Wed
21 Oct

Sometimes a man gets hungry. Sometimes this happens late at night. Sometimes this happens when the man is slightly drunk. If this transpires the best solution is always the mighty sandwich (if there is no Kebab place within the ‘can be bothered’ range). A big, fat sandwich can always satisfy a late night inebriated snackers hunger but it is not without its risks.

The problem with making a sandwich at 1am in the morning while slightly inebriated is that alcohol thins the blood. This fact might sound irrelevant to the sandwich making process (unless you are a vampire) but when you introduce the element of the knife used to cut the bread ingredient it’s alarming how quickly this random fact becomes very relevant. Especially when the sandwich maker accidentally slices through their left index finger (while attempting to cut the bread) and proceeds to bleed all over the kitchen floor.

This is a professional risk in the sandwich making career path and it is the situation I suddenly found myself in after my ill-conceived inebriated plan to make a bread based snack went horribly wrong.

After the initial shock had set in and the swearing was done I quickly started to open draws with one hand, searching for plasters while I held the injured finger up high in an attempt to slow the bleeding (but all it resulted in was blood dripping onto my head instead).

This all happened the day before I was going to move in with my girlfriend (farther highlighting the possibility that men actually do need women to look after them and stop them injuring and/or maiming themselves) so I was still living in a house occupied by two guys, myself and my flat mate Jochem who was out during all this, for-filling his hunger with the much more sensible option of take-away noodles. As most people will know an apartment or any other kind of residential abode occupied by one or more guys is less likely to contain anything practical like plasters in it so I gave up my search as quickly as it had began.

The bleeding was showing no signs of stopping anytime soon so my only other option was to go back and forth between the kitchen and the bathroom while switching between cleaning the wound in the kitchen sink where there was hot water and wrapping my finger in toilet paper in the bathroom where there was no hot water. Because the flow of blood would not stop flowing I had to make this trip several times which resulted in me leaving trails across the floor indicating my route around the apartment like some kind of gothic emo version of Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumb trail.

During all this Jochem came home and found me looking like I had just attempted a cry for help. I quickly filled him in on the details, put my coat on as I did so and finished the story with, “and now I’m going out to buy plasters.”

And so I walked around the streets of Amsterdam, at 1:10am, trying to keep my bleeding toilet paper wrapped finger held high enough to slow the bleeding but not so high that it made me look crazy. Instead I ended up holding it half way up in the hope that I would only look half crazy but in reality I probably looked full crazy. After sometime searching for an open late first aid shop I had to face the fact that there was nowhere open for me to buy plasters. I was left with only one choice. I had already thought about it when I had first passed the place but I really didn’t want to do it if I didn’t have to. However, I could not keep on walking around and bleeding all over Amsterdam.

All of this is why at 1:20am on a Tuesday morning I found myself standing in the Leidseplein police station, looking like a serial killer as I clutched my blood covered hand wrapped in soggy wet red toilet paper and used my best ‘please don’t arrest me’ face in the hope that as I asked, “do you have a plaster,” the officer behind the desk did not hear, “I just killed six people.”

You might be thinking this is the point in the story where things take another comedic turn and I ended up on the floor with mace in my face, handcuffs around my hands and the knee of a shouty police man in my back as he pinned me to the floor while thinking about his shiny new medal for capturing a crazed mass murder… well you would be wrong.

The reaction I got was… Dutch. By this I mean he helped me but he really did not give a damn. He did not want to know the story behind my incriminating bloody hand and cut me off mid-sentence as I tried to tell him by asking me how many plasters I needed. He was probably thinking about the amount of paper work he would have to do if he listened to a confession of six murders.

He then proceeded to take a large plaster out of the first aid box behind his desk and cut the minimum amount possible from it instead of just giving me the whole plaster. He looked slightly annoyed when I asked for more. He cut an even smaller piece and pointed in the direction of the bathroom, telling me that I better clean my injury (while still managing to show nothing that could be classified as concern).

I entered the bathroom, proceeded to clean my finger in the sink and once again tried to get the bleeding under control. By the time I accomplished this I had also managed to cover the sink, tiles and some of the floor with a lot of DNA evidence. Since it did not seem like a good idea to leave a police station bathroom covered in blood I quickly cleaned everything up before the CSI team could be called in to figure out what the hell had just happened.

After exiting the bathroom I made the Dutch policeman even more grumpy by asking if I could have another plaster ‘just in case there was another breech’. He cut the smallest possible amount again, probably in an attempt to avoid it being counted as aiding and abetting in court.

I returned home to discovered that Jochem had been nice enough to clean up the blood I had left all over our kitchen. This seemed like a good idea as it would avoid any awkward questions about my wear abouts and well being after I ‘moved out’ (especially since builders had recently ripped out one of our walls and done a bad job of rebuilding it).

I stood in the kitchen and thought about eating the sandwich to help counter act the blood loss weakness. I looked my finger, picked up the sandwich and threw the damn thing in the bin.

In hindsight I probably should have gone to the hospital when it happened. It was a very deep cut, it took several days to heal and I now have a permanent scar.

I keep on thinking about the officer in the police station and what he must have had to write in the overnight log book. I imagine it was something like:

“Idiot Englishman came in after doing something stupid that resulted in him cutting his finger. Could not be assed. Gave him a plaster so he would go away.”

Comments:

29 Responses to “The Dangerous Sandwich”

  1. Jase says:

    Ouch!

    This reminds me of another alchohol/blood loss story. A guy I used to work with would donate blood then head straight over to the pub, ‘cos it’d change the blood/alchohol ratio in favour of getting very drunk very cheaply.

    Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him in years. I wonder if he tried the donate blood / get drunk / make a sammich combo.

