The year was 1989. I was only 5.
Me and my step brothers, David and James, were all at a public park for the day. While the adults were playing some basketball, we ventured around and whatnot, and eventually found a construction site where they were laying in new underground plumbing and drainage.
Us, being boys, decided it would be a good idea to investigate it. Eventually, we found a part where the fence didn’t connect, which let us into the site. Man, there was some awesome stuff in there too, haha.
What was probably the coolest thing was the 6-foot diameter concrete pipe laying on the asphalt. It was about 15 feet long, so sure, we would walk through it and stuff… but that’s not what interested us. What was fun was the fact that we could roll it
All three of us were on top ‘walking’ it across the pavement. Quite entertaining to kids… but not even this can stop an ADHD kid from losing interest after 45 seconds. So I quickly come up with another idea. I told David to stay on top of the pipe, while me and James both got off and got IN the pipe.
After a second or two of David getting his bearings, he finally gets the hang of walking it again with us both in the pipe on our backs hanging on for dear life.
Me, being the genius that I am, I was on the side closest to the edge of the pipe (James was more near the inside). Well, when the pip eventually rolls around, I start to lose my stance in the pipe and decide it would be a good idea to grab the edge of it to keep from getting hurt.
Not a second later, I feel a quick motion that didn’t feel unlike somebody slapping my hand. I didn’t know what it was, but it didn’t hurt. I also heard it. It didn’t sound like a slap, but more like the sound it would make if you took 3 celery stalks and snapped them in half at the same time.
While I was wondering what the heck just happened, I tried to pull my hand back so I could get out of the pipe to figure it out. And that’s when I noticed that it didn’t work. I was stuck. That’s when it hit me. The pip had rolled over my fingers. It had rolled almost all the way over, but for the next few seconds it stopped, right before going backwards and off of my hand. Those couple seconds felt like ages.
By this point, I didn’t think anything bad had happened, since it wasn’t hurting all that bad… but I was rather freaked out that my hand was stuck and I didn’t know what was going on.
When the pipe finally rolled off, I saw the pavement first. It could only be described as the same stain you would get if you took a cherry, laid it on the sidewalk, then hit it with a hammer.
That’s when I started to get scared.
Then I decided that it would be a great idea to look at my hand, so I tried to pull it back again. Yet I was still finding resistance. Upon further movements, I found out that my fingers were… well… lets put it this way. Take some Playdough, put it between 2 books, and press them together. That Playdough is gonna be stuck to at least one.
After I lifted my hand from an angle that allowed my fingers to basically ‘peel’ off of the pipe, I brought back my hand with horror in my face.
That’s when the pain started at a hot sensation.
Its safe to say at this point, I was screaming. Screaming like hell.
My two step-brothers had no idea that this had happened, but when they saw the blood, they ran and got some help. I was too busy trying to think of what to do to actually do anything useful. After a few seconds, I’m being picked up, thrown over a shoulder, and put in the back seat of a car and on the way to the hospital.
…I’ll spare the boring details of the hospital, the stitches, and the cast, but I do think it important to mention that while it didn’t do much damage to the entire finger, the pipe had actually splintered and shattered the tips of the bone in my pinky and ring finger. Literally… shattered. I really wish I still had the X-rays. It looked like a very tiny bomb was put in the middle of the bone in my fingers. Pieces of bone were ‘thrown’ outward from the center of my fingers.
Long story short, I still have the scars on 3 fingers, though you would never notice them unless they were pointed out, and I have ultra sensitive finger tips. And no, its not like a superpower… more like super painful if touched the wrong way.