Thursday, December 31, 2009

I am not sure if I understand this, since this is already a habit . . . but let me say this anyway, Happy New Year to you all there. I've been hibernating for sometime now. So here's my first piece for this year, 2010.
Good eskrimadores still have their complete set of fingers by now. Here in the Philippines where playing with stupid toys, like the firecrackers, is a New Year thing . . . many people lost their fingers about this time. The government seems against it, but they don't ban it. The priests say, "Go in peace." but don't forewarned against this. But whose fault is this, anyway? If you lose a few digits last night, that is your fault. Amen.
So what's the connection between playing firecrackers and eskrima? Well, it is the risk of losing fingers and the handling the olisi (the stick). If one cannot hold it properly and keep it, then doing eskrima is almost impossible. The thumb is the most important part of to consider. especially for the handling hand. The rest of the fingers have no finger to appose with, when a thumb is no longer there in its place, meaning holding a stick is already tedious.
When hitting a hard target, for example, there will be reverberation of sort, and if the thumb is not there, the eskrimador will just disarm himself alone. Very embarrassing. If you loss the first index finger then it is not easy to hyperextend the striking hand also.
Losing a finger is not always after the explosion. Majority of the loss happened in the Emrgency Room where the doctors (actually madical interns working like slaves) save the rest of the anatomy from infection by disarticulating/ amputating the finger. Disarticulation is making a finger shorter by severing the portion distal from its phalangeal joint. A kinda painful process because the tiny joint is exposed, the minute blood vessels there are carefully clamped one by one, the tendons and lubricals are then cut. The skin is incise like a "fish mouth" to make closing the wound easy.
Since your visit at about two or three in the morning annoys the sleepy staff with your foolishness (you've been warned many times over the radio television), you are likely given an expiry local anesthetics and since you are likely alcohol-saturated as well. The doctor is enjoying the fun. I know this because I did this sadistic thing year agoin my; I also showed no mercy, esp. to those adults who acted like toddlers and cannot outgrow the playing of firecrackers. "I did my best to make you satisfied" silently grin and sang.
Now, we are talking about the finger, what about when the blast ate the more proximal part? The wrist, the forearm, the arm? Well, it is more challenging thing, and you better ask somebody to get blood for you just in case you go straight to the operating room. They are more scalpel-happy there.
But even if that is a minor case, there is still one thing before you go home happy or full of regret. You need to take anti-tetanus injection (sorry no tablet or suppository for this). After that, some insensitive ones meet and greet you a "Happy New Year." You naturally, like Mr Scrooge, with tears in you eyes, silently say, "whatever." Happy New Year dude and see next year for the remaing fingers.

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