Unravelings: A Dog, DPN, and a Liverwurst Sandwich

One Saturday evening, my husband and I were at home, anticipating a quiet, relaxing weekend. I was in my lounge chair, which is covered in an old buffalo robe, with my feet up, knitting a sock and watching a favorite old movie.

The phone rang and I sprang up to answer it, tossing the sock I was knitting on the chair along with my glasses. My son was on the line and after chatting with him, I passed the phone to my husband and set to work finding a suitable dinner. I found some lovely liverwurst. I don’t have it often, but when I do it must be done right: seeded mustard, rye bread, perfectly stacked meat, and pickles. The mustard was a tough find. My husband is something of a mustard connoisseur; the top shelf of our refrigerator holds no fewer than thirty-one varieties of mustard. The pickles were a bit easier to locate among the mere fifteen jars residing on the shelf below.

After assembling my masterpiece of a sandwich, I grabbed a drink and headed back to the living room with my black Lab, Babe, following closely in my wake. Babe finds liverwurst as alluring as I do, and neither of us shares. I set down my drink and took my first bite as I hopped over the arm of my chair and nearly choked as a fire bolt of pain shot up my thigh. I had just sat—no, impaled myself—on one of the double-pointed needles in my work-in-progress sock, which I had carelessly thrown on the chair when I went to answer the phone.

I was in an untenable position: my left leg was in the air; my mouth emitted a gurgling, sandwich-muffled scream; and the dog, sensing vulnerability, lunged for the sandwich, which I would never yield.

My husband and I have Freon air horns scattered about the house (as one does), but because of my wounded position, I could not reach the one closest to me. My husband finally walked into the room to ask if I was okay. I screeched louder, because it might have been the dumbest question I’d ever heard. I finally managed to swallow my ill-timed and comically large bite of sandwich and asked him to pull the offending needle out of my leg. It had made its way all the way to the bone. My leg was a mess, and as I hobbled my way to the car for a trip to the emergency room, I placed the liverwurst sandwich on top of the fridge for safekeeping.

Never Let Your Knitting Humor Fail

Halfway to the hospital, I was shocked to realize I had left the house in my sweatpants, an old sweater, slippers, and—most horrifying of all—without my dentures, forgotten in the pain and chaos. The lovely ER nurse struggled to understand my muffled speech because, in my embarrassment, I refused to remove my hand from in front of my mouth. I was in desperate need of teeth, jeans, real shoes, and anything else that would make me look respectable. I finally threw down my hand from my mouth and exclaimed, “Damn this! I forgot my teeth!” The nurse doubled over laughing, and I sent my chuckling husband back to the house to get me what I needed to look less savage.

Although we only live a few miles away, it took the man forty-five minutes to return. When I asked him what took so long, he said he had called the children to tell them the story and they all laughed so long and hard, it took awhile to get through the whole thing.

He handed me a bag that contained my teeth (yay!), a pair of old pajama bottoms from the pile I had made for Goodwill (classic husband move), and the offending sock with one needle missing (I wondered where that had gotten to?). Resting at the bottom of the bag, wrapped in foil, was the liverwurst sandwich. This item was the best, and ironically, most unexpected thing that had happened that day.

After the medical history was finished, I ate my delicious, long-awaited sandwich and fished around in my purse to find another double-pointed needle. The one I found was a size too big, but I didn’t hold that against it.

Life is sometimes messy and sometimes funny, and sometimes you just need a good sandwich and strong knitting humor.


Nancy Obremski lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband, Charlie, and her dog, Babe. She formerly owned her own spinning shop in Cornwall, New York, but since then has retired to knit full time with her handspun and immense stash of yarn. Despite the stash she still often finds herself at her LYS.


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