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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: From Blunders to Wonders
By Noel Mitaxa


With an interstate three-day conference starting the next day, I needed to ensure we had enough fire-starter wood before I could attend.

A chain saw is noisy; and sawing rack can jam thin branches and slow the job; so I opted for using my power saw one-handed and holding the branches with the other - much quicker and much quieter.

While ruminating on the conference, and holding the wood well away from the saw blade, I was perfectly saf…


One power saw plus one moment’s inattention equals severe lacerations. Not on my “things-to-complete-before-the-conference” list!

We have a simple three-step “blood in the household” protocol:
1. The kids are bleeding; I’m home. I tend the wound; my wife faints.
2. The kids are bleeding; I’m away. My wife tends the wound. No fainting.
3. I’m bleeding; my wife faints. Unless I’m home alone, which I was.

With my sweater now a bandage I drove rapidly to hospital. Much quicker than waiting for an ambulance to arrive, tend my wounds and take me back. And much quieter, for my car has no siren or flashing red and blue lights!

** ** ** **

Power saw manuals are unlikely to include hints on clipping nails or shaving. But after using mine for a millisecond manicure I won’t check for any shaving tips.

Oh the terrors of testosterone! Does this male hormone dismantle caution; endowing us with delusions of indestructibility? Does it make common sense less common? Does it induce euphoric responses to racing machines’ methanol fumes? Does it compel us to be first to use any new domestic appliance? Are TV remote controls sucked towards it? Does it glue channel selectors to sports? Does it use whirring electric motors to hypnotise otherwise rational males???

** ** ** **

During a few weeks of recovery my obvious bandage triggered much curiosity and many traumatic tales: of similar ‘heroic’ acts and male mishaps; all filed under… “Do not try this at home – or anywhere else!”

One fellow had cut his hand with a saw - twice. “Twice?” “Well I couldn’t reach the switch and I had to pull my hand back!”

Another’s angle-grinder (should that be ankle-grinder?) suddenly kicked up from ground-level; sliced his steel toe-cap and flew at his hip, shredding his jeans. “I’ve lost my leg!” he screamed internally - but found he was unscathed. Now that’s precision!

Another watched his grinder disc detach and fly in a graceful arc - over a suitably oblivious group of males - into a nearby tree!

One man needed no narrative; instead he ruefully raised his seven remaining fingers.

We belong to a rapidly-growing but still-unregistered association. Our working title is “The Blunder Brothers,” and we keep growing by accident. As we compare scars and chuckle over our misdeeds, I imagine our future official coat of (bandaged) arms bearing a proven motto: “The mother of stupidity is always pregnant!”

Officialdom aside, we already span all creeds, classes and races with one-word anthem: “OW!” which our wives echo in their chorus of “Oh-oh!” For they well know that “OW!” doubles as an acronym for “Often Wounded!”

** ** ** **

However some scars are from hidden wounds, which aren’t funny at all.

Personal failures; abuse or neglect from others; or dreams that crash can easily leave such wounds that sour our memories; devalue our morale or cripple our creativity.

If we repress these scars we may withdraw into barely existing; or we may react so harshly to innocent comments or delays that we hurt those closest to us - those we would most want to protect. Yet unless we have a trained, sensitive listener, exposing these scars may only entrench our grief and prolong the pain.

It’s reassuring to know that Jesus Christ loves us just as we are, but he loves us too much to leave us as we are. And he has the best-trained ears around, having faced and defeated every test we face, while his death took him through our lowest levels of shame, blame and isolation.

He can step us up from awkward blunders to awesome wonders as we personally accept his forgiveness and allow his resurrection power to take us through his healing. And as he lifts our personal freedom and confidence, he also builds our sensitivity and openness, especially for those around us when no-one else has noticed the pain that is climbing all over them.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 683 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Phelps01/16/10
This story had a great story-telling feel to it, but the conversational tone made my eye trip over some of the sentences. The format left me a little confused on the flow at first, but overall, good job!
Carol Penhorwood 01/16/10
This is a keeper, for sure! Great writing and what an object lesson! I had never heard that motto before: "The mother of stupidity is always pregnant!" Very funny!
c clemons01/17/10
Very good, a little light on the 'wonder' portion but overall I enjoyed it.
Karlene Jacobsen01/18/10
Great flow. An enjoyable, enlightening read.
Gregory Kane01/21/10
Hey, my friend, your writing is getting better and better. Although I fear that some of the female contingent of FaithWriters might not see eye to eye with your deliciously male obsession with power tools! I particularly enjoyed the section in which others narrated their catastrophes - all very believable and really rather sad.
On a critical note, I stumbled over this line: "and sawing rack can jam thin branches" as I'm not at all sure which words are nouns and which are verbs. And I thought that you should have made more out of your own accident - saying Ow even with the capitalisation was the easy way out; better to have let the reader imagine the blood and gore and ripped sinew and charcoaled tendons and shredded skin and ... Okay, so you get the picture!
Lisa Johnson01/21/10
I read this earlier in the week, and cringed at the vision of all those accidents!!! Very well written!!!