My Arch Enemy: The Mandoline Slicer

[Blog Post] My Arch Enemy: The Mandolin Slicer

A few years ago, I went through a phase where I was really into kitchen gadgets. I have actually always been fascinated by these different kinds of products. I think it is interesting when a commercial comes on promising that a fancy, new gadget can make your life 10 times easier in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, I own an infomercial product known as the Nuwave Oven. (You can watch a video where I talk about it here.) But, at this time, I was really looking for something to help me slice things.

As a visually impaired person, using a knife can be somewhat tricky. You have to make sure you are being very careful while at the same time trying to be effective with what you are doing. It doesn't make it easy. So, I went searching for something to help me cut up a variety of things.

I found a lot of different options, but one thing that caught my eye was something called a mandolin slicer. This unit is pretty simple. It has a sharp blade at the end of a ramp in which you slide the food product down. There is usually a piece that acts as a hand grip in which you place the food into. That way, you don't cut yourself while cutting up potatoes for some homemade chips.

My wife, who is always very supportive of these new projects I have, and I went to the store to pick up my new toy. I was very excited to get it home and try it out. The first thing I wanted to cut was a cucumber. My family really likes cucumbers and likes to just have slices of them to eat for a snack. I figured this would be a great trial run for my new slicing machine.

I placed the hard guard into the cucumber and went to slicing. The only problem was that because the cucumber was so tall, it would bend forwards whenever I would hit the blade. I needed to be able to hold more of the cucumber so that it would remain steady. So, like anyone would do in this situation, I took the hand guard off and begin cutting. After all, who really cuts their hand on these things?

Answer: You guessed it.

Right at the end of the cucumber, my index and middle finger on my right hand went right into the blade. I immediately pulled my hand back and made that noise you make when you suck air back through your teeth. My wife looked up from what she was doing assuming I was joking. After all, I had just made a bunch of comments about people who would be silly enough to cut their hands. She then realized I wasn't joking as she saw my blood running down the white cabinet door.

At this point, I need to say that my wife has been a nurse for over a decade and has seen her fair share of incidents. She is calm and collected with a very good head for emergency situations. I am very lucky to have her especially when something like this takes place. I say that because I'm sure she had thoughts like, “What a moron!” were running through her head, but she was very kind to me in the midst of it all.

My wife immediately went into “take care of my dope husband” mode and drug me to the sink. As the cool water was pouring over ┬ámy bloody fingers, I asked her if I would need stitches. After a pause, she calmly replied, “Your going to need something.” She got me all wrapped up, shoved me to the car and drove me to the hospital.

Now, I need to say at this point I had never had a broken bone, surgery or anything of the sort. The worst I have had is an asthma attack on the playground. So, going to the Emergency Room was a bit scary. I was clearly showing that I was a bit nervous when I walked in the door because the person waiting at the desk got me a wheelchair to sit in and got me in right away. (My wife said they probably thought I was having a heart attack because of how pale I looked.)

After a couple of hours, I was all bandaged up and on my way. The bandage looked a lot worse than the cut actually was. In the end, I only got stitches in my middle finger. The tip of my index finger was just about completely sliced off, but they thought stitches would make it harder for it to grow back. Not sure whether it would have helped or not, but I will say my finger tip still isn't the same. And, the shot to numb my fingers was probably worse than the cut itself. I guess that's the price you pay for medical attention.

So, why am I sharing this story today? Well, for one, so you can have a good laugh at my expense. And, to remind you that you shouldn't get too cocky around kitchen appliances, especially those that have a sharp blade on them. They are not forgiving.

By the way, I never used that mandolin slicer again and we have since gotten rid of it. To many bad memories. In fact, my fingers still throb if I think about it or see one on TV.

What about you? Any embarrassing stories that you have experienced by a lack of sight and too much confidence? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!