Friday, February 18, 2005

Ninja-like Reflexes



Once in third grade me and this Italian kid with an afro were messing around with a stapler and he stapled his hand. We started laughing because it was kind of weird and funny and then all of a sudden he screamed and cried like a third grader. Anyway, that was one of those cute tiny office staplers and the whole thing was a gas. Now, construction staple guns are bigger and powered by 120 pounds per square inch of compressed air and the staples are two inches long. Couple years ago I'm on a crew doing big huge additions outside of Boston. One morning I'm putting up red cedar shingles on a fancy garage with a staple gun, and I'm getting in that rythym, you know, where things just flow. Easy peasy Japaneasy -- I throw a shingle up, I staple it to the wall... I throw a shingle up, I staple it to the wall... I throw a shingle up and WHACK.-- I staple my hand to the wall. Right through the bone. How do you spell R-E-T-A-R-D-O. Apparently I was kneeling on the air hose and the gun stopped short. Nice one. In the emergency room the Doc says "what the hell is it with you construction guys, don't you pay attention?" and I say, "No."

I hear this story later from the guys: While I'm at the hospital, one of the other carpenters picks up the staple gun I was using and starts working where I left off. He puts a cedar shingle up on the wall and POW - hits it with the gun. But nothing happens. Must be jammed. He slides the chamber open and calls over the foreman to take a look. Turns out the gun's NOT jammed - it's empty. I shot myself with the last staple.

58 Comments:

Blogger Chris Reeve is a good friend of mine. said...

I love it.

5:24 PM  
Blogger BabyGirl said...

Wow that's a funny, but sad story. you had to of cried like a baby, because i know i would have. So does that profession still interest you anymore? Have you had any more accidents? One time i got a piece of wood stuck underneath my nail, but i guess that doesn't compare does it!!! Great story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:45 AM  
Blogger lissameanders said...

My husband is going to love your blog. I'll have to show him how to find it so's you boys can tell funny, near death construction experiences to eachother:P

11:06 AM  
Blogger prasanth said...

oh man bad Karma

7:38 PM  
Blogger Robaco said...

how unlucky

6:49 AM  
Blogger InadvertentTemptations said...

ouch.

9:02 AM  
Blogger DataComGuy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:43 PM  
Blogger DataComGuy said...

Woah! Maaaan!
I can only think of a couple things that might hurt more than that:


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2:47 PM  
Blogger Anawah said...

I have erased some of my blogs out of frustration BUT you are blogspiring , must admit i read the archives ,, i never do that .. lol ..

2:17 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Oh f***, I just bust a gut laughing!

Your blog is awesome... and I'll be visiting frequently :)

3:00 PM  
Blogger Pragmatik said...

I totally did that in high school. I shot a roofing staple through the webbing between my thumb and index finger after gym class and bled all over the locker room.

Then again in college helping the tech guys on a play, though it was a normal staple gun then and didn't bleed all over any room. Only all over me.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Olly said...

Stuck a drawing pin through my thumb once :S

9:06 AM  
Blogger kissonthemouth:coughdownoursleeves said...

I've worked in construction... and that last nail has a curse on it, I can tell you that. It always seems to do some damage to somebody. That's why i always kept it reloaded and ready, instead of it getting to that final nail... and I'm really sleepy. I haven't slept in a few days.

5:19 AM  
Blogger spappyjones said...

I shot a senco 16p framing nail into my palm sideways once. I was nailing on a bottom plate of an interior wall in -0 temps. The nail hit a frozen knot - deflected up an into my gloved hand that was holding the stud. It to hit bone, the glue on the nail was the real problem, causes infection.

I don't think you stapled your hand. ONE: If you have ever used an air gun you would know that kneeling on the hose will not come close to constricting 120 lb of air pressure in a half inch hose. You can park a truck on a hose and it will either puncture or work.

TWO: unless you had the saftey nose's foot pinned back you would need to press down on your hand to fire a staple with the trigger pulled. There is no mystery when you fire a staple or nail into your other hand. The saftey nose must be compressed and the trigger must be pulled. Guns don't just fire inadvertantly.

You have a good blog going but from this post I think it is fictional.

5:20 PM  
Blogger spappyjones said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

On the contrary, I think the story is very possible.
1) He didn't say that kneeling on the hose reduced the pressure, or ounctured the hose. It just caused the gun to stop short. He probably raised the gun very quickly, and the pinned hose didn't let the gun reach quite far enough. He didn't notice it in time to stop himself from pulling the trigger.
2) Imagine you are running really fast, and dragging a rope along behind you. If your buddy suddenly steps on the rope, you will either lose your grip or fall down. His nail gun didn't lose its grip, it "fell down", or moved towards the wall quicker than normally.
Also, many contactors will disregard safety mechanisms to increase speed, so it is entirely possible that the safety mechanism was disabled.

I must say, you are a very good storyteller. I've accidentally shot a nail across the top of a cabinet (trying to nail too close to the edge of the board) and nicked a buddy, but nothing half as bad as your situation.

7:49 PM  
Blogger spappyjones said...

Nathan, you are absolutely correct. For some reason I did not grasp that meaning but now - after a re-read that is what the Ninja intended as the root cause of the stapling.

7:52 AM  
Blogger jay said...

TO SPAPPYJONES: Wow, man. You are a serious skeptic. Almost convinced yourself I had created a fake universe with fake xrays just to trick you. Hell, you almost convinced ME. That's crazy - I love it. I finally met someone as skeptical as me. Thank you for the retraction. Yeah, it's probably not completely clear from the writing, my fault. It was how Nathan said. Thanks for visiting.

