If you know what the “Darwin Awards” are, you might appreciate knowing that I don’t qualify for them yet. I’m sure some of you who know me well are probably surprised by this. Yesterday, I came close to qualifying for consideration for the 2011 awards.
If you don’t know what the Darwin Awards are, I’m tempted to not tell you. Basically, these are awards presented posthumously to idiots who have managed to die in dumb, self-inflicted ways. The idea is to connect Darwinian ideas of “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” with our fellow humanity who come to the end of their lives on this earth through stupid ways that result in “removing them from the gene pool.”
The short version of the story is I was in the process of replacing the battery on our recently purchased Sienna (see previous post for photos). Unfortunately, my tools were limited and my attention to what I was doing was even more limited, and I somehow grounded the small wrench in my left hand to the battery terminal while attempting to remove the brace that holds the battery in place. I didn’t really even see it happen.
I heard a pop, saw a large spark, felt a lot of heat from the wrench (which I threw behind me) and also from my wedding band which I frantically attempted to remove. The 100+ temperatures of the afternoon which tend to make fingers a bit swollen did not help the situation. It was comical except for the fact that it really was a near-Darwin Award moment.
The end result was a slight burn all around my ring indentation, a layer of skin missing on the top of that location, a collection of fluid along the bottom of that location (I used a pair of sterilized scissors to cut the skin open to drain it off), and a couple of damaged points on my wedding band where the electricity found its way into my body. After removing the ring, I thought for a moment that there was some sort of strange writing on it, but I may have been mistaken. I don’t see any writing now. 🙂
Of course, with every negative lesson in life, there can be positive lessons learned (pun intended, of course):
I am quite sure I will be much more attentive when dealing with car batteries in the future.
I will likely remove my wedding band before handling metal tools near electrical sources.
I also can attest to the fact that when life gets charged up with shocking events, a solid marriage will keep your life grounded “’til death do you part”! (literally!)
No awards for me so far this year. I hope to keep it that way!
The marks are on exact opposite sides of the ring. I guess opposites don’t really attract after all!