Wolfe’s Woofer: Pain

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

“I retired last month and I came down here looking for a place to settle down.”
The man sitting at the table next to mine on the deck at the Holiday Hotel had introduced himself as Allen.
“What kind of work did you do, Allen?”
“I worked on the bomb squad in Washington, D.C. That’s how I got this.”
When he held up his left hand I noticed two fingers were missing.
“Ooh!” I said. “That must have been painful.”
“Ah, it was nothing. I’ve had much worse pain than that.”
“Worse than having two fingers blown off? What could be more painful than that?”
Allen said, “I love to go hunting. Every chance I get I go out into the woods of Virginia and hunt turkey. A few years back I tripped over a log and my shotgun went off and blew off four of the toes on my foot.”
He slipped off his shoe and sure enough, four toes were missing.
“That’s terrible,” I said. “That must be the most horrible pain in the world.”
“Nah, I had a lot worse pain than that. I was five miles from my truck so I used the shotgun as a crutch and began hobbling back. That was truly painful but I’ve had even worse pain. I was struggling along and suddenly I had to go to the bathroom. I dropped my trousers and squatted down right on a bear trap. Are you familiar with bear traps?”
“Yes, they’re usually about three feet long with sharp, rusty teeth. Hunters chain them to the tree so the bear doesn’t run off with the trap.”
“When I touched that bear trap and it clamped down, I began to know the real meaning of the word pain,” Allen said.
I said, “That definitely must be the worst pain you ever felt.”
“No. The worst pain I ever felt was when I hit the end of the chain.”

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