TO ALL: Your stories of becoming intimate with metal fasteners are great. We should all start a club of construction geniuses who set off metal detectors totally naked.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Muhammad said...

i just need to post something ...

4:03 AM  
Blogger Frinkster said...

Ahhh, the evil stapler has struck again. There is something very scary about the number of stapler accidents/assualts that occur in the USA. Maybe we should implement a 5 day waiting period on any stapler purchase to make sure they don't get into the wrong hands. Make all parties interested in purchasing take an I.Q. test to make sure they will not be a hazard to themselves or others.

Of course I would fail this I.Q. test... You see, I have my own stapler story. I was sitting at our dining room table when I was about 16 and there it was. A shiny new heavy duty stapler. You know, the ones that you use to put plastic around the windows of your wind tunnel house. Well, I picked it up and started playing with it. !!!!Remember, treat every stapler like it is a loaded stapler, and never point it an anything you don't intend to staple!!!! I opened the chamber and inspected the breech. It appeared to be unloaded. As I was inspecting the stapler, I dry fired it a few times and did not see any staples exit the "muzzle". I noticed that there was a sort of countersync that would push the staple out of the gun and drive it further into whatever you were stapling. I wondered to myself, "I wonder how hard that pushes the staples?" Here is the part that I have never told anyone. I put the stapler up to my index finger...remember, I thought it was unloaded. Then I pulled the trigger. The staple that was not supposed to be in the stapler ripped through my finger, and one of the prong stuck into the bone of my index finger. I only wish I had a picture to share with all of you, but at the time I did not have the foresight to get the camera.. I was preoccupied with the sharp little staple fully embedded into my finger. What an idiot thing to do.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Major_Grooves said...

Oops! I once threw a dart into a friend's hand when we were kids, but it didn't go through his hand. I also hit the same friend inthe forehead with a hollow plastic tent pole when we were playing at throwing javelin throwing in the garden!

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6:59 AM  
Blogger skinnylickingood said...

dude, my bro did that on a jobsite with a roofing nail gun, pinned to the roof by his pinky, right through the bone, looked kinda funny at the time. lol, but taking it out involved a scalple to get around the barbs left from the roll the nails come on, had to get inside the finger and clip the nail in half and pull out the parts in two seperate directions, watching that wasn't so funny. We have a good story to repeat over and over when we're out with the boys though.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

lol oh my god

2:54 PM  
Blogger Ruu said...

i also put a staple through my hand :( someone accidently swung back and hit it into my hand. it didnt hit any bone or hurt that much though just took them forever to get it out! i had three nurses almost sitting ontop of me to pull it out (which i didnt mind) :D I have the staple in a jar to this day, i must post a pic of it on my blog

10:27 AM  
Blogger Grover said...

I used to work at Fleetwood factory in Longview TX and saw that happen all the time. We actually had a nurse at the factory.
One guy stapled his hand to the ceiling and we had to cut the area around his hand out so he could go to the hosptial.
Good luck on the house

12:08 AM  
Blogger Always Learning said...

the xray looked awsome in a hurtful kind of way.....

10:43 AM  
Blogger mynrd g said...

That bit about the staple is tooooo funny. I remember frameing houses 20 years ago during a nasty ice storm on top of a two story roof trimming a deck when this
"smart" guy leans way out over an overhang to trim off a piece of 3/4 inch plywood with a Skil-Saw and .... well, you can guess the rest. Funny way to get a day off if you ask me.
Best wishes mynrdg

7:06 AM  
Blogger Big Al said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Big Al said...

I fell sorry for the guy.

5:45 AM  
Blogger dream said...

oh man that should have been the worst thing to happen..nailing urself...
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Blogger Aaron said...

I know this is gonna make my school seem slightly out of control... but it reminds me of the time I stabbed my friend through the thumb with his first flick knife in Thursday afternoon detention. To be fair, he moved just before I tried to stab the table but hey... it got us out of dentention... straight to the hospital.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I know this is gonna make my school seem slightly out of control... but it reminds me of the time I stabbed my friend through the thumb with his first flick knife in Thursday afternoon detention. To be fair, he moved just before I tried to stab the table but hey... it got us out of dentention... straight to the hospital.

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Blogger clandis said...

Now this is funny ;)

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Blogger Diana said...

Surgical staplers are frequently used as substitutes for sutures. These do not resemble standard staplers as they have no "jaw" or plate to bend the staple into shape. They may be used to close the skin, or during surgical anastomosis. Surgical staples are commonly preshaped into a "M". Pressing the stapler into the skin and applying pressure onto the handle bends the staple through the skin and into the fascia until the two ends almost meet in the middle forming a rectangle. sportsbook, Staplers are commonly used intra-operatively during bowel resections in colorectal surgery. Often these staplers have an integral knife, so as the staples are deployed the knife cuts through the bowel, maintaining the aseptic field within the abdominal cavity. The staples, made from surgical steel, are typically supplied in disposable, pre-filled, pre-sterilized cartridges. http://www.enterbet.com

10:19 AM  
Blogger Ross Associates, Inc. said...

Wow! This is one of the stories we will discuss around the water cooler.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Olsson said...

dude that must of hurt i got a who did the same thing setting up a stage for Santana and it went from the tip of the finger through the joint make him unable to move his finger

12:48 AM  
Blogger komatsu maricel said...

i like it!

7:40 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Damn!! That looks... painful

8:05 AM  
Blogger stardust said...

hope everything feels better for you.

7:29 PM  
Blogger stardust said...

hope everything feels better for you.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Wico said...

Yeah, how I still lucky that,s not happen on my head. fuuuuh........

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