So this is the first of many hopefully that I wrote last night and I'm calling these set of stories:
Cuts, Burns, Scars, Tats and Other Things That Make Me Look Like a Badass.
I have just cut off 1/3 of my middle fingernail and part of my flesh into a sea of 1 mm by 1 mm brunoise chopped red peppers with my Wusthof Classic Santoku (I knew I hated that bloody knife). Most of the sentiment of the “fuck” can be attributed to the impending pain, but I’d rationalize that 30% of it clearly has to do with the thought of redoing all those peppers with a good chunk of my middle fingernail gone.
The whole situation was definitely not how I envisioned my third day in the kitchen to be, but accidents don’t happen in the kitchen when you are routinely making cuts and focusing on what you need to be doing. Accidents happen when you are focusing on the funny conversation that your executive chef and chef-de-cuisine are having all while simultaneously staring at the stunning 18-year-old hostess waltz into the kitchen with her little white t-shirt top and sporting a natural 34C (borderline D) cup. That’s how accidents - and eventually “fuck”, happen.
At that moment, exec chef Tom quickly rushes over, “Keith, are you okay?” The words “what the fuck do you think” and "that's not my fucking name" strike a quick mental reaction in my mind, but I regain control of my thoughts and decide that’s not the best course of action.
“Dude, I’m fine. It doesn’t even hurt. Fuck, I gotta do those fucking peppers over.” I grumble more words and head to the first aid kit. It was only . Knowing the theory of how when it rains, it pours shit on you - I should have assumed that this cut was going to bleed through 4 layers of band aids, gauge pads, duct tape and a plastic finger condom. Thank god I was working daytime prep and observing night service. Only 8 more hours of medieval bloodletting to go…
Service ends, I drink Fernet and ginger-back. I go home, clean the wound and pass out. Another day done.
Months later, I will recount this story to some friends while Tom (who now knows my name) and I are close the verge of being completely shit-faced. Tom contributes to my storytelling and asks on cue something to the drunken effect of, “yeah, what happened that day?”
“You guys were laughing and shit in there and then '18' walked in with a little white t-shirt and shit. It was all downhill from there.”
To this day, I will always remember exactly how “18” (her secret back of house nickname) looked on that day in that moment. Aside from little lust filled kitchen jokes, “18” had no significant impact on my tenure in that kitchen or in my life, but strangely became one of the few women that left an indelible mark. That and I have a great badass lopsided middle fingernail to remind me of this story.
I love funny anatomic reminders of absolute shitshows. Ah, yes.