The Time I Split My Head Open (Well, one of the times)

Yes, that’s right, I sometimes do things that are unsafe. I don’t do them because they are unsafe, I do them because they are a shortcut, or they are my best option at the time. This was one of those times where the whole thing backfired, and I wound up in the hospital.

I was living in Chilliwack, and working for Rudy at Westside when I was sent to this steel mill to pick up these big steel rings that had to go to a pulp mill in Ontario. The mill was somewhere around Youngstown, Ohio, and it was Friday morning. I was at the place the night before, so I would be first in line to get loaded. The mill was going to shut down at 3 PM, and if I didn’t get the load on, I would be waiting there all weekend.

They were about ten feet in diameter

They loaded me up by 9 AM, and I went out to chain it down. The rings were stacked about five high, and there was dunnage (chunks of wood) in between the rings. I know that a lot of you have never chained down loads of anything before, so I’ll let you know that chaining things with no corners is a pain in the ass. I got all of my chains thrown, and the shipper took off to tend to his other loads while I finished up. I got my snipe (winch bar),

Look at you. Learning new things. Well, I'm sure some of you are.

and then I grabbed some boomers (bear traps, chain binders)

Make up your mind, world. What's it called?

and I proceeded to chain that bitch down.

When you are chaining down a load, you always try to get one more bite on the chain with your boomer. You need it to be as taut as it possibly can be, before you drive away. Here is a video where you can see the resistance while snapping it down, before he secures the handle. It’s at 1:20, so if you can move ahead, do it. This guy is boring.

Now I’m not a really big guy, so I need to put my weight into it when I am securing a load onto a trailer. I had been struggling with one boomer, and I put my bent snipe on it, and went to town, jumping up, trying to get it to snap shut, but it would not quite make it. As I did the final jump, the snipe spun and released a pile of inertia. It came at me so fast, I had no chance to get out of the way.

When I came to, my ears were ringing. I jumped up quickly and began to look around in shock and bewilderment. I saw my hat and glasses on the floor, so I went to pick them up. As I bent over, blood started dripping all over the floor and my stuff. I grabbed my things, and then went to find someone to help. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but the peak of my hat was dented in pretty bad, and I still had the ringing in my ears. It was all I could hear, really. I could feel the footsteps as I walked, but couldn’t hear them. I’ll admit that I was a little worried.

I saw a guy walk past the door, and called out to him. He stopped and came back towards me. I don’t know how many of you have taken a first aid course, but the ones that I’ve been a part of, clearly tell you to remain calm and reassure the patient that they will be alright. You are not supposed to look at their wound and shout, “OH MY GOD, OH MY FUCKING GOD. YOUR HEAD.”, and then run away. That is exactly what this guy did.

That was when I got really scared. I thought that maybe my skull was broken, and he just saw some of my brain, but because of being in shock, I didn’t know that I was going to be dead any moment now. I started walking faster, and turned towards where he had gone. That guy and two others headed me off at the pass, and one of them was putting on rubber gloves. He grabbed my shoulders and sat me firmly down in a chair by the wall. I must have looked panicked and dazed, because he was talking slow and loud, and explaining that I have wounded my head and need to relax and let him look at it.

It sounded weird, listening to him through the ringing, but I sat there and calmly asked him how bad it was. I then noticed the original freak that had lost it when he saw me.

“How bad is it?”

“Pretty bad, I think. We called the ambulance.” He replied.

“I was pretty worried, and then I saw a mirror on the opposite wall. I told the guy that I needed to stand up, and I went to the mirror.

“You fucking ASSHOLE!” I turned and yelled at the original freak. “You made me think my brains were exposed. What the fuck is wrong with you?”

The guy doing the first aid, sat me down again, but I didn’t object because I was a little dizzy. He told me that he thought I had a concussion, and needed some stitches.

“Oh, well I’m glad that you have informed me of your diagnosis, Doctor” I said to him.

He said again, “I think you have a concussion, you need to get that looked at.”

“Maybe I do, but what I need more is to get that load chained down, and the fuck out of here.”

They tried to stop me, but I told them to cancel the ambulance, and loan me a young guy and a bar, so I could get finished up before they were shutting down. They made me sign a waiver that stated that I refused ambulatory care, went against their judgement and blahbitty blah blah.

Do you hate when I cut a post short, because I can’t tell it in less than 1000 words? That’s what I’m doing here. Sorry.

Truckin’, like the do-dah man, once told me “You got to play your hand”, sometimes your cards ain’t worth a damn, if you don’t lay’em down,


Part two is here

7 thoughts on “The Time I Split My Head Open (Well, one of the times)

  1. Sounds like every man I have ever done firt aid on. Execpt the whining. Good for you for not doing that. Did you at least let the guy put a band aid on it?

  2. That’s hilarious! Not you getting hurt, the guy freaking out part. Some people are just like that. So did you have a concussion? And did you drive like that?

  3. Pingback: The Time I Split My Head Open – Part Deux

  4. I can’t wait to read part deux (which I’ll go do as soon as I finish posting my comment). Thankfully (spoiler alert) I know you’re ok, since this happened in the past and all that jazz. But, the part I got the most stuck on is… you lived WHERE??? Chilliwack? THAT is an awesome name for a town/city/whatever the hell you Canadians have up there. 🙂

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