Hank Fox is starting one of those memes: this one asks us to tell the story of a scar.

Tell the story of a (non-surgical) scar you have somewhere on your body. Answer and tag three other bloggers.

Alas, I am a pampered child of the middle class, and I don’t have much of a history of trauma and injury. I’ve got a couple of small slashes on my forehead from when I was a toddler, when I had a series of unfortunate accidents falling headfirst onto coffee tables. My knees were shredded in typical childhood accidents. I’ve got a massive appendectomy scar that gets admiring comments from doctors when I go in for checkups — most appendectomies nowadays involve teeny-tiny incisions and don’t demand a hemisection of the abdomen. That’s about it. Boring, I know.

There is one other hairline scar on my left hand, but I already described that. Does a self-inflicted incision with a scalpel count as non-surgical?

Now I’m supposed to tag three other people…wait, I’m supposed to ask some strangers to tell me about their scars? If you did that at a party it would be considered hopelessly rude. To reduce personal culpability, I just punched my magic blogroll randomizer and it spat up three urls: Neurodudes, Amygdala, and Unfogged. Surely somebody in that mob has a notable scar, but if you’d rather not talk about it, that’s fine. And please don’t feel obligated to show us any.


  1. MAJeff, OM says

    I’ve got a couple of small slashes on my forehead from when I was a toddler, when I had a series of unfortunate accidents falling headfirst onto coffee tables.

    I’ve got one on my forehead from a family trip to San Antonio. I was about 3 or 4, sitting in the back seat of the car, when Dad slammed the breaks. My head slammed into the back of the front seat, and I had to go for stitches.

  2. Carlie says

    Do those of us who don’t have blogs get to talk about our scars too? Sadly, I scar easily, so my stories mostly all go along the lines of “Um, I think I scratched myself there once.” I do have a tiny one on my lip that I got a few years ago. I was doing fieldwork in the Pacific Northwest. I was in a hotel bathroom taking a shower, the tub was quite slippery, and while reaching out to grab the washcloth I had forgotten I slipped and fell, crashing my face onto the top edge of the toilet tank. Totally split my lip open, then spent 20 minutes driving around town trying to find a hospital because the hotel desk clerk couldn’t tell me how to get there, even though it was a small town. Stopped at three places before someone could direct me to the ER. The ER doctor said that it would take a couple of stitches on the outside, but probably not the inside because “almost no one ever needs stitches on the inside of their mouth on a cut like this”, then took a look and decided oh, yeah, four or five stitches in there. Thankfully, it happened at the end of the trip rather than the beginning, so it didn’t impede specimen collection.

  3. says

    I have many scars on my body.

    As a youth, I was injured sufficiently each Good Friday, several years in a row, to require a visit to the Emergency Room for stitches and repair.

    I Believe my Personal Relationship with Jesus springs from this Amazing Series of Coincidae.

  4. says

    You got stitches? Your family must have loved you, because all I ever got was bandaids. And they weren’t even the cool kind, just the boring beige ones.

    At least with the appendectomy I got staples, and the incision got infected, so I also got pus and the ripe aroma of decay!

  5. Bride of Shrek says

    OOh, I got a “smiley” neck scar from having my thyroid out for cancer. They put big metal staples in instead of sutures and it looked like I had an imbedded punk type necklace thing happening. My brother calls me Kurgen (out of Highlander) to this day.

  6. Dr. Steve says

    I have a small circular scar on my right upper inner thigh from a lawn dart. Good thing I jumped to (unsuccessfully) avoid it.

  7. bill r says

    Burn scars on my feet. I learned “don’t play with fire” and “shoes melt” simultaneously.

  8. daenku32 says

    I have 11 scars on my forehead. (eventually to be 12, as my hairline recedes).

  9. Richard Harris says

    I’ve got a scar on my chin, from cycling. Actually, it was from crashing while cycling. An injury to a finger tip from a couple of weeks ago is now pretty much healed, along with associated bruises to my back, where I got hit by a passing trailer. I’ve raced since then, although my back is still painful. I’ve never come off in a race – it only happens at other times. Jumpin’ Jeezus, maybe there is a god!?

  10. maxi says

    I have a lovely one in the underside of my wrist as a result of a particularly brutal savaging from a pet rabbit. And another along the length of my middle finger that I received after I fell over with a stack of plates in my hand, it needed 6 stitches!

