My Sister and the Penis Leg

4 05 2010
My sister has a Penis Leg.
Oddly enough, a large portion of this story involves hands (or things to do with hands), and only a very minute amount is dedicated to anything actually involving a penis of any sort. I would elaborate on the title more, except that’s called ‘Telling a Story’, which is what I’m about to do.

I live in a household of six, two parents and four offspring including myself, which means we often encroach on one another’s personal space, use up all the hot water in the shower/dishwasher/clotheswasher, and in this instance, know instantly when one of us commits an act of downright hilarious stupidity. This one just happens to involve burn victims.

It was Christmas morning, and as usual we were all sitting awkwardly in the living room, waiting for someone to suggest that we open our gifts. Our family being as large as it is, we usually go for buying gifts in bulk if we can, to save ourselves from situations akin to the Two-Present Fiasco of ’01, during which I became convinced that my parents didn’t love me. Usually this means that everyone gets one or two unique things, while the rest of their junk is indentifiable as theirs only by color, because otherwise it’s identical to everyone else’s junk.

This time around, it was mittens. My sister and I had been complaining of chilly hands, since we live in Montana and the weather hates extremities, and we’d lost all of our own gloves in the previous year. I will never forget the look on my fellow classmate’s faces as I pulled off three pairs of leather electrical-industry work gloves before sitting down and getting to work. We were in desperate need, and my father desperately needed us to stop stealing his gloves, so this was a pretty good deal.

The mittens were soft, and multi-layered. I remember putting them on and realizing that there were finger-holes inside the mitten, but rather than being a hindrance, they provided extra insulation! It seemed impossible that these mittens could become any cooler, until I saw there was a small zippered pouch concealed on the back. Each pair had come with a set of handwarmers, which could be slipped inside the pocket and activated during the most aggressive of winter weather. For the first time in my life, I was actually thankful for mittens. My sister and I packed up our things, said our thankyous, and we all drifted back to our private corners of life.

Days went by. Christmas break oozed on by. I played with my art supplies, my sister played with her new mp3 player. We were at peace, silently appreciating our capitalist bounty in our own ways.

Then, one fateful morning, my sister limped into the kitchen, looking rather sheepish.

“Mom? Dad? I think I need to see a doctor.”

Usually, such a request is followed by my father suggesting that we believe any small ailment in cancer, and then his scathing disbelief that he could have raised such wimpy children, but the fact that her pants leg was bunched up helped to stave this off. On the side of one of her legs, a cavernous, oozing, inch-wide hole sat blistering, occasionally glistening at us.

“Jesus, what did you do to your leg?”

“I… burned myself.”

That wasn’t good enough. I could already tell this was going somewhere, so I sat to watch the tale unfold. My sister heaved a sigh, and regaled the events of the nights previous.

After Christmas, we had gone to our respective bedrooms, as mentioned. While I tossed the handwarmers and mittens to the side and bundled up to go to sleep, my sister felt cold. Ferociously cold. So cold, you wouldn’t believe it. Even with an abundance of sweaters, there was only one way to fight this kind of chill: Handwarmers. She tore open the package, and smashed the handwarmers into activation. Sure enough, their heat was life itself. She tossed them onto her bed, and went to sleep.

One interesting thing about handwarmers is, they’re a chemical thing. The interior of the packet, once smashed, contains two different chemicals which, when allowed to contact one another, fly into a seething rage and try to kill each other, much like myself and my ex-boyfriend. More on that later. Suffice to say, the temperature of chemical reactions is kind of hard to control or, when you’re not a chemist yourself, predict. Google tells me that the average temperature of a handwarmer is between 136-156 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s more than enough to boil water, or cook flesh.

I don’t know if she smelled anything, but my sister definitely woke up at some point of the night and realized that she was in extreme pain. Upon discovering the reddened, broiled wound, she probably said something along the lines of “Shit.” She did the first thing that came to mind – she tried to wash the wound. While not a bad idea, it definitely didn’t do anything to improve it. She tried putting salve on it. Still nothing. She tried a Band-Aid. Nope. It still hurt like a bitch.

If she’d come to my father, or even me, things might have happened differently. We both had first-aid training, and could have told her things she could do to help it heal, such as ‘keep it dry’ and ‘leave it exposed to air’, and ‘don’t do something stupid, like spend five dollars on a box of liquid bandages that will seal the burn stop it from ever healing’. Or, you know, we could have told her to go to a doctor. We could have done any number of things, but she just had to go to Walmart and spend five dollars on a box of liquid bandages that sealed her burn and stopped it from ever healing.

After throwing things at me for laughing hysterically, my father took her to a doctor. To shorten up an already long story, I’ll just summarize the next few events. The doctors explained to her that she had a third-degree burn, and it was in bad condition – it was infected, necrotic, and all sorts of nasty words. Here’s where my sister learned what burn patients get subjected to: scraping. Every day, she had to go to the doctor after school and have a nurse file her burn down.

FILE. HER FUCKING. BURN. Like nails with nail-files, only the nail is a third-degree burn filled with exposed nerves, and the file is metal and raspy.

Finally, the doctor said they couldn’t wait anymore. She didn’t have that much left to file down, and it was still not healing over. My sister needed a skin-graft, and he knew just the place to go for it.

Once upon a time, a baby boy was born. Like all baby boys, he had a foreskin, and, like a lot of baby boys, he had that foreskin removed. But rather than throw it away or make it into a necklace as many parents choose to, they decided to donate his foreskin to science. And science did amazing things with his foreskin.

For one thing, they grew it. Somewhere out there, this kid’s foreskin has produced a football field’s worth of skin-grafts. Literally. A football field. Of foreskin. Baby-foreskin. Penis-skin.

I’m sure you all understand where this is going, so I’ll just conclude by saying that my sister came home with her skin-graft successfully attached, and soon after her burn healed. The scar was big and noticeable, but it was better than a festering burn. Best of all, the whole fiasco led to many a happy night, in which my sister and I would hold down my brother (the youngest of all of us – poor kid) and try to force him to touch her Penis Leg.




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