On a balmy July evening, when he should have been at a party with his Fiance and his uni friends, Gavin Darracott contemplated the intricacies of rhino reconstruction surgery to repair the effects of overusing cocaine. The middle classes were practically bathing in the stuff. Weekend wild things partying like it was 1999. The problem is that it was 2009 and that party was well and truly over. However, Gavin was a dab hand at reconstructive surgery, and he was sure that he could get rich replacing or repairing septums. A tidal wave of facial reconstruction amongst the white collared upwardly mobile was going to smash through the city like a stampede of wild horses, white horses, and Gav wanted to ride those bastards all the way to the bank.

A sly little smile drew itself across his face as his daydream was broken by the annoying click and beep of his pager. He glanced down. This particular night, party night, he was duty surgeon in A and E, and he was expecting an onslaught of self-inflicted, alcohol assisted mayhem to strike at any moment. Gavin jumped up and hurried himself down to A and E.

Striding through the massive double doors, he was met by a nurse, “Doctor, we have a male, mid-forties who has severed off all of his fingers. Clean off. All of ‘em. His thumbs are intact. He had managed to save the fingers he has them in a crisp packet before we did anything I wanted you to have a look.”
“Thanks, Jane, where is he?”
“Consultation room seven.”
“Ok, let’s see what he has to say for himself.”
“We have given him pain relief he is bit drowsy.”
“Ok leave it with me.”

Gavin walked into the room to see the sorriest sight he had seen in a very long time. A typical Dad, sat there, wearing cargo pants, flip-flops and a faded out Clash T-shirt looked up at him with dopey, should have known better eyes. Or perhaps the opiates had possessed him already. On a steel table next to the man was a crumpled yellow monster munch bag. Hands look very strange indeed without fingers, Gavin thought as he gently and carefully unwrapped the tea towels that had served as makeshift bandages.
“What’s your name, sir?” Gavin asked.
“Alan, Alan Lygo.”
“Ok Alan, you have done an excellent job of amputating your fingers. May I ask how you managed such a precise operation?”
“Well, I come home from work, and the wife asked if I’d trim the hedge like you know. I couldn’t be bothered to get the clippers out and the plastic matt and all that.”
Gavin frowned. “So, I got me old hover mower out, lifted it vertical and swooshed it up and down the hedge.’
“Ok, so…”
“Well, Wendy Poke walked past in the smallest shorts you’ve ever seen, I only turned my head for a sec, and the bloody mower slipped. I caught it like. But the bloody thing took me fingers off.”
“Right, not the wisest idea was it?”
“Not really no. The wife picked ‘em up and put ‘em in that bag,” Alan waved his stubby hand at the Monster Munch bag, “can you save them?”
“Well, I would have preferred you to preserve them in a dish or bag of ice, rather than a packet of crisps. I’m not sure, I’ll have a look and see.” Gavin gave Alan a smile. “Nurse, prepare Mr. Lygo for surgery. Theatre seven please.”

Alan was wheeled down to the theatre. Gavin scrubbed up and began a three-hour odyssey into the replantation of eight dirty digits sprinkled with roast beef flavoured crisp dust.

Gavin slumped down into his chair. He had done the best he could. Alan’s hands now resembled bunches of mauve bananas that had been run over by a Fiesta. Gavin wasn’t sure if they would take or be rejected. He was confident that despite sterilisation and deep scrubbing an infection was likely. He would also bet his house that Alan would never play the guitar. Gavin took a swig from a paper coffee cup. The sour liquid was tepid, and he winced. He looked back, and Nurse Jane was behind him. “You’re not going to believe this.”
“We’ve got another one. A bloke is sat in A and E with all of his fingers in a bag of ice. Cut clean off, all eight. Thumbs intact.”
“What? You’re joking me right?”
“No, come see for yourself.”
“Well, at least I have a half a chance of saving these.”

There, in an A and E consultation room was another sorry looking fellow. With crimson stained bandages wrapped around his hands and a morphine stare. “What have we here?”
“Hello Doctor, I feel rather stupid. Bloody silly in fact.”
“What’s your name?”
“Mark, Mark Clayton.”
“Can you explain what happened Mark?”
“Yes, I was driving home from work tonight. It was a lovely evening, I was watching the world go by, when I noticed a chap on Stanford Avenue trimming his privet hedge with his lawn mower…..” Gavin’s eyes narrowed, and his forehead creased like a pensioners bingo wing, “.. and I thought what a very good idea…..”


This is a short story by Nick Mann, if you liked it, you can find more of the buggers here. Otherwise, if you have enjoyed it please consider sharing it – Karma and my badself will thank you for it. The buttons are on the right, thank you kindly.

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