Chris Clarke wrote about his scars, which naturally caused me to think of my own.
My biggest scar: From my C-section, a bikini-line incision. It measures 5 ½ inches from end to end, and a human being was pulled through that slit. Granted, Ben was a very small human being at that point, but still—it's really not a wide scar at all considering its purpose. The nurses on the OB ward marveled at what a lovely incision the doctor had made. Um, all right, if you say so.
My most dramatic scar: A half-inch oval on the inside of my left calf. In 1991, my new husband and I went downtown for Chicago's grand 3rd of July fireworks. Hey, when you add a million spectators and their cars to a small part of downtown, nobody's getting home at a decent hour, so why hold the fireworks show on the 4th? Everyone who has to work on the 5th will be short on sleep. Given those huge crowds, including many thousands of people taking the bus or the El, getting home by public transportation was going to be crowded, sweaty, and uniformly unpleasant. So Mr. Tangerine and I decided we'd walk home along the lakefront. Sure, the 5-mile walk would take us a couple hours, but it was a lovely night.
Alas, some bozo on Lake Shore Drive lit a cherry bomb and tossed it over the edge of the road...and down to the crowded sidewalks by Monroe Harbor, filled with holiday revelers. That firecracker exploded in the air next to my leg. I had a gouged-out spot on my calf, a bleeding chemical burn, plus many speckles of chemical burn on the rest of my leg real estate. The concussive noise knocked out my hearing for a few days. And boy-oh-boy, you don't want to be in a crowded place outdoors when you require emergency medical assistance. We walked a few blocks to North Pier, with bars and restaurants and phones, and waited for my ambulance. A fire truck arrived first. For me! I felt so special. Then they summoned an ambulance because I didn't much feel like walking to the ER...though it probably would have been faster to walk, I was pretty out of it. The ambulance carted me, what, maybe a half mile. I don't remember how long the trip took.
I had to bide my time in the ER—that woman who'd been beaned by a glass beer bottle was a higher priority. Eventually they tended to my wounds and prescribed a silver burn ointment, and I skipped pantyhose for a couple weeks. (I can scarcely believe that I was wearing pantyhose every day to work back them. Everyone did! Those were crazy times.)
The truly dramatic part of this tale is that we had been strolling behind a couple who were walking their bikes. Attached to one bike was a trailer with their twin babies going for a ride. Can you imagine if the cherry bomb had been tossed a moment sooner and it had exploded between those babies? Or if it had been next to my head and not my lower legs?
People who are made uneasy by fireworks and/or crowd scenes love this story and retell it to explain their objections to 4th of July antics.
So: How big is your biggest scar? What's your best scar story?