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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

COLUMN: Ham and Beans


November 20, 2019

I really enjoy cooking and the weekends are my favorite time to put some time and effort into creating a great meal. It's never as much fun on weekdays because after a long day I really don't want to spend much time in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make ham and beans and I started out early in the morning by putting some ham hocks in some stock, spices, beans, and vegetables and after a few hours, the house was really starting to smell good. I had purchased some pre-cooked ham and was going to put it in an hour before we ate dinner.

It was a Sunday and as I was cutting the ham, I was also trying to watch the end of a football game. It probably was not the brightest idea to try and watch sports while I had a very large and super-sharp knife in my possession, but I had done it plenty of times before and never seemed to have a problem.

I was about 75 percent done with cutting the ham when it slipped when I went to cut it. Instead of the ham I ended up cutting myself and right away I knew it was bad. It was probably a combination of the slippery ham and my attention split with the pigskin. I should have focused on one pig at a time because it was deep.

Over the past several decades I have managed to hurt myself several times so this was nothing out of the ordinary. I've probably had about 100 stitches in my head, blown out an ACL, ruptured an eardrum and a few others that did not feel very good. On a side note, I sometimes think that stubbing a toe in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom might hurt more than any of those prior injuries, but the pain usually subsides quickly.

A mere second after I feel the knife rip through my flesh, I flung myself to the floor and let out a yelp that probably scared everyone in the house and sent Jerusha the cat hiding under the couch.

Unlike the cat, the others knew exactly what was going on because this was the exact same noise I made when I had done something similar a year ago.

I'm not quite sure why, but I think that if I let out a giant cry it will help, but it really doesn't. It just turns out I'm a huge baby about getting cut.

Some of the previous injuries I mentioned really hurt and still cause me pain, but I always act out when I get cut. It's like I turn five and throw a huge fit and want everyone in the house to know that I'm in a lot of pain.

I remember vividly when I quickly answered the phone in the morning with a Q-Tip in my ear and ruptured my eardrum. Instead of making any sort of noise, I calmly walked into the other room and told my girlfriend we should probably go to the hospital. Why can't I do that when I get cut?

When I ended up getting off the floor after my huge fit, I noticed the blood was really starting to squirt out of my cut and this would mean a trip to the hospital.


The bleeding wouldn't seem to quit and finally, I had to make the decision. I could go to the emergency room or I could wrap it up, take my chances it would heal right, and enjoy the rest of the game and dinner.

Perhaps I was just trying to act a little tougher after my tantrum, but it was a stupid decision.

A few weeks later my finger is healed for the most part, but I probably should have made the trip to Bozeman to the ER.

And maybe it is time for me to not be distracted or slow down so I'm not doing those stupid things that will send me to the ER.

No matter what I do, there is probably no way to avoid the stubbed toe in the middle of the night and that really stinks.


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