  2. Heather says:

    Fingers sure do bleed a lot, don’t they! We should compare scars. I had a run-in with one of those evil V-slicer things that you see on TV and at the Earl’s Court exhibitions. I should have gone to the hospital as well but was in so much pain I couldn’t cope with the idea of someone else touching my finger and putting me in more pain. So I nearly passed out on the bed instead, holding my finger semi-up, probably quite similar to your “no, I’m not crazy” above the heart, finger position.

  3. zed says:

    Oh dear. Oh deary me. I once cut the top of one of my fingers during an Expo that I was part of and as it wouldn’t stop bleeding asked the St John’s crew for a plaster. What a mistake. I found myself being driven to the nearest hospital with the sirens blaring.

    And all I needed was a plaster and a tetanus shot.

  4. Anneke says:

    Haha! That policeman! Some idiot coms over to him, obviously drunk and bleeding. I’d have thrown you out. :P

  5. Dave Hampton says:

    I never get any sympathy when that happens. I also nicked a finger a couple of months ago while making a sandwich: the people in the apartment knew it by the sharp intake as I felt the knife stray where it shouldn’t, then the strangled yelp as the painless cut started gushing. My abundant evidence that I was, in my own judgment, mortally wounded failed to sway the rest of the group, though, who concluded that I was a whinger, overdramatic, and chicken. I ended up grumbling and bandaging myself: At least it was an excuse to sip the alcohol that didn’t get splashed, medicinally, on the wound.

  6. Invader_Stu says:

    Jase – Wow. That is extreme. Did he use the money from donating blood to by the drinks as well?

    Heather – Yikes. That sounds really painful. I always worry about that when using one of the Dutch cheese slicer thingys. Oh… and I have a lot of scars on my fingers.

    Zed – Still, slightly better then the time I had to see St John’s crew member because of a speaker that got dropped in my hand and he turned out to be very gay and flirting with me.

    Anneke – Thanks?

    Dave – No one ever understands do they

  7. Wezz6400 says:

    You really should be banned from using sharp objects, or objects at all really. ;)

  8. Invader Stu says:

    That’s not a bad idea at all

  9. VallyP says:

    Aha, a few more of our host nation’s great talents exposed…empathy, compassion and concern…..Dutch officialdom style. Do you think it’s part of the job specs for getting employed in ‘amptenaar’-ike positions (and I included desk sergeants in this capacity) that they must NOT have been hugged by their mothers when children? I’ve also encountered this apparent lack of human sympathy on many occasions.

    Glad you didn’t leave their loos in a mess. Who knows what crime you would have been charged with ;-) Maybe hospital would have been best after all. At least there, they are paid to care!

  10. Invader Stu says:

    I know. I kept on wondering if I was going to have the cops knocking on my door the next day. At least at hospital there is also no risk of being framed for a crime.

  11. Anneke says:

    :D Just kidding of course. But you’re welcome :P

  12. Invader Stu says:

    I know. Thanks :p

  13. thamarai says:

    Hmm..what if you were a surgeon..:)..I hope your finger is better!

  14. Keith says:

    That was a big post for such a little scratch! If you were looking for sympathy then you wont find it here, you drunken wretch!

    Do you realise that you brought the whole British race into disrepute? What must that very nice policeman have thought of Brits? A load of wimps? Pffft!

  15. Invader Stu says:

    thamarai – I think it is better for myself and anyone who would end up being a patient of mine that I am not a surgeon :p

    Keith – Was it a bad idea to ask the policeman to phone my mummy as well?

  16. Wendi says:

    That’s why I only eat string cheese in the middle of the night. Love the image at the bottom.

  17. Invader Stu says:

    Thanks. I think from now on I should do the same.

  18. Anita says:

    And ? What did you have to eat after throwing the dammned sandwich in the bin ? That’s the big mistery of this post. Suspended end. End ?

  19. Invader Stu says:

    As I recall I had lost my appetite at that point :p

  20. Dragonlady says:

    Stuart, He wasn’t a very nice policeman was he and he didn’t phone me either.

  21. You weren’t wearing anything nice were you? Blood stain is so hard to get out of clothes.

  22. Invader Stu says:

    Dragonlady – I wonder how grumpy he would have got if I had asked him to.

    Rose – Luckily I was not otherwise that would have made things much worse.

  23. “Assed” or assessed? Sounds a bit rude. (LOL) One of the fingers that I am typing with, has a scar on it. It started very small because my cousin (female) ripped my finger, in Scheveningen, in about 1950, when she wanted the toy car I was holding. I’m looking forward to seeing her again, in December. In 2005, she took me on the canal trip through Amsterdam. Greetings from Sydney.

  24. Invader Stu says:

    Are you planning to try and get the car back when you see her again? :p

  25. Yikes!
    Thats quite the story to have happen to oneself at 1:10am. Glad it didn’t result in any arrests lol.

    Andrew-

  26. Invader Stu says:

    Me too :p

  27. Brabant says:

    This will be related to
    a) Your english accent making you seem like ‘just another stag party member’ (the reason I never talk english when visiting ‘dam

    b) The Dutch are ‘pins’ and proud of it!!

  28. Guus says:

    I cut myself with a cheese knife and a roommate, studying medicine, insisted I go to the emergency room (you could see the bone…, yes it was a good old studentenhuis cheese knife) Once arrived, the doctor on duty sarcastically snickered: “oh, meneer heeft een sneetje?”
    Lucky my roommate had joined so I could blame it on her medical expertise.
    And I will never, ever, visit the emergency room any more.

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    Finally i quit my day job, now i earn decent money online you should try too,
    just search in google – blackhand roulette system

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