Luck, be a lady

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Ever do something stupidly dangerous, but only realize it after you did it? Something that, had it not been for the best good luck you’ve ever had, should have resulted in injury?

When I was a kid my little-kid desk was against my bedroom wall. Right above the desktop was an outlet. My little sister once stuck a pencil in that outlet, breaking the lead off in it. After saying all the things one says to an annoying little sister and kicking her out of my room, I unbent a paperclip and fished that broken lead out of the outlet. Took two seconds. About five minutes later, it suddenly – frighteningly – occurred to me just how stupid that was. Nothing bad happened, but only because I was lucky.

Ever done something like that? Don’t lie; you know you have.

I did something like that just last week. Nothing bad happened, although it certainly could have. I was working slowly and otherwise carefully, but the main reason nothing bad happened was just pure dumb luck. What I did was so embarrassingly stupid that I won’t tell you what I did.

Suffice to say that it involved using a miter saw, and after I finished I stared at the saw with my mouth hanging open in utter disbelief at what I’d just done. Had it occurred to me a minute earlier I would never, ever have done it. I wouldn’t even have considered doing it. I wouldn’t even have wished for my despised whacko neighbor to do it.

It was just something I did without thinking; something that could have impacted my future ability to count to 10 without taking off a sock first. Fortunately, I was extremely lucky.

Luck, however, should never take the place of thinking when woodworking is involved.

A.J.

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