Send help 2-17: An embarrassing altercation with super glue

By JOHN LORSON Columnist Published:

A brief recap: Man meticulously details car in preparation for sale. Man opens tube of super glue in preparation to make teeny, tiny repair to plastic trim of car. Boy walks into driveway with dog. Dog lies down in mud puddle. Man hollers at dog. Dog flees man by leaping into meticulously detailed car. Man screams. Dog and man briefly vanish into a cartoonlike maelstrom of flailing limbs and flying fur. Dog returns to driveway puddle. Man mops up mess. Super glue tube is forgotten ... in pocket of man!

After parking the once-again glowing and gleaming Suburban in the garage for the night, I moved to slip my keychain into my front-left pant pocket. It wouldn't fit. Mysteriously, the hand-sized opening of said pocket had been reduced to a slot no larger than my thumb! Stranger still, when I pulled my thumb out of the pocket there was a gum wrapper and a dime stuck to the end of it! I looked down in horror to find a dark circle the diameter of a tuna can bleeding through my pant leg!

Within seconds I was standing in the kitchen with my pants undone. The circle on the outside of my trousers was merely a witness to the grim goings-on inside. The uncapped tube of super glue had been oozing for at least a half an hour. I would have loved to have whipped my pants off immediately to fully assess the damage; however my pants were presently attached to my leg by a pocket that had become hopelessly bonded to my thigh. It occurred to me fairly quickly that something would need to be sacrificed, if I were ever to free myself. I cut the pocket free from the pants and they fell to the ground. I was now sporting a pair of boxers with a pocket glued to the thigh. More interesting still, the pocket contained things -- many things -- not the least of which was an empty tube of super glue. I carefully tore away at the cotton to reveal an interesting amalgam of coins, wrappers, paper-clips and pocket lint that had been bonded together like the barnacle-bound booty of a pirate's treasure chest lost under the sea for centuries. I tore this assemblage free. Now I was down to merely a pair of what seemed to be permanently installed boxer shorts.

I hurriedly waddled to the computer to Google up the antidote for super glue. There were many suggestions and more than a few ended with clear instructions to proceed to the nearest emergency room, but I felt strongly that those were intended for folks who had glued their chin to their chest or some other such tragedy. What I was really hoping for was some sort of solvent or softening agent. What I found was more than a few recommendations to "soak the affected area in olive oil." While I'm fairly certain this solution was being directed at those who had bonded a pair of fingers together, I did briefly entertain thoughts of filling the bathtub with olive oil, which I figured to be the only way to effectively soak a thigh. After calculating that it would take several hundred dollars worth of the green stuff just to get to the proper depth, I resolved to trim the pocket down as close to my skin as possible and wait for my body to simply "shed it off."

The shedding process lasted just under a week, was absolutely free and relatively painless. There was really only one drawback: I had to keep the spot carefully covered in the YMCA locker room for fear the guys would think I had either come down with some sort of leprosy or had begun to bloom hand-sized scales. Their curiosity would have precipitated a conversation I was not yet willing to have. Furthermore, the one-liners would have been merciless, foul and never-ending, and I figured I had already endured enough trauma for one week!

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