When Uncle Ted lost both of his hands in a freak shaving accident the whole family rallied round in support. We sat him down to watch Hook, Short Citcuit and Edward Scissorhands and made lots of helpful suggestions.
Everyone had their own ideas. Aunt Linda thought that instead of fingers he could have a tin opener, a pair of scissors, a whisk. He would be such a help in the kitchen. My parents had other ideas. They suggested a career in home improvement – he could have a set of screwdrivers attached, maybe a hammer and some pliers. Granddad said it would be handy to have a corkscrew and a bottle opener whilst Gran preferred knitting needles and a bingo dabber.
Uncle Ted complained that he wouldn’t have enough fingers for all these suggestions, but we didn’t see why he had to stick to ten.
We suggested pens and pencils, paintbrushes, torches, knives, forks, spoons, tape measures, spirit levels, keys, radio aerials, toothbrushes, USB sticks and a Sonic Screwdriver.
Uncle Ted threw his stumps up in frustration and announced that he was going out for a walk. We carried on drawing up a list of possibilities.
When he returned hours later we were all disappointed to find that he had been to see the doctor and been fitted with normal fake hands. It was fair enough, it was his decision after all but we couldn’t help feeling let down by his lack of imagination.
Aunt Linda, on the other hand, was livid. This was his chance to be useful around the house, she said. Now he had ruined everything.
None of us were surprised a week later when Uncle Ted lost his new fake hands in another freak shaving accident.