Today is the two year anniversary of something very painful to remember. But for your entertainment, I’ll tell the story. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and Fred and I decided to make a big breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuits, and gravy. While Fred prepared the gravy, I stirred the scrambled eggs. The eggs were almost to the perfect state of doneness, and Fred was still stirring his boiling gravy-oil, when he said "Oops – watch out!" I turned to him with a questioning look on my face, and an instant later it was brought to my attention that there was a great deal of pain coming from my right (bare) foot. In an instant, I lost my mind, and danced away from the stove, screaming "Ow! Ow! Ow!" Fred bent down and with his bare hand wiped the boiling gravy-oil off my foot, burning his hand badly in the process. He stood up and started running cold water into the kitchen sink. I stood there until he turned and told me to go into the bathroom and run water on my foot.

I went into the bathroom, and when the first spray of water hit my foot, I about lost my mind again. Fred came in to check on me a few minutes later, just as I was realizing that when he’d wiped the gravy-oil off my foot, he’d wiped the skin from the top of my foot off also. I had a big gray hunk of skin hanging down over my toes, and my foot was swelling rapidly. Fred offered to go to K-Mart for burn cream and bandages, until I informed him that there was no way he was getting out of taking me to the emergency room for this.

We hastily got dressed, grabbed the spud, and headed for the emergency room. We sat in the waiting room for three hours, due to a several-car accident that arrived right before us. I sat there, a sneaker on my left foot, my right foot bare except for a big, gray, nasty piece of skin hanging off my foot, rocking back and forth as the pain ebbed and waned. We finally made it back to where the doctors check you out, where we sat for another hour and a half. The doctor came in, checked out my foot, and pronounced that I’d probably live. He checked out Fred’s hand, too, and then went on his merry way. The nurse came in and popped me in the ass with demerol. Once that took effect, she cut all the skin off the burned area of the top of my foot and toes, which really hurt, demerol or no. Then she smeared the burned area with burn cream, wrapped it up in bandages, and we finally went home.

I ended up taking a week and a half off from work, because it was extremely painful to walk on my right foot. I had to clean and re-medicate my foot twice a day, and that hurt, too. The word for that holiday season was "pain." I did all my shopping at 3 am two days before Christmas at Wal-Mart. It’s not an experience I’d want to go through again, lemme tell you that. There’s a scar on the top of my foot, but it’s slowly fading away. What did I learn from the whole experience? 1. Don’t stand next to Fred in bare feet while he’s making gravy, and 2. I’m completely useless in an emergency. I would probably have stood there screaming for five minutes before it occurred to me to go stick my foot under the water. Thank god for Fred!