I found The Haunted Wordsmith’s prompt fascinating today. “I want to rip my nose off.” Life for those with hay fever and allergies must be awful. Runny nose, watery eyes, and constant sneezing must be a pain (literally and figuratively). I have to admit to not being a sufferer of these maladies. I have, however, suffered colds and flu. The rawness of my nose after several days of scratchy tissues does make “ripping one’s nose off” seem an attractive alternative.
Or does it?
When I was 22, I needed to lose a couple of pounds before reporting for duty. My solution was to pick up on my running regime. Just before one of these outings, my mother said she had a bad feeling about it. She suggested that I go for a cycling trip with my wife instead. It seemed a reasonable enough alternative.
We set off on a journey down a nearby cycle route which ran through tree lined parkland. It was pleasant enough.
We came to a section of the bike trail which had a fairly steep decline. As we descended my speed began to increase. At first this didn’t seem an issue. But my acceleration continued.
As I approached what must have been nearly 30 mph, a fairly tight curve appeared before me. I started to apply the hand breaks. But the screeching of the rubber pads was doing little to arrest my momentum.
What should I do?
I squeezed even tighter. Then, I swear to this day, I heard an audible ping as the break cable snapped.
At the speed I was travelling, I could not negotiate the bend. I ended up shooting into the tree line. I did my best to maneuver through the woods, and managed to avoid head on collisions with the bigger trunks. But alas there was a two inch thick dogwood. It was positioned in such a way that it couldn’t be avoided.
My front tyre passed by it by inches, but the handle bar struck it firmly. The bike jerked upwards and launched me somehow under the rising handlebar. As I flew past, the break lever caught inside my right nostril.
I found myself in a sitting position a few yards in front of the crash-site. I was covered in blood, having left my breathing apparatus behind.
Several hours in hospital and some very skilled reconstructive surgery was able to produce a fairly straight nose. There is a scar line all around, and the right nostril is still a bit mis-shapen, but “it works.”
So when you next feel the signs of a cold coming on, or the ragweed is starting to make its nasty presence known, think twice about thinking, “I want to rip my nose off.” It’s not recommended.
Take it from one who “has the T-shirt.”
A TRUE STORY!