    But that’s about it, most of my scars are internal I think.

  11. DLC says

    ha! a measly little scar on your thigh? I’ve got two from improbable head traumas. I could sit here and bore people with tales of how I came to have various scars, but I don’t think I will.

  12. Jamdark says

    Only two worth mentioning. One on my chin were I learned a very valuable life lesson about not trying to run up an incline when it’s covered in ice (it seemed like a good idea at the time), took a couple of stitches to fix that. And one on my chest, just below and to the right of my heart where I almost impaled myself on a chain link fence.

  13. Ouchimoo says

    huh, all my known and visible childhood scars seemed to have melted away after adolescents.The only childhood scar I have left is a scratch across my nose from a dog jumping up on me, wait that mostly disappeared too. Um, hey wait I have a couple scars from shaving accidents!

  14. Nate says

    Last summer I broke my humurous twice, and subsequently had to get two huge metal plates and screws drilled into my arm. The first time I broke it was from arm wrestling at a bar (yea, the other guy has an amazing story to tell anyone who threatens to beat him up). The second time was two months later, playing chicken in a pool at 1am. I have two huge scars on both sides of my left arm now. I usually tell people it was from a shark attack, or a bear attack.

    Or a manbearpig.

  15. says

    A subject I am intimately familiar with. I was an accident prone kid my whole childhood. Two scars in particular that stand out.

    When I was 2 years old I was at lake Norman, NC siting on a dock with my parents. We were having a typical day at the lake and my parent’s friends were there with their dog. Somehow I managed to sit on the dog and it reacted biting through my left cheek. And I mean all the way through. Closest hospital was Charlotte a 30-45 mins drive. I actually remember this incidence even though I was 2. Worst part of the story, the dog was a Bichon Frise. I have an inch + long lightning bolt shaped scar on my cheek to this day.

    Secong big scar is when I was in 1st grade and was playing T-Ball at school. I was playing catcher (not that you really need one in T-Ball, but it was practice or something) and the person batting swung the bat when he wasn’t supposed to, hit me square in the forehead on the back swing. Split me open like a melon. Got stitches. Got an infection. My head swelled up like a balloon and my grandmother actually asked who the Chinese kid was in the driveway because of how swollen my eyes and face were. i know, not PC but it is what it is. I then had to have another couple sets of stitches and draining tubes etc.. Not fun. I have a big L shaped scar smack in the middle of my forehead near my ever moving hair line.

    I have MANY other scars from rock climbing accidents, falling down as a kid accidents and pure drunken stupidity accidents, but those are the most noticeable.

  16. Schmeer says

    I picked up a nice thin scar on my thumb next to the nail in chemistry class. While cleaning up after a lab I was aspirating some water out of glassware. The pipette we were suuposed to use suctioned itself in the neck of the target glassware, I tried to yank it out and found my arm moving at a high rate of speed toward an open flame. A quick move to pull my arm away from the fire neatly inserted the tip of the pipette into my thumb and broke the it off under the skin. I had my lab partner finish cleaning up while I tried to hide the blood from the TA.

    That little hollow piece of glass made it very hard to stop the blood before the TA became very upset.

  17. Sili says

    Rev. Hipple,

    That’s funny. My mother wathced me like a hawk around Whitsun every year after I manage to go to hospital two years in a row around that time.

    First year was just a broken arm from getting pushed off something or other in the playground. No scar.

    The year after that, though, I got two fingers on my left hand squashed in a chain and cogwheel. Ruined the nailbed and the nails are still broken, layered and soft in places.

    I’ve an indentation on my forehead from picking a scab off when I had chicken pox (would be rather convenient if I were hindu, I s’pose).

    Ran up some stairs some time in school and lodged the tips of too freshly sharpened pencils in my thigh. Not a scar per se but they’re still visible in there.

    I’ll spare you the story of how I got rid of a handful of moles on my own.

  18. says

    Hmm, scars. I never had many, other than a nice, long purple one on my knee. I got that trying to run though an asphalt parking lot in soccer cleats. Traction was not my friend.

    Now, if you want to talk bizarre head injury, I’m your man. I used to challenge people to find a piece of sporting equipment that I haven’t been struck in the head with. It’s harder than most people think (both my head, and the question). I’ve met exactly two people that were able to do it on the first try, and they hit on the same item (jai a’lai equipment).

