What’s the story behind your scar? That’s the bright and unusual idea for Colin McEnroe’s Connecticut Public Radio show on Wednesday.
Getting stitches was a rite of passage in the Brooks family. My oldest scar, I am told, dates back to the toddler days. I toddled to a coffee table and slammed my head into its sharp corner. Stitches. Scar embedded in right eyebrow. (I have that table, by the way. It’s consigned to my basement forever.)
The first stitches I remember came as a result of a rock fight at the site of new home construction. Two (idiots) against two (morons)…shielded by huge mounds of dirt. I jumped up to wing a rock, not knowing my teammate Walter Bater (who, yes, had the unfortunate nickname Master) was right behind me, ready to uncork. And he did. Directly into the back of my head. Knocked the sense out of me, apparently forever. This was not easy to explain to my parents. Or the E.R. doctors. Stitches. Scar, hidden by hair which is rapidly disappearing.
A couple of years later, at breakfast, I dropped a gallon glass bottle of orange juice. I tried to catch it before it hit the floor. I missed, then saw red in the orange. It was a gusher. Left middle finger sliced open at the base. As my mother rushed to dress to get me to the hospital, I saw the gash, and had this conversation with my father.
“I’m gonna puke.”
“If you puke, I’ll kill you.”
I didn’t puke, he let me live, and I can still hear him saying those words like it was yesterday. Stitches. Impressive scar.
I defiled my left hand again a few years later when I was stocking pipe in a plumbing supply company. Shoved a piece of one-inch pipe deep into the meat of my greasy hand. It was, in a word, gross. My boss and I had a deep mutual dislike, and he took no small amount of glee in my predicament. I knew he had just one lung, and offered to deflate it for him. Lots of stitches. Pipe-sized scar.
There was also the time I stepped on a rusty nail. Twice. With both feet. I remember the look my parents gave each other. (He’s ours?) No scar, though, so that’s a story for another day.
By the way, Colin’s fine show airs weekdays at 1pm on WNPR. And in case you’re wondering, this was an unsolicited endorsement.