My writing career may be on hold for a few days due my lack of a usable thumb. (I'm dictating this blog to my indentured manservant. (Did you know God says in his popular self-help book THE BIBLE it's okay to beat your slaves to death? Just be careful not to beat them so hard that they die right there in front of you, because that's obviously wrong. As long as they die at least a couple days later, you're in the clear, "because the slave is your own property." (Exodus 21:20-21) So don't like, shoot your slave in the head or anything, just maybe give them massive internal hemorrhaging with a lead pipe so they writhe in agony for a few days before expiring. Cause then, like, who's to say it was even your fault? Maybe they just had cancer or something? That defense might not hold up in court but it sure fools God, according to the Unchanging Truths contained in His Word. (This is why most modern Christians are pro-choice, because one of the major recurring themes in THE BIBLE is the disposability and un-sacredness of human life.)

Anyway, it's really a pretty impressive invention, this opposable thumb thing. Way to go, primates. Nice evolving. It's a simple thing but you really miss it when it's gone. Hard to tie your shoes or button your fly or pet your cat with the skill and enthusiasm to which he's become accustomed.

So where'd my thumb go, you're wondering? Well, it's still there, but it has a big hole through it. Last night, as my girlfriend and I were sitting in her bedroom getting ready to watch STAR TREK, a nearly comatose winter bee somehow flopped in through the open window and stung her. Nichole sometimes has severe reactions to bee stings, so she has an EpiPen on hand for emergencies. An EpiPen is a medicine delivery device which I didn't fully understand before this incident and which I'm now all too intimately familiar with.

So Nichole gets stung, she starts to panic, thinking she's going to swell up, hive up, stiffen up, whatever it is that's supposed to happen. But after a while, nothing's happened so we start to calm down. We decide not to use the EpiPen because Nichole is scared of needles and suspects the EpiPen's needle is huge. I decide to investigate. I open the pen and try to find the needle. It appears to be hidden inside the device somewhere. I remove a "safety cap", revealing what appears to be the button that one would push to make the needle come out. I push it.


Oh. Now I see how it works. The EpiPen is not your typical syringe. It contains an explosive charge. The explosive charge is what makes the needle come out, through what I thought was a button. Then through my thumb, and out through my thumbnail.


We take a moment to stare at my thumb. The needle is about the thickness of a carpentry nail. The entire EpiPen apparatus, which is about the size of a large permanent marker, is hanging from my thumb, and I can't get it off. The needle is stuck inside my thumb. The tip of the needle has bent against the underside of my thumbnail, forming a hook which pokes slightly through the top of the nail. I yank on the EpiPen a few times. It won't come out. It hurts like hell.

I go into Nichole's room-mate's room to examine the situation in a brighter light. Her 4 year-old daughter is playing with stickers in the corner. I yank again. It won't come out. It hurts like hell. I eventually realize what I need to do, I grit my teeth and get pumped up and yank hard. The hooked needle rips down through my thumb and pops out in a spray of blood. It's all very 127 HOURS.

Apparently the drug in an EpiPen is mostly just pure adrenaline and would have turned me into a superhero for a few minutes before making my heart explode. Sounds fun, until that last part, but the pen was 3 years expired so I don't think any of the drug got into my system. I went back into the room-mate's room and apologized to her 4 year-old daughter for being yucky and scary in front of her.

"It's okay," she says. "But you got blood on my stickers."


  1. this post made my day. probably about as much as it ruined yours.

  2. I looked up that verse. It actually says that it's ok to beat your slave as long as the slave recovers after a few days, not as long as it takes him a few days to die. Still more than a little confusing, but not permission for murder

  3. Read it again.

    "And if a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property."

    SURVIVES a day or two, as in, he doesn't die immediately, but still dies.

  4. What translation is that? NIV says:

    "but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."
    That's a hell of a difference. How curious

  5. The bible being interpreted/translated wrong?


  6. holy shit, am actually feeling a bit queasy after reading that, what with my huge phobia of needles!

  7. Isaac quoted the NRSV which is the closest translation. The NIV isn't actually a translation it's a transliteration... almost a paraphrase.

    Based on my reading of the Hebrew, and compared alongside Young's Literal Translation, the NRSV and the KJV Isaac's interpretation is accurate.

    There! I know I'd use that silly Hebrew class for something!

    All that said, this section of laws were set down in an effort to "limit vengeance" for those who aren't biblical literalists they were simply an imperfect way of limiting how far "an eye for an eye" could go. Jesus of course took this list, laughed at it, and said 'No, seriously guys you shouldn't be beating or killing them at all, or even thinking about it.'

  8. Writer stabbed by pen-like implement. IT'S LIKE RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY OR A FREE RIDE WHEN YOU'VE ALREADY PAID.

  9. I laughed when I pictured the 4 year-old saying, "you got blood on my stickers." Seriously though, that sucks about your thumb. I had no idea an EpiPen was so dangerous.

  10. I work at a bookstore in Sacramento and I literally JUST finished reading an advanced readers copy of your book. AMAZING! I am ranting and raving about it to everyone I can and I cannot WAIT for it to be on shelves so that I can sell it to people. AMAZING BOOK!

  11. Now I see why we had dummy epipens in CPR class. I'm 48 and I played with it, too. Safely.

  12. pics of your zombie thumb, please.

  13. You'll get a kick out of this rundown of permissible stonings, set to the tune of Dylan's refrain "Everybody Must Get Stoned":

    Oh, and very Pulp Fiction of you with the EpiPen. Hope Marcellus didn't find out.