It’s the Little Things (including fingers)

19 Jul

My high school gym teacher, Miss Juanita Fiesler (a great name for a cinematic phys ed teacher if you’re reading this Judd Apatow) used to tell us that, if not our kids, then certainly our kid’s kids, will be born without pinky fingers.  This was pre-internet so while she did admit that the typists among us had a slight advantage- the lost pinky would impact their great-grandkids- the non-business science majors were still screwed.

Miss Fiesler told us that our pinkies were extremely underutilized and in danger of becoming superfluous unless we practiced handstands (the pinky is very useful when it comes to balancing) and rubber band finger exercises.

Until Becky Russell shot a rubber band into the eye of Kris Floystropp, then she ended the unit on evolution and moved us on to square dancing.

Apparently, honoring your corner was on her endangered list as well.

Meanwhile, the pinky is very important when it comes to typing a, p, q, and z.  And now that we all use typing and/or texting as our primary means of communication, those four letters are crucial.  Imagine a world where no one is ever happy, where salsa is never piquant or where Judd Apatow doesn’t make movies.  No “Pineapple Express”?  Why, that’s barbaric.  An entire high school career spent without a pop quiz, however, would have been great.

And if you’ve ever shaken hands with a person who is missing a finger, you know how weird it feels when a digit is gone: it’s like whistling “shave and a haircut” and leaving off the “two bits.”  It’s just odd.

So imagine how good it felt when I recently swallowed a bunch of ibuprofen and reset my dislocated pinky.  (It’s a boring story involving a gallon jug of milk and a deadbolt that requires jiggling.)  My entire mood immediately improved and for a brief moment I contemplated taking piano lessons or hosting a formal tea.  Not to mention the additional thrill of cheating the local clinic out of a $15 co-pay.

It’s the same reason my dad keeps a 10lb. bowling ball around and dangles it from his hand when his shoulder is out.  (Yes, my dad has a 10lb. ball.)

We’re not cheap; we’re DIYers in a hurry: “We’re here.  We’re handy.  We have a high pain threshold.  Get used to it.” ~ from the DIY Convention Keynote, Atlantic City, April 2012.  (PS: they had a make your own sandwich bar.)

As for square dancing being endangered?  Miss Juanita Fiesler was right:

I haven’t honored (or pledged to cherish) anyone since the day I got married.  And I had my fingers crossed.

One Response to “It’s the Little Things (including fingers)”

  1. Mary Ellen Keller July 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Juanita…Juanita…Don’t cry for me South River….LOL!! She was CRAZY!!

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