Friday, 11 January 2008

Getting hammered

Listening to: Guitar Man (Elvis Presley)
Getting ready to: go to the pub
Surf: 3ft cleanish
Birds: hen harrier, lapwing, curlew, oyster catcher, shag, bar-tailed godwit

I had a cartoon moment today. We've just taken delivery of an electric cement mixer and I was dead excited about it (funny what rings your bell as you get older - used to be cup finals, gigs and dates with attractive women, now. . . ).

The mixer came in a very large cardboard box with the dreaded set of instructions for assembly.

I can never decide which is worse. There are the instructions with pictures of parts you can't find and lots of arrows pointing vaguely in the direction of places that may or may not exist. Or there are the written instructions with a combination of complicated names designed especially to confuse those of us who call everything 'a thingy' and a dodgy translation from Latvian.

This was a series of pictures and, once I had overcome my initial fears, it proved to be quite easy. I'd got the wheels on, the stand had been put together, the drum was in place and all I needed to do was to slot the handle into the frame. It slid in nicely, but was a tight enough fit to get stuck just short of where the holes for the bolts lined up.

I decided a couple of gentle taps with a heavyish hammer would do the trick and the lefthand side clicked in perfectly. I lined up the righthand side, but failed to notice a stray thumb.

Bloody hell, it hurt. . . and don't thumbs bleed a lot? I swore once, took several deep breaths and examined the damage, deciding a plaster or four might be a good idea.

The Boy, who arrived yesterday for a two-week "holiday", was kind enough not to laugh, although he did call me a "big girl's blouse" when I had to ask Mrs TPF to put the plasters on for me. I haven't told him who's mixing the concrete yet.


Dave said...

I slammed my finger in a gate a month ago, and the nail is still completely black. Surprisingly the finger didn't fall off. I felt sure it would.

Advance notice: last summer I did a tour of the west Country and met up with half a dozen bloggers. In May I hope to be in the Orkneys. I may drop in.

elizabethm said...

Yowch, sounds sore. Ian once fell through a ceiling to the silent awe of our then teenage children. After about 3 minutes no 2 daughter said "You are all right aren't you Dad? So can I laugh now?"

iLL Man said...

Hi Malc, cheers for popping in at the Brake Club. I'm posting Cathkin Park (of Third Lanark fame) Kirkintilloch Rob Roy's Adamslie Park tonight.

Also great to see another Speedway enthusiast. Looking forward to the season starting like a kid waiting for Christmas........

I'll link yr blog when I get the chance........


Brad said...

I love the instruction originally written in Chinese or Korean and translated to English. Endless fun. Especially when your trying to use them.

Sorry about the thumb - good thing you've imported labor.

fiwa said...

Child labor, it's the way to go. As soon as I saw the word "hammer", I knew this was going to end badly. I hide the second I hear my husband start hammering something. Mostly cuz the resultant cursing makes me blush.

Malc said...


There's a shovel with your name on it.


It's always nice when they pause to kind of make sure you're all right before laughing at you.

Ill Man

Hello there! Third Lanark! There's an echo of childhood teatimes in front of Final Score on the telly.

Straight ahead at the tapes, keep turning left and you can't miss it.


Mind you, it's never any better in simple English because I never know what anything is called.


Child labour! You should see the size of him! He's a 6ft 3in surfer. Makes his old man look like a troll.
The hammer incident was a tiny thing really, but I included it because I'm a big fan of cartoons and the appearance of a hammer always has hilarious consequences.

ziggi said...

that's the trouble with being evolved enough to have opposable thumbs, they get in the way!

Ginni Dee said...

It is funny like a cartoon, but only if you're watching! When it happens to you, it sort of loses it's charm.

Hoping you heal quickly...your pigs could go crazy at the smell of blood!


nikkipolani said...

You are too strong for your thumb! Poor thing. I hope you recover well, but put that boy to work in the mean time :-)

The Birdwatcher said...

I am dead jealous. Mrs BW would never allow me to mix cement let alone assemble a cement mixer. You couldn't post a picture of it could you.

Dyna Girl said...

Cursed only ONCE!? Wow. You are a better person than me.

Richard said...

A couple of weeks ago I was hacking away with a Stanley knife at some shrink-wrap round a pallet at work. One hack stopped suddenly on something slightly less yielding than thick cling-film. It was my left thumbnail. Due to some genetic malfunction or other I have very ridged thumbnails and the blade never went right in. Half an inch lower and it would have been curtains thumb!

Malc said...


Evolution. . . so inconvenient. Curse you, Darwin.


The hammer and thumb thing is a long cartoon tradition. I liked the variation on it in the Simpsons Movie.


It was only a tiny cut and a bit of a blood blister - I've created far too much fuss about it. The Boy is being a great help. He watched a whole Harry Potter film yesterday, saving me the trouble.


It is a thing of beauty. Will post asap.


Yes, only once, but it was a good one - very good.


I often think Stanley knives should be licensed. Thank heavens for freakish claws.

Cherrypie said...

Loving your shiny new mixer.

Will you be providing Dave with his own wheelbarrow as well?

Malc said...


I'm having him measured up for a boiler suit.

homo escapeons said...

Ziggi is bang on..those damn prehensile thumbs. Some guy invented a nail holder for that very reason which is great if you can afford to spend 5 minutes setting up every nail.

I always whack my thumb at the start of every project..
I don't know why I just don't wear a thimble..
yes but a manly thimble.
Every set of work gloves should have a built in thumb guard just like steel toes in work boots...hey that sounds like thumbthing that men would actually buy..hmm..

where's the patent office number..

Malc said...


What would a manly thimble look like? Something with motorcycles or a skull and crossbones on it perhaps?