First Cut is the Deepest




Fortunately I never had aspirations of being a doctor.

Some might think it is fortunate because I probably wasn’t smart enough anyway. I probably wasn’t smart enough, but I suspect strong aspirations would have spurred the pursuit until my intellectual capacity was clearly a barrier. So that’s not where the fortunateness comes into play.

Some might think it is because I am horribly squeamish. That infamous incident during the 4th grade trip to the slaughterhouse I still haven’t lived down. Or the dissecting the frog incident in the eighth grade.  Or countless more. Maybe. Though I’ve heard you can get past that. A little desensitization goes a long way. Tough determination might have made it possible.

But alas my downfall would have been more mundane.

You see, I can’t use a knife. Only in the strictest definition of “use” is this not true. Yes, I can hold a knife. Yes, I can make it come into contact with desired object. But it so lacks any semblance of coordination, purpose or control that it becomes rather impressive in its futility.

Yet it’s not as if I lack motor control or eye hand coordination in many other aspects of life. I know how to use power and hand tools. I can play a musical instrument. I can throw a ball. I can catch a ball. But I cannot use a knife.

A couple months ago I was eating with a nephew. We were eating some pork cutlets. The cutlets were tender and didn’t require much cutting, but they required some. I’m not sure how long my nephew had been watching but he eventually started to laugh and offered to cut it for me. I had to laugh. It did look like someone was going to get hurt.

Now I do know how you are supposed to hold the knife and the fork and all that. It’s not a lack of intellectual understanding. It’s a complete inability to control the situation. I can only imagine what a colossal klutz I look like while eating in public.

Maybe it’s like stage fright. Maybe the fear of the pointy object just closes down all my motor skills. Clearly a good case for psychoanalysis.

So you see this is why it’s fortunate I didn’t become a doctor. Who knows what damage could have been inflicted by this motor skill shortcoming. People would have called me The Butcher, which would have been an insult to all butchers, ever.

So if you ever invite me out to eat make sure there are no knives required. Otherwise, things could get dicey.


About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
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