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From the Farm

Who needs a pie for a purple plum?

June 17, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman ( , The Journal

It's funny how you don't miss an opposable thumb, until you don't have the use of it.

No. No. No. I didn't cut my right thumb off my hand, but at one point it's exactly what I wanted to do.

And why is it that when ever I have something I have to get done, some event stops me from getting that certain task done.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Last week Wednesday I was busy, busy, busy. I was preparing the farm for the big picnic.

I finished painting around the milk house door and ventured over toward our machine shed. I found a chunk of cement laying on the drive way that I thought would be better suited in the junk trailer.

I picked up the cement chunk and tried to hurl it into the wagon.

There was just one problem. The pallet fork for the skid loader was sitting right in front of me.

I swung my arm as far back as I could, to get the momentum going so the heavy chunk of rock would land in the wagon.

After the half circle swoop, I felt this searing pain coming from my hand. (There actually was a very brief second when I didn't feel any pain.)

I was afraid to look, so I just jumped up and down, up and down several times,

It felt like

I don't know what it felt like; I have never experienced a pain as severe as a smashed finger.

Once I stopped hopping around, I grasped my hand and held it down between my legs. When I managed to get up enough guts to look, there was blood running.

Steve said that's when he first saw me and when he observed the blood, he knew it wasn't going to be good. "Go run it under really cold water until it's numb," he said.

Up to this point I hadn't shed a tear. Of course, several of our employees were in the area and observed my hopping yelling a few cuss words. I felt like Little Jack Horner, except I didn't have to stick my thumb in a pie to pull out a plumb. It just plain looked like an exceptional-purple plum after being smashed to smithereens.

My thumb felt so bad, I knew there was only one thing to do. Didn't know if I was going to be able to muster the mind set to poke holes in my fingernail, but figured the pain couldn't get any worse.

I asked Russell to bring me a needle from the milk house, and I proceeded to slowly and carefully twist the needle down into my fingernail. Yes, it was a new needle, which I sterilized over my peach-scented candle. I should have had an aroma-therapy candle in the scent of magical marijuana. It would have put me in a calmer place I possibly would have drilled the hole in the table, but my finger would have felt all the love.

I was somewhat disabled. Who knew opposable thumbs are such a indispensable body part.

I couldn't type on my computer. Every time I hit the space bar, extra m's, b's and n's showed up in the text.

I couldn't wear jeans that needed to be buttoned and unbuttoned. Thank god button-fly jeans went out with big hair. I would have spent hours trying to close go to the bathroom.

Forget about making breakfast, lunch or dinner or doing dishes! I had to lie on the couch with my thumb in the air. You know, now that I think about it, I believe I am quite adept at hurting myself. My mother always did call me a klutz when I was young. I miss my Super Klutz vintage T-shirt. Yes, it's true, I had that awesome T-shirt.

Forget about trying to extract milk from the cows. I was given a one-day respite. Thanks to Brandon Hawkins for filling in for me. I had to find some way of defending my thumb. One big thumb brace and 27 feet of gauze and tape later, I felt my thumb was well-enough protected.

I looked like a total dope (no reference to the marijuana candle). Paint it purple, and we have a super-plum.

All weekend long Joey, Russell and Steve were pretending to be "The Fonz." Every time a silly comment, a joke was shared or they just felt like being smarty pants, they would give me the thumb's up sign.


I have never felt so cool!

One week later, my fingernail looks like I painted it with black fingernail polish. It still sends me to the moon if I hit the tip of it. It's still the size of Jack Horner's famous plum, which rid me of my thumbprint, (I should have been robbing banks.) but at least I can work without that silly brace.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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