    @#7 Dr. Steve: So you’re one of the ones that ruined it for the rest of us, eh? What fun is a toy if you’re not risking injury, I ask you!?

  19. Corvis_9 says

    I have three scars inside my left knee, arranged in a scalene triangle.

    When I was eight or so there was this shrub I liked trying to jump over on my way to a neighbors house. I was never really able to clear the thing. One day it snagged me. Bled like mad, really freaked me out, for the limited amount of time an eight year old can be bothered to maintain an interest in something anyway. The bleeding stopped and I thought no more of it. A single scab on an eight year old boys knee isn’t a big deal and that’s all it looked like after it scabbed over. Something to pick at when I was bored.
    It wouldn’t heal and kept on leaking pink pus. (:P Eventually there was a visit to some kind of doctor, he was wearing a white coat and had a clipboard anyway. I’m not certain whether any prescriptions were involved, seems like I’d remember pills being taken. I do remember some kind of daily regimen involving water diced potatoes had been soaked in(?), a washcloth and mom pushing and probing around the knee.
    Turned out I had a ‘splinter’ deep under the skin, most likely a snapped off piece of twig given that it was like three quarters of an inch long and more than an eighth of an inch thick. The three scars were the entry wound, a place where it almost pushed through and the exit wound where it eventually did.

    Lesson learned. The line between optimism and egotism is drawn in pink pus. {8p

  20. says

    At least with the appendectomy I got staples, and the incision got infected, so I also got pus and the ripe aroma of decay!

    Doctor Myers, there are people eating breakfast as they read this…

  21. craig says

    Lets see.
    There’s the scar on my finger from where I put my hand through a car windshield.
    Scars all over my forehead from where I put my face into same windshield.
    Scar on my arm from dumpster-diving tens of thousands of dollars worth of museum pieces at age 8 or so, dunno what cut me.
    Scar on my right hand from an exploding glass “smelling salt” thingie I’d built a match bonfire under, age 10 (they go “pop” and molten glass goes flying)
    Scar on my forehead from where my brother hit me with a rock, age 3 or 4.

    Actually ruling out the surgical scars leaves out all my best stuff.

  22. says

    I’ve got several scars, but the most recent non-surgical scar is on my lower lip. I got in at cricket practice, but not how you might think (those of who you know anything about cricket). We were practicing with a bowling machine that uses (bouncy) rubber balls. Somebody put massive topspin on the ball, and I blocked it and it spun back into my face, splitting my lip. Took a couple of stiches. I wonder how much of that makes any sense at all to American readers.

  23. rockhead says

    Minor ocelot mauling scars on upper arm and head and neck from getting too close to the “pet” ocelot the neighbors kept in their backyard. I was 5 or 6 and went to go see the kitty by myself. It was chained in the backyard and I must have looked like lunch because it was on my back chewing on my head in an instant. Makes for a great story – and cool show and tell.

  24. Serena says

    Well, as a bit of a book worm and a bit of a girl (not girly, I’ll get my hands good and dirty) I don’t have many scars.

    Just a few from my days as a cook and of course a few from my childhood days of carelessly tromping.

    Reading PZ’s scar story, I do think I share the blood and gore (it isn’t really gore) fascination. I have always found the sight of my own blood mesmerizing. I really enjoy thinking about the complex structures and mechanisms that my skin covers. The intricate mix of cells each with their own functions all working together.
    The one time I had to go to the doctor’s, after falling in the playground and getting a nice deep cut on my knee, I was completely enthralled by the sight of the layers of tissue normally hidden by my skin as they were cleaning it. Not something you get to see very often you know.
    I also find needles and injections interesting. Thankfully this has not led to any bad habits. The only time I had any kind of injection, other then a vaccination, was when I had my impacted molars removed and they had to “put me under”. That was kinda cool.

    I am not really bothered by the sight of other people’s blood unless of course they are in mortal danger, that’s when things get scary. But I have never been in that kind of circumstance. Closest I can think of was when my little brother was kicked in the face by a horse. That was a horrible day. He is fine now, luckily only got a nasty cut on the lip/cheek. ugh…it stills makes me feel sick and upset. I was the only one near when it happened. We were young too, I was 14ish and he was only 4.

