A little friendly competition

Who wins when the driver’s door of a 2004 Dodge Durango competes with the middle finger of a human’s right hand?

Please rest assured that the finger loses.

Our lovely Da Luo Ban was parked in the gravel lot uphill from the Rendezvous last Friday night, when we left to drive home.  It was dark at 10 PM, and DLB had been (very neatly, if I do say so myself) backed into its spot.  Because of the steep grade, he was leaning significantly downhill to the right.

I approached the vehicle, tired and carrying some stuff.  I unlocked the door using the remote, because we all know that if you put the key of your very own Durango into the door lock and turn it, an alarm will go off that is loud enough to wake the dead, and in that moment of panic, no matter which combination of buttons you press in which order, it will NOT shut up!

I opened the door with my left hand, but not far enough to make it stay open.  Due to the sideways slope, gravity took over, and as the door gained momentum toward closing, my brain obviously completely ceased functioning for a few seconds.  I reached with the middle three fingers of my right hand to grab the door and pull it back open, but my fingers were clearly no match for a 150-pound door on its way downhill.  While I watched in the dark (here, in the dark?), the door closed completely to the point of latching, with my third finger inside.

I remember watching our kids get hurt when they were little.  The sudden injury would occur, there would be about a second and-a-half of blessed silence, and then the child would commence screaming.  As an observer, this makes for a very interesting little study in nerve conduction and the time involved for signals to go to the brain, be processed, and return to the scene of the crime – but it’s frankly much less interesting if you are the one being injured.

I saw the door close, heard it latch shut, and attempted to pull back my hand, all in a fraction of a second.  The attempt was an utter failure.  The hand moved not at all, I panicked, and the scream came forth. “OWWWWWW!!!!  ACH!!!  IT HURTS!!!!!!!”  I managed to open the door with my left hand and extricate the right one.  I couldn’t see the injury in the dark (would you, could you in the dark?), but I held my right hand with my left, moaning over and over to Scott that it did hurt; yes, it really, really did hurt a whole heckuva lot; OUCH!

We had to drive to the car repair place in two cars to drop the oil-leaking Honda for repairs, so I got in DLB and tried to get things ready to go using only my left hand.  Not so very easy, but I got the car in gear and headed out, finally no longer seeing blue bolts of electricity in my eyes, but with my finger in a great deal of pain.  As we headed down out of the development, I guess we passed under a street light or something, because I saw blood dripping from my hand.  I knew it was smashed, but I hadn’t realized it was bleeding.

It was bleeding and I couldn’t do anything about it or even reach the Kleenex to try to staunch the flow.  There are very few features of this car that are not wonderful, but having nowhere in the front seat to put Kleenex is a minor inconvenience – or a major inconvenience when you close your finger in the door.  I then tried to drive and wrestle out my phone and call Scott (all with my left hand, and trying not to cry) to see if he had any band-aids.  He did not.

It was a long, uncomfortable drive to the car repair and then home, but we made it.  I cleaned the wound, bandaged it, and went to bed.  It throbbed when down for a couple days, but it is healing quickly now.  The little beast hurt so much initially that I feared it might be broken, but praise God is it not.  Right at the first knuckle, there’s this cut on the outside and a short, black stripe on the inside.  That knuckle is not too keen on bending, so I have not been forcing the issue.  I can type, but I am making even more typos than usual.

In any case, I do not intend to compete with car doors again any time soon!


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