There are a cacophony of reasons why I am probably going to hell and why any children I may have will mostly likely be completely defective, but this story is at the top of the list. I am not proud of what I’m about to tell you and I probably shouldn’t be telling you at all, but I fear I’ve painted myself in too attractive a light so far and I need you all to know what I’m really capable of. Also, as horrible as it is, it’s pretty fucking funny.
When I was 18 I worked retail at a pet supply store for a little over a year. I did everything from cleaning cages and feeding animals, to working the register and stealing candy. One day while working the register, I had a little old man come up to my counter to purchase a large bag of dog food. I assume the guy was a veteran of some war because after I rang up his dog food and he retrieved his wallet from his back pocket I noticed that he was not in possession of either of his thumbs. I don’t know how best to describe my feelings toward amputees. It’s not fear or disgust of any kind, it’s more of a discomfort. I have no problem with the actual person, just the idea of being without a limb of my own. This uneasiness instantly knocked me off my game. I’m not trying to justify my actions, only help you better understand my mindset.
The old man’s lack of thumbs made recovering his debit card from the tight sleeve within his wallet very difficult. I watched him struggle in vain for what felt like eons. He tried pinching it with his pointer and middle fingers, but couldn’t get underneath the card to manage this feat. He then tried clawing at it with all four fingers, but was unable to get any traction. I didn’t want to offer him assistance, because I was unsure if that would be insulting to him. Not that it would matter much in about 15 seconds.
Finally, without saying a word, he abandoned all further attempts and passed his wallet over to me for assistance. I then used my two existing thumbs to begin pushing the card up and out of the sleeve. It took a second or two, because this card really was stuck pretty tight. The whole time I was focused on my own thumbs and thinking to myself, ‘Whatever you do, do not mention thumbs. Do. Not. Mention. Thumbs.” Once I managed to free the card, without thinking, I returned my attention to this defeated little old man, looked him straight in the eyes, held up both my hands giving him two solid thumbs up, and gloatingly said, “Ooh, thumbs!”