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Wednesday, July 19

Injury Time

Last night I was injured. It happened in a way that I might not have predicted. In order to avoid creating a sense of suspense over whether I'm in hospital, I'll reveal that I lost a small amount of blood, I wasn't the only person to be injured, no hospital visit or medical help was sought and four steri-strips were applied as the overall solution to the problem.

However, the story is about the telling, not just the result.

Here's a question to consider when I tell the story: is this a DIY accident?

I got back to Reading last night via the Tesco where I discovered I'd only lost a pound this week, which was a bit of a disappointment. The combination hutch and run, which my girlfriend had bought for her guinea pigs, had arrived. It comprised a number of wooden panels, some with a mesh, some screws and some really badly written instructions, including a request to "faten" some panels. I tried feeding them mashed potatoes, but ended up just fastening them to each other.

The run was assembled first. Then it came time to assemble the hutch, which sits on the run and has a ramp/ladder which leads from a hole in its floor to the ground where the guinea pigs (or rabbits, as the run was intended for bunnies mainly) can run around.

The hutch was harder to assemble and lead to a discussion over how the hinged roof should be attached. The hinges didn't seem to be an obvious fit for anywhere. I eventually sussed out the mechanism, but still managed to attach the hinges so that some screws were poking out somewhere. Not good. Still, I moved the hinges to the corners and the hinged roof did its job.

Final job, put the guinea pigs into their new home.

We quickly discovered that the rungs on the ramp/ladder were too far apart for the little piggies to use. We shoved them up and down the ladder a few times and they couldn't go up without help, and slid down between rungs. So, out came the saw and some scrap wood. I'm not as careful as I should be with the saw, but somehow managed to cut extra rungs, which I then nailed to the ramp. More guinea piggy shoving and it was clear that the bigger of the guinea pigs would master the ladder. We seemed to have it set up ok.

Despite the cat slinking about the place, this run looked like a good home for the two creatures, who have been confined to a small cage until now. Worse than that, they've had only half the cage each - a divider having been set up to stop them fighting. The bigger one is very territorial and had been injuring the smaller one. Indeed, even in the expanse of the new run, they were still squaring up to each other and the bigger one attacked the smaller one a couple of times.

In a foolish attempt to shove the cute white fluffy guinea pig away from the cute small black one, I suddenly found my thumb bleeding and in a lot of pain. The little bastard had given me something bigger than a nip. Ouch and a half. My girlfriend stepped in to shove him away and got a hole in her finger. Holding my bleeding thumb, I put a bit of board in front of the nasty white animal and rescued the small guinea pig.

Then, like extras from a Monty Python movie, with one of the two warring animals in tow, we escaped into the kitchen to clean wounds.

My thumb hurts a lot.

Here's the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the musical of which will hit the West End stage in October:

That's the one that got me, officer.

It's a good job that I'm not gigging heavily this week - the thumb is used for guitar picking and plectrum holding. I think it should be healed enough by the weekend when my next gig is.

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