Sometimes a man gets hungry. Sometimes this happens late at night. Sometimes this happens when the man is slightly drunk. If this transpires the best solution is always the mighty sandwich (if there is no Kebab place within the ‘can be bothered’ range). A big, fat sandwich can always satisfy a late night inebriated snackers hunger but it is not without its risks.
The problem with making a sandwich at 1am in the morning while slightly inebriated is that alcohol thins the blood. This fact might sound irrelevant to the sandwich making process (unless you are a vampire) but when you introduce the element of the knife used to cut the bread ingredient it’s alarming how quickly this random fact becomes very relevant. Especially when the sandwich maker accidentally slices through their left index finger (while attempting to cut the bread) and proceeds to bleed all over the kitchen floor.
This is a professional risk in the sandwich making career path and it is the situation I suddenly found myself in after my ill-conceived inebriated plan to make a bread based snack went horribly wrong.
After the initial shock had set in and the swearing was done I quickly started to open drawers with one hand, searching for plasters while I held the injured finger up high in an attempt to slow the bleeding (but all it resulted in was blood dripping onto my head instead).
This all happened the day before I was going to move in with my girlfriend (farther highlighting the possibility that men actually do need women to look after them and stop them injuring and/or maiming themselves) so I was still living in a house occupied by two guys, myself and my flat mate Jochem who was out during all this, fulfilling his hunger with the much more sensible option of take-away noodles. As most people will know an apartment or any other kind of residential abode occupied by one or more guys is less likely to contain anything practical like plasters in it so I gave up my search as quickly as it had began.
The bleeding was showing no signs of stopping anytime soon so my only other option was to go back and forth between the kitchen and the bathroom while switching between cleaning the wound in the kitchen sink where there was hot water and wrapping my finger in toilet paper in the bathroom where there was no hot water. Because the flow of blood would not stop flowing I had to make this trip several times which resulted in me leaving trails across the floor indicating my route around the apartment like some kind of gothic emo version of Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumb trail.
During all this Jochem came home and found me looking like I had just attempted a cry for help. I quickly filled him in on the details, put my coat on as I did so and finished the story with, “and now I’m going out to buy plasters.”
And so I walked around the streets of Amsterdam, at 1:10am, trying to keep my bleeding toilet paper wrapped finger held high enough to slow the bleeding but not so high that it made me look crazy. Instead I ended up holding it half way up in the hope that I would only look half crazy but in reality I probably looked full crazy. After sometime searching for an open late first aid shop I had to face the fact that there was nowhere open for me to buy plasters. I was left with only one choice. I had already thought about it when I had first passed the place but I really didn’t want to do it if I didn’t have to. However, I could not keep on walking around and bleeding all over Amsterdam.
All of this is why at 1:20am on a Tuesday morning I found myself standing in the Leidseplein police station, looking like a serial killer as I clutched my blood covered hand wrapped in soggy wet red toilet paper and used my best ‘please don’t arrest me’ face in the hope that as I asked, “do you have a plaster,” the officer behind the desk did not hear, “I just killed six people.”
You might be thinking this is the point in the story where things take another comedic turn and I ended up on the floor with mace in my face, handcuffs around my hands and the knee of a shouty police man in my back as he pinned me to the floor while thinking about his shiny new medal for capturing a crazed mass murderer… well you would be wrong.
The reaction I got was… Dutch. By this I mean he helped me but he really did not give a damn. He did not want to know the story behind my incriminating bloody hand and cut me off mid-sentence as I tried to tell him by asking me how many plasters I needed. He was probably thinking about the amount of paper work he would have to do if he listened to a confession of six murders.
He then proceeded to take a large plaster out of the first aid box behind his desk and cut the minimum amount possible from it instead of just giving me the whole plaster. He looked slightly annoyed when I asked for more. He cut an even smaller piece and pointed in the direction of the bathroom, telling me that I better clean my injury (while still managing to show nothing that could be classified as concern).
I entered the bathroom, proceeded to clean my finger in the sink and once again tried to get the bleeding under control. By the time I accomplished this I had also managed to cover the sink, tiles and some of the floor with a lot of DNA evidence. Since it did not seem like a good idea to leave a police station bathroom covered in blood I quickly cleaned everything up before the CSI team could be called in to figure out what the hell had just happened.
After exiting the bathroom I made the Dutch policeman even more grumpy by asking if I could have another plaster ‘just in case there was another breech’. He cut the smallest possible amount again, probably in an attempt to avoid it being counted as aiding and abetting in court.
I returned home to discovered that Jochem had been nice enough to clean up the blood I had left all over our kitchen. This seemed like a good idea as it would avoid any awkward questions about my whereabouts and well-being after I ‘moved out’ (especially since builders had recently ripped out one of our walls and done a bad job of rebuilding it).
I stood in the kitchen and thought about eating the sandwich to help counteract the blood loss weakness. I looked my finger, picked up the sandwich and threw the damn thing in the bin.
In hindsight I probably should have gone to the hospital when it happened. It was a very deep cut, it took several days to heal and I now have a permanent scar.
I keep on thinking about the officer in the police station and what he must have had to write in the overnight log book. I imagine it was something like:
“Idiot Englishman came in after doing something stupid that resulted in him cutting his finger. Could not be arsed. Gave him a plaster so he would go away.”