Beware the Dangler

This is my face. This is my face with eyebrow blood. It is an unfortunate situation.
This is my face. This is my face with eyebrow blood. It is an unfortunate situation.

It all started so innocently.


I was at the gas station, walking toward my gas pump. Yes, the wind was blowing and yes, the snow was coming down and yes, that meant I reached up to pull my coat hood up around my face, but who knew each of these things would be the tipping of the domino that led me to a bloody disaster?!


Yes, it’s true. I bled today. From my brow.


The tragedy of sticking with the same coat I was wearing in 1999 is that the fashions of the 90s are perhaps not as safety-conscious as the fashions of today. My jacket, black and lightly contoured to give me a willowy shape despite the obvious bulkiness of an inch of down feathers coating my midriff, also has a hood. The hood comes complete with an elastic pull string and a chrome metal dangler.


“Dangler” is my own special word for the pully-thingy that is on the hood of my black down jacket. It is a fine word, and I’ve chosen it specifically for this purpose.


The first winter storm of the year hit our mountaintop town today and dropped about four inches of snow. Until today I’ve trotted around wearing a hooded sweatshirt but the 20* temperatures sent me running for the down jacket, knitted cap, and Bogs boots.


I needed to get gas, because I’ve heard it’s a bad thing when you let the fumes in your car gas tank freeze, and the blowing wind was chilly as it swirled its fingers around my neck and down my back.


So, being a quick thinker, I flipped the hood up on my coat as I pumped gas. Then I decided my neck insulation would be even more complete if I grasped the dangler and pulled the elastic string of the hoot taut around my face.


This was a fantastic plan, and 100% assured of wind-blocking success, except that as I pulled the elastic with the heavy metal dangler on it away from my face, the dangler slipped out of my gloved fingers and I basically shot myself in the head with my makeshift hoodie rubber band gun.


The dangler hurtled toward my face at an astonishing velocity and nailed me, hard, on the eyebrow.


I considered dropping to the ground, clutching my face, and howling, “I’ve been hit! I’ve been hit!” but decided that might be a bit melodramatic, so instead settled for letting loose a choice word.


(I believe the exact word was “dadgumit!” because I have the cursing repertoire of a third grader.)


I stood in the wind, pumping 73 gallons of gas for Stella the Suburban to consume in 32 seconds, and stomped down the desire to bawl because my eyebrow hurt. By the time I got back into the car my face was pretty much frozen, so I was surprised to look in the rearview mirror and discover I had a pool of frozen blood running down my face.


Yes, folks, due to an amazing example of operator skill, my winter jacket made my face bleed.


Proud, so very proud. I was in the gifted program in school, can’t you tell??


Of course, instead of crying, I immediately took a picture and texted it to my husband so he could share in my pride of accomplishment. He was suitably impressed.


The moral of this story is, of course, never pump your own gas.


The end.


Have you ever been wounded by your clothing?



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One thought on “Beware the Dangler

  • December 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

    You must know some tame third graders. We had Jaden’s party yesterday and the F-word escaped the mouth of a certain first grader! I was appalled and let him know that language of that sort was not allowed in my house.

    And…I’m sorry you don’t know how to work your jacket. 😉


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