Stuck in the Middle

A follower of this blog and a dear friend (more like a brother, but not the brother that borrows your power tools and never returns them or gives you nut punches, but the sensitive, artistic, loving bother that would do anything for you including lending you money, hint-hint if you are reading this “bro”) has agreed to let me use this picture of his finger in a blog post for the express purpose of merry mirth-making.


Covered with the giant novelty bandage, you would think that he severed his finger and it has been surgically reattached with the hope that he may be able to point directions to lost motorists sometime in the distant future again after years of physical therapy and pain dulling opioids that I wish he would share with me. However, the bottom line is …

No stitches. That’s right, zero stitches. Oversize joke bandage? Check. Double digit (no pun intended) stitches? Nope. Apparently, the wound from the knife that precipitated this finger-mummy was held together with steri-strips, the weak, red-haired stepchild of the stitch.

That’s bad news for him (and for me … read on despite your best instincts) in that he is a talented guitarist and recording artist. He told me that he can’t play the guitar now. Hmmm, did I mention he received no stitches? Couldn’t he use his club finger to easily make nothing but barre chords?


Sorry, guitarist joke.

I immediately became suspicious that maybe he had an ulterior motive for the disabled digit. He’s been working on putting one of my songs to music. Hold on, before you plunge pencils through your eardrums, I can assure you that my music will never be accessible through this blog. OK, now that that’s clear, back to his ulterior motive. I suspected that perhaps he did not want to complete our song collaboration. Maybe he recognized it as the greatest song ever written and he didn’t want me to go on to fame and fortune, leaving him behind with his humongous bandaged appendage. Then I read the song lyrics again, and came to my senses.

Yes, it is indeed the greatest song ever written. I am preparing my Grammy acceptance speech now. But that’s not the reason for his recent foot-dragging on the song, and now the gauze bowling pin on his finger. The real problem? His kids.

They are both great kids: attractive, smart, talented and personable. The problem is that they are both in middle school. Middle schoolers are simply the worst. They are involved in everything, and have to be driven everywhere. Once they start driving in high school, we eagerly let them get behind the wheel of a high speed, multi-ton weapon in order to avoid being at their beck and call, waiting for their next text about a pick-up or drop-off like an unpaid Uber driver. While in middle school, they are a time drain worse than sleeping at night. With 2 kids in middle school, he simply has no time to do anything other than tend to his middle schoolers’ schedules.

The finger will heal. The song will still be waiting. The middle schoolers will continue to require constant shuttling to an interminable series of school-sponsored and extra curricular events and activities. But I do have a solution.

Adoption. It’s not too late. He has established bonds that won’t be broken just by putting them up for adoption for a few years. I suggest just through the college years to avoid the hefty tuition bills. Maybe he’ll want to wait to re-establish contact until after his daughter marries to avoid costly wedding expenses. Sure, they may come back around before that after they turn 18 and legally become adults, but there are restraining orders to take care of that problem.

I hope this post helps him. I only wish I had written the world’s greatest song years ago while my kids were in middle school.

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