Sunday is For Counting One’s Fingers

Oh, don’t look at me like that. You can’t tell me none of your fingers has ever gone missing in the night.

See you tomorrow.

31 Comments on “Sunday is For Counting One’s Fingers”

  1. Fingers lost, no, tingly-I’ve-lost-circulation-for-more-than-a-minute feeling, yes. On a couple of occasions it’s been bad enough that the hand just wouldn’t work for the first ten minutes or so.

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    I’m counting spiders. It’s like a spider bomb went off in the house or something. No bugs, though.

    But the cat’s missing.

  3. I did wake up one morning from uneasy dreams, to find myself changed in my bed into a monstrous bug. Lost a good few fingers that day, let me tell you. Toes, too.

  4. For digital problems like that, I usually perform a cyclic redundancy check. Then I get pantsed and jammed in a locker for being a geek….

  5. Being a retired IED operator, I’m proud of the fact that I still have all ten digits. Not all of my former co-workers do…

  6. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    Dealing with a bit of honeymoon paralysis, are we?

    I never lost any fingers, but I did have a knee go AWOL one night. I fell asleep on a love seat with my legs draped over the arm. I woke up an hour later and decided to go on to bed. I could feel my feet just fine, but when I tried to stand up my knee just wasn’t there. I went down hard, taking a bookcase shelf with me. (The one with the glass dragon statue that was my first Father’s Day gift.)

    When it came back I grounded that knee for a week.

  7. There was a pretty good rant by the British comedian Jeremy Hardy about how it’s odd that we so placidly accept the progressive decrepitude of aging, and that when we get up in the morning and see that some of our hair has fallen of our heads and is lying on our pillow we just take it in stride, but that if the object lying on the pillow had been some other part of our anatomy – an ear, say, or, in this case a finger – lying there we’d freak the heck out.

    Ah, well, he tells it better.

  8. I’m watching a giant, stinky flower wilt on a webcam, so I really can’t fault your chosen Sunday activity.

  9. bfilmfan – Clearwater, Florida – Windows Infrastructure Architect consulting with Fortune 100 firms for over 20 years. Interested in low budget cinema, landscape photography and Fortean topics.
    Jerry Taylor

    I’ve heard of falling apart in bed; but, that is taking it to extremes…

  10. As a teenager, I did wake up rather abruptly one morning when a zombie hand reached over the side of the bed and landed on my face. And then when I grabbed for it in a panic to get it off, one of my hands was simply … missing. In the dark, it took 30 seconds or so to figure out that the zombie hand was, in fact, the missing hand. ;-)

  11. Eh, it’s just one of those little things you get used to in living with cats. Honestly, the snuggles and the purring make up for it.

  12. olddog299 – Short, fat, ugly troll seeks bridge to haunt and folks needing molesting of the mind. Beware climate change as the Orcs are again ascendant.

    It isn’t lost. It just has a life of it’s own…

  13. I never worry about my own fingers.

    Others should worry about theirs. Especially given what I used to do for a living before law school…

  14. I panicked, only finding nine fingers, but then realized I wasn’t including the finger doing the counting. Whew! That was close!

  15. Not totally off topic, but did someone bring you a gift of brownies yesterday? Perhaps brownies that tasted a little different, and maybe had a slight greenish tinge?

  16. Mr. Scalzi:
    Just wanted you to know that I bought a copy of “Your Hate Mail will be Graded” today. I like your website and your fiction. I have read most of your stuff through the library, but decided it was time that I made sure you could continue to keep writing and amusing me.

    I have a plane trip coming up and you’ll be keeping me company on it!

    all the best.

  17. JSS –

    Not totally off topic, but did someone bring you a gift of brownies yesterday? Perhaps brownies that tasted a little different, and maybe had a slight greenish tinge?

    Wait. You think this might be related to…zombie brownies?

    Yes, yes. I see it. If anything can make you start dropping off body parts, it would be zombie brownies.

  18. Haven’t been able to count to ten in more than 30 years. Although I did get better dealing with fractions

    Important safety tip: Tractors eat fingers.

  19. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly fingers gone missing in the night…

    …but I know a lot of people who haven’t been able to tell you where their fingers were the night before.

    Those are people for whom “the night life” is qualitatively different than daytime.

  20. True story,

    After one grueling CS assignment (more tedious than difficult) I was having difficulty switching back to decimal from hexadecimal. I never new one of my fingers were numbered “A”.

  21. :Kelly
    in this case
    Important safety tip: So do motocycle chains. If you are a fool (as in a fool and his finger(s) are soon parted).

    Weird thing is I type better (accuracy/speed) now.

  22. I believe there’s a scene in “Girl Interrupted” where the girl is staring at her hand and her fingers fade in and out of existence. Or maybe that was in the DVD bonus material as a scene that was cut out of the movie. Can’t remember.

    Intriguing movie.

    freaky scene.

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