Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tofu "Turkey" tastes like finger and tetanus shots. (orginally posted April 2, 2007)

To say that having to go to an emergency room because you've cut your finger open while trying to open a package of tofu fake turkey is degrading is the understatement of the year.

It happened at 8:27 a.m. this morning. I was rushing to make it to the subway stop by 8:45 a.m. as to get to work by 9:10 a.m. I retrieved all my lunch making materials from the fridge and began to construct the usual sandwich, fruit, salad, cheese esemble, also known as "Mary Ann's Packed Lunch." Since the clock was ticking, I was trying to cut corners, but the tofu "turkey" package was not on the same schedule as myself. Believing that the .05 seconds it would have taken to turn around and grab a pair of scissors from the drawer was going to severely hinder my arrival into work, I decided to cut the package open with the knife I had just used to slice a wedge of cheese (Ed. note: Please notice that I did not write "Cut the cheese" - no fart jokes today kids!).

Apparently, for the past 25 years I have been severely overestimating the durability of the plastic they use to package sandwich meats, because my small knife cut through the plastic and into/down the side of my left hand's index finger like it was made of soft butter. Wouldn't it be cool if butter bled like a stuffed pig? I think so. Fingers? Not so much. One bright spot in this whole debacle was that I didn't bleed on the fake turkey (yay!).

Thinking that I might have a somewhat severe wound, which I was using the pool of blood on the kitchen table, the kitchen stove, the counter, and the floor on the way to the sink, I decided to go into work, and if it was still bleeding by the time I arrived, I would go to the hospital. I made a makeshift bandage with a bit of gauze and 47 million Band-Aids and headed out the door. And may I add, that I finished packing my lunch even in my newly found crippled state?

By the time I got into work, the wound was still bleeding, and it was the general consensus of my coworkers that I go to the emergency room. I stayed at work just long enough to garner some sympathy and change my Band-Aids.

One would assume that if someone is bleeding, they will take priority over say, someone with a cold. The cold isn't go anywhere, but the blood flowing out of my finger is in fact starting to become worrisome. But the fine folks of the New York City medical industry do not in fact distinguish between the two. Coughing? Oh! No worries! You're next! Hey, you with the bloody wound and lack of spirit in your eyes! Mind the pool of blood! You better plan on mopping that up before we see you...

After one hour and 34 minutes, I finally made it past the pre-waiting room, as I like to call it, to the exam room a.k.a waiting room #2. Another six minutes passed before the nurse arrived. She was pleasant, and reminded me of an Asian female version of Richard Mulligan who played Dr. Harry Weston on the hit comedy sitcom of the 1980s, "Empty Nest." She did the standard blood pressure and temperature check (Result: Normal! At least in regards to my blood pressure and body temperature...). I was told that the doctor would be in shortly, so I could sit back and relax. What she should have said was sit back and take a nap. As she exited, she turned and asked,"By the way, how did you cut your finger?" I replied that I was trying to open a package of vegan turkey to make a sandwich. I could hear her laughing down the hall.

Seventeen minutes later, Dr. Choo arrived. He asked me what happened, but before I could explain, he said,"Oh wait! You're the bologne girl! Ha! That must be one hell of a sandwich!" My first reaction was to correct him and say that it was not bologne, as I am a staunch non-bologne advocate. But realizing that I was most likely being made fun of at nurse's station at that very moment, I simply said,"Yes. I am the bologne girl." My shame must have been evident.

After examining my finger, I was told I would need a single stitch. A single stitch? I believe that is also known as "You have such a miniscule wound...you must be a huge pussy for coming in here to seek treatment." I also was signed up for a tetanus shot.

After receiving the stitch and the shot, I made my way up to the counter to take care of my insurance copay. After I paid my $15 and was packing up my stuff, the man behind the counter said,"Hey. I hope that sandwich is the best sandwich you've ever eaten." Apparently, news about me being retarded travels fast.

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