, I can’t recall why it was so difficult but I somehow decided my best course of action was to stick one index finger into the hole in order to widen the teeth and make it easier to get the wipe through.
The problem with this theory is that when I tried to pull my finger back out again, the triangular-shaped teeth began to retract and grabbed hold of my finger.
My finger would not come back out.
I stopped and stared, my brain quickly running through scenarios (allowing the plastic teeth to just slice through my finger, chewing it off myself, etc.), all of which ended with me losing the tip of my index finger at the top joint. I frantically searched my car for something I could use to bend the plastic away from my flesh. I had NOTHING USEFUL. My keys were too thick. Everything else in the car was either paper or plastic. I also kept bumping the lid into things as I searched the car, which kept hurting because the plastic teeth kept wanting to bite into my skin.
I started to get a little panicky. I couldn’t drive with a plastic lid clamped onto my hand! And I sure as hell wasn’t going back to the office with it. I’d never live it down and someone would definitely want to try cutting the plastic off my finger which was almost as scary as actually being caught in it. I actually had to stop, breathe and STOP pulling on it like a raccoon caught in a trap.
I finally gave up and went into the UPS store for help. I ship things from this particular store all the time, so the ladies that work there know me. I walked in, pale-faced and wide-eyed, on the verge of tears and just held up my hand, the red plastic lid circling my index finger like some weird high-fashion torture device.
“I uhh…I’m stuck. Oh god, please help.”
And then I started crying.
Thankfully, someone had a metal nail file and we were able to pry the teeth away from my finger enough for me to slip it out. When I did, they cheered and let me sit for a few minutes to collect myself.
I threw the box of wipes away before I left.