Monday, 18 November 2019

Newton's cat-flap

On dit que; they say that Isaac Newton invented the cat-flap. He got fed up with his moggy, by name Spithead, blundering into the darkened room, when Newton was carrying out his optical experiments, by pushing open the door and flooding the room with light. The Great Man therefore cut a hole in the door and sealed both sides with black velvet which allowed Spithead in and out at will and in darkness. When Spithead had kittens Newton cut a smaller hole in the same door to facilitate them. This allowed Newton's pals to laugh at his naivety "For a clever chap, it's a  wonder how he manages to get his britches on the right way round most mornings".

<trigger> descriptions of self-inficted injury </trigger>

I was visiting with my pal Rene last weekend: I bring flapjacks, he makes tea, wat leuk, gezellig. I noticed that he had a huge partly healed dinge, about the size of a thumb-nail, on one of his fingers. Eeeeuw, that looks painful, I said, how did that happen?  Someone gave him a shiny new coffee-mug. As usual for breakfast he half-filled the cup with milk for his breakfast muesli and went out into the utility room to heat it up in the microwave. 2 minutes later, when he heard the >ping<, he went outside again, opened the microwave door and  grabbed the mug by the handle. The pain, the smell of burning and the sound of sizzle arrived in his head at more or less the same time. But he couldn't drop the cup because the melted flesh was stuck unto the handle. >!Yaroooo!<. The shiny new cup had a metallic glaze. Nobody claimed that Rene is stupid, he knows not to put metal in a microwave but he was on autopilot making breakfast and that theoretic knowledge wasn't allowed to surface.

Could have been worse.  A few years ago at the Home Education Network HEN annual gathering, one of the dads turned up with his arm in a surgical brace. Eeeeuw, that looks painful, I said, how did that happen?  Home Ed kids have nothing to do all day but play and one day his crew had decided to make and fly kites. Dad, who is a computer engineer working for IBM, was 'working form home'. The kite finds itself caught on some wires looping towards the house. Dad is called. He spends his whole life solving problems. The kids have tried throwing sticks and stones to dislodge the kite. He knows that the bamboos in the garden are not long enough, so he duct-tapes two together. Still he cannot reach high enough. Aha! The lopper from ALDI with extensible aluminium handle. But that is still clearly too short; so he goes to the garage to fetch is largest metal step-ladder. As he climbs the ladder, he pauses to admire the view . . . he notes the transformer [as R] on a distant electricity pole . . . speculates how many thousands of volts course through it . . . shakes his head and gets on with The Task. >!kaBOOM!< The next thing he remembers is waking up on his back in the dirt with a smell of burning. The pain came later. Ignoring the sub-conscious message from his sensible centres, he had contrived to use his body to short out the mains electricity supply to the house. With months of physiotherapy, he was hopeful that he'd get partial use of his left arm in due course. Moral: don't buy single-use clutter-bargains from ALDI?

Now me, I don't believe in napkins: who needs paper when you've got a sleeve to clean the crumbs off your face? A couple of years ago, the orange enamel kettle boiled over. Some goof-ball [probably me] had over filled it. It was wet on the bottom but the hot water was needed in the kitchen. Can't be having drips across the hallway so I sweppppt the kettle-bottom across the trouser of my up-lifted leg. It was like the old joke about Do not phone Paddy while he's doing the ironing. I had applied a thin layer of boiling water, under mild pressure, to my thigh. It is hard and undignified to get your trousers off in a hurry; hint: put kettle on floor first. In the end, not all of the skin peeled off, just the bit in the middle of the burn where the heat had penetrated deeper.

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