Perception: (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the organization, identification,
and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and
understand the environment.
The following is a true story, albeit due to a slightly corrupted and age ravaged memory, somewhat modified.
It takes place in Germany in the early nineties and it began and ended in a kitchen.
I was about to prepare a meal but first I needed to hack a bone into two pieces in order to make them fit the pan that I'd chosen to make my stock in.
I took the cleaver from it's drawer, placed the bone on the chopping board, took aim and swung the cleaver for all I was worth at the approximate middle of the bone.
It bounced off and the bone made a spirited attempt to flee the scene.
Three times I swung and three times the bone appeared to shrug off my cleaver's assault with little more than the slightest nick on its surface.
I was getting angry.
I'm pretty sure the bone sniggered.
I decided on one more (valiant) effort and swung the cleaver with all the speed and strength I could muster.
But this time I failed to hit the bone cleanly and the cleaver bounced off to the left ... where my left hand was holding the end of the bone to prevent it flying across the kitchen.
The blade of the cleaver struck the knuckle of my left forefinger!
As I dropped the cleaver and grabbed my injured finger, I treated all my German neighbours to an eardrum bursting scream (I'm pretty sure they heard me two streets away) and a very colourful string of British expletives.
My then wife, Annegret, arrived in the kitchen at speed and found me holding my left wrist saying "I've chopped my bloody finger off! I've chopped it right bloody off!"
My finger, needless to say, is still on my hand. In fact I'm looking at it right.
But at that time my brain was adding up the evidence .... cleaver, bloody finger, pain, etc. ... and was overruling the evidence presented by one of it's main sources of information (my eyes) and declaring the digit to be lost.
I was a company medic in the Army and I really don't mind blood ... I don't, honestly ... so long as it isn't my own!
I could feel my knees beginning to wobble. My beads of sweat began to erupt form my forehead and face ...
Anyway, when I woke up, I had the mother of all headaches and the right side of my face hurt like hell.
"Wha...wha...wha..." I spluttered.
Annegret was hunched over me looking worried.
I was lying flat on my back on the tiled kitchen floor.
"What happened? What am I doing down here?"
Annegret explained what had happened.
She said she had rushed into the kitchen when she heard my screams (I was shouting! Men don't scream!) and she arrived just in time to witness my slump to the floor. My fall, she said, was slowed by my head cracking against the worktop on my way down and was eventually stopped by my bouncing on the tiles. She saw the blood and, ever the practical person, dashed off for something to stem the flow of blood.
That is why I awoke to find a sanitary towel wrapped around my finger.
"I couldn't find the first aid box!" she explained.
At this point it all came back to me.
"I chopped my finger off with that damned cleaver" I said.
She assured me that I hadn't and eventually unwrapped the sanitary towel to prove it.
I had been convinced that my finger was gone.
My eyes had seen that it was still there but my brain hadn't believed them.
What was perceived to be true (by my eyes) was deemed, wrongly, to have been untrue (by my brain).
I felt like a fool.
In fact I managed to feel like a fool for quite some time, as my wife was destined, during our many subsequent social engagements, to recount this tale on many occasions.
If only my brain hadn't jumped to conclusions!
About This Blog
This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!
The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.
I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.
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