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Tax season

02/23/2012 @ 9:54am

Tax season can be tough on a guy; I practically bled to death just from adding machine tape.

I should probably explain.

There’s a calculator on the left side of my desk.  When our grandchildren come to visit they…use it.

With great vigor.

The thumping of keys isn’t so bad, but when they are negotiating whose turn it is to do the key thumping, the calculator has occasionally ended up on the floor.

The little arms that hold the adding machine tape were the first to go.  I tried just letting the roll lay on my desk, hoping it would feed in by itself, but that proved to be a bad plan.  There were a couple of duct tape repairs that didn’t prove long lasting.  Since it’s now tax season, I actually do need a functioning calculator - one that provides a paper trail.

Luckily, calculators are fairly inexpensive.  I suppose that’s because they’re made by twelve year olds in Bangladesh, but I didn’t see any other option.  I also bought a couple of big rolls of tape, because the one that comes with the calculator has about nine inches of paper on it, which wouldn’t be enough to get me through January, tax wise.

Now, on the shelf above the calculator are three letter openers and a knife from Norway.  I don’t get that much mail, but each letter opener was given to me by someone I value, so I like to keep them close enough to look at and remember.

My wife gave the knife to me for my birthday one year.  It’s beautifully made and started out very sharp, but after a few years the edge dulled just a bit, so last week I re-sharpened it to an icy edge.

I like sharp knives, but the problem with a sharp knife that was formerly a dull knife is that it takes a little while to re-train your reflexes to adapt to the new sharpness.

We should probably just cut to the chase.  It’s 6:00 a.m., I’m unpacking the new calculator and when I start to open the package of adding machine tapes, a gentle stroke with the knife goes through two layers of plastic, my sweat pants, and fairly significant portion of my thigh.

I’m not saying I severed an artery or anything.  What makes the wound important is that it was in my thigh.  If it were your thigh, I’d tell you to rub some mud on it and walk it off.

I figure I have two ways to go when dealing with this injury.  I can just call it a paper cut – since it is a cut that I obtained as I was preparing to handle an immense amount of paper.

But that would be boring.

Another thought is this: I was struggling with a piece of machinery when the injury occurred, and even though I was just cutting through some plastic, I did injure myself with a knife.

So, I’m going with a limp, a shrug, and the explanation, “Oh, I got this in a knife fight.  I really don’t want to talk about it.”

Copyright 2011 Brent Olson

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