04 May 2006


Bonk seems to be my favourite word at the moment and I'm not sure why. Not in the naughtiness sense of the word, just as a word... it just makes me laugh. I'm going through something of a childish phase at the moment.

So I thought I'd tell a story of terrible physical injury today. I have to admit I actually have no recall of the events I'm about to explain - for reasons which I'm sure will be apparent - so I only have other people's word for this. And a whopping great dent in my forehead.

When I was about 4 and my brother about 6, we decided to cut down a tree. As you do. I'm not sure if it was inspired by the Monty Python lumberjack song, or a need for wanton destruction, or just boredom; as I said, memory eludes me for this escapade, so I can only guess at the motives.

We found dad's hatchet in the shed. It was a nasty little thing - sharp, curved blade on the front and spiky hooky bit a the back, something like an ice-pick but not sharp. Very solid, however.

Now, for some reason the logic of a 4 year old isn't all that. Being too small to heft the axe myself, I let my brother do it. I wasn't *that* stupid though - I did at least try to find the safest place to be. Using the popular theory of opposites, I figured the most dangerous place to be would be in front of my brother - and therefore the safest place to be would be behind him. Directly behind him.

He went for the first blow. He swung the hatchet back.


My parents came into the garden to find my lying on the grass, blood gushing from my forehead, an axe lying beside me, and a somewhat concerned brother standing by me.

I went to hospital but the queue was very long. By the time I was half way down it I'd stopped crying and the bleeding had stopped so we went home. To this day, if a queue's too long I'll just give up on something. Although that's a somewhat different story.

I had no permanent internal damage I know about; perhaps one day a brain scan will show otherwise (I'd love to see my brain). Scar-wise, I sadly don't have a big manly white line down my forehead like Harry Potter, but if you'd care to feel I do have something of a dent in my forehead. Go on, ladies, feel my head.

And what did my brother say when my parents came out to find me lying there? As he stood over my prone and bleeding body, the axe lying next to me on the grass, he looked up at my parents and uttered the immortal line "he did it to himself".

And they believed him for years until they worked out I couldn't even pick the axe up myself.

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