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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Bit of human blood with your lamb?

Well I was going to write a piece about a butcher's shop I walked into in the southernmost town of Ettlingen in Germany (Early December 2014) as my next post but I had an accident at work on Friday evening and I'm choosing to put the German butcher's story on hold until next time.

Friday evening is my only late shift at Tesco (12pm - 9pm) but it can be rather boring if the store is quiet. Having done all my cleaning jobs and sorted out my reductions I was actually rather delighted when a middle aged couple came over and asked my advice on lamb for a tagine. Long story short - they agreed on my boning out a full leg of lamb for them. This is a job I could do with my eyes shut. Perhaps in hindsight it would have been beneficial if I had kept them shut.

boning knife in action
Instead, I took the very sharp boning knife and began to snick away at the meat around the bone at the very end of the leg. 'Snick snick snick' went the knife. Such a balletic sound. I was a meat craftsman at the height of his prowess. Now for the knee joint on the leg. Found it in one. They were going to be so pleased with my work. I found the gap for my knife's end quicker than you can say "cut above the others" then I freed the section from the main thigh bone. The knife suddenly slipped sideways and sliced deeply into my first finger on the left hand. The hand, incidentally, that was NOT sporting a chain mail glove. For a fraction of a second I hoped I had just nicked the fleshy top of my knuckle. I looked down and saw something gaping wide and bleeding profusely that possibly required stitches. Suddenly it hurt. Lots. I swore. I almost said a very bad word which would have meant instant dismissal, yes that word - "Sainsburys!!!"

I actually said the accusatory expletive "Bastard!!!!" and then ran to the hand sink to wash the wound under the stinging cold water tap. Elevating my injured finger I quickly wrapped it in an apron and sped towards the first aid box. Eliott on the deli helped me dress the wound with two blue plasters. The customers had gone white. I kept apologising for swearing and continued to finish off boning their leg off lamb - very cautiously. With each gingerly practised slice of the meat I checked for blood seepage. Some was leaking out of the bottom of the plasters. I got one of the lads to wrap the meat up in two plastic bags sans human blood. I hope they enjoyed their tagine.

Perhaps I should have gone to the hospital to see if it needed stitches but by this time it was almost time to take the ice of the fish counter, clean up and go home at nine o'clock. No way was I going to hang around the accident and emergency ward at the QMC for hours and then go home.

On the Saturday morning (before going to work)  I cautiously took off the plasters to reveal the injury. It was still a bit bloody and sore but didn't feel infected ie: warm and puffy. I took the photo above - as you do.  As I write this today (Tuesday 20th January) I will have changed the plasters three times and worn one of those blue condom finger jobbies with strings on to protect my finger and keep it clean at work. As my finger sticks out like a sore finger I have felt perfectly placed to point at things around the Tesco store. Eggs you want? Follow the blue finger. Anchovies? Aisle 8 in the direction of the blue finger. Now where's that chain mail glove?

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