I accidentally dropped a spoon into my sink's garbage disposal this week, but I didn't want to get it out because I was terrified.
I tried to just grind up the spoon in the garbage disposal at first, but that didn't work. I would have left the spoon there but the garbage disposal made horrible sounds whenever it was on.
My disposal turns on and off with a switch, but that is all I know about the machine. So, when I reached in to get the spoon, I tried to remember if the disposal ever self-cleaned or turned on automatically.
I thought about what I would do if the blades turned on when I reached in to get the spoon. Maybe if I made my hand into a fist I would be better protected, I thought.
But I didn't feel safe once I got the spoon out because I thought I might accidentally turn on the garbage disposal and trip and somehow shove my hand into the sink.
I also didn't think until then about how I could have used tongs instead of my hand to get out the spoon.
If my hand was severed in a garbage disposal, however, there would be advantages. Having a hook or bionic hand would obviously be great, but, also, who would ever want to challenge someone whose hand had been severed in a garbage disposal?
But maybe people with severed hands are expected to behave better than people whose hands have not been severed.
I, for instance, know a guy who had a brother with a severed hand and I was shocked when I found out he was a rude person - more shocked, I think, than if he hadn't had a severed hand.
It isn't fair, but maybe I thought he should appreciate life more because his hand was severed and, also, because he had the power to invoke sympathy, fear or admiration by wearing a hook.
I've never had my hand severed, but I did break a finger during a week-long basketball camp in junior high school.
I was actually really excited about breaking my finger, though, because I was the youngest one there and all the camp coaches were a lot more serious about the need to succeed in basketball than I was.
My older brother also closed the trunk of the family car on my fingers when I was little, but it didn't really hurt because the trunk had a rubber lining.
But there were some red marks, so I pretended I was in pain to get special treatment.
Anyway, if I ever do lose my hand in a garbage disposal, at least I'll have a good hook to collect silverware with.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.