    Anyways, I’ll save if for the therapist.
    ~Cheers :)

  25. HP says

    I’ve got a five-inch, jagged keloid scar running from my forehead, through my right eye, and down to the corner of mouth. The eyepatch hides most of it, I think. I got it the time I was brutally beaten by Indonesian pirates in the Straits of Malacca when I was trying to smuggle an encrypted computer disk containing the names of all known Soviet agents operating in the South China Sea back to the headquarters of the shadowy government agency I work for. If I hadn’t been able to rig up a time-release explosive from some cleaning chemicals and commandeer that helicopter gunship, there’s no telling what might have happened.

    Oh, and there was the time my cat scratched my hand up pretty good. But you can only see that when my hands are cold.

    Other than that, nothing interesting.

  26. redbeardjim says

    I have a scar that transects my left eyebrow, a legacy of being hit by a car when I was eight. Also an indentation in the left side of my ribcage that I suspect is from the same incident, although I didn’t notice it until a few years later.

    Other than that, well, there’s a dark grey freckle at the base of my right thumb to mark the spot where I was stabbed with a pencil in third grade.

  27. says

    When I was 4 years old, I was in the garden pretending to be a Rhinocerous. Since Rhinocerouses can clearly demolish walls, I decided to try and test out my abilities by charging head first at one. When I woke up, I was in casualty, and I still have a scar limiting the upward expansion of my eyebrow today…

  28. Gray Lensman says

    I have a modified right thumb which was severed by a push lawnmower when I was 3 years old. My dad was pulling the mower back to the garage when I “tried to stop” the rapidly spinning blades. It was a Sunday during WW2 and an OB/GYN, Dr. Parrot, who was waiting for a baby to appear at the hospital, sewed it back on. Sixty-three years later it works fine. The incident started a lifelong happy relationship with dangerous machines, including motorcycles, chain saws, race cars, etc.

  29. JeffreyD says

    Lots of scars. However, my favourite story: While in college, took up with a lovely and morally loose young woman who moved herself in after the first date without being asked. She steadily escalated on the weird behaviour scale and I finally told her we were breaking it off. Note, I had never really started it, she moved in on me. Well, here is a tip, never tell an unstable person you are breaking up while she is washing dishes, she turned and stabbed a knife directly at my heart. The blade skittered and turned on a rib and instinct took over and I decked her. I called the ambulance for her unconscious form and my bleeding like a stuck pig act. I took her purse to the hospital and looked through it for someone to contact. Found her mother in her phone book and made the call, dreading it. I mean, what DO you say? Well, I fumbled a bit and stammered it out. Mom’s reply, ‘Oh, she must be off her meds again, they warned us this might happen when she was released the last time. Did she injure you?”. Seems she had a history of violence, tried to kill her sister with an iron, and had been institutionalized a couple of times. Ok, I try to be accepting, but some people should be required to hand out cards on a first date on the order of, “Hi, I am prone to violence and often skip my meds, I also tend to obsess on anyone who shows me the slightest interest”.

    Compared to this experience, my physical scars from wars and wrecks just pale in comparison.


  30. Kate H says

    We used to have a small metal slide with a jagged broken corner at its bottom end in our backyard. My brother had just gone down it slicing open the bottom of his foot. I of course teased him for being clumsy saying you just had to avoid that part of the slide. Which I immediately demonstrated by going down it and slicing open my foot on the other side leaving me with a nice little scar. I’ve also got a scar on my middle finger from reaching for a slice of cake before my mum had finished cutting it up.

  31. firemancarl says

    I have a scar on my left wrist from a flare that I was lighting at an accident scene. Part of the flare somehow went under my watch band and started burning. I now have a nice potato shape scar.

    I also have a scar on the tip of my left middle finger from an incident when I was on active Navy duty. I went to close a watertight door and my finger was where the “dog” locks the door tight. Welp, suffice to say I came close to not being able to tell people that they were number one, but 2/3 with me. The corpsman stiched my finger up and part of it is still numb….14 years later.

  32. Greystoke says

    I’ve got a pair of scars o my right thumb, bracketing my thumbnail, marking the path of a circular saw blade. Had the guard of the saw wedged open with a pencil while I was making a plunge-cut in a roof, forgot and set the saw down without waiting for the blade to stop spinning. Saw leaped from the roof deck and chewed it’s way across my right thumb. (Anthropomorphism comes easily when tools attack…)

    Also have one small scar in my hairline, courtesy of my sister. She’d picked up the hatchet we used to split kindling for the wood stove, and she asked me what I would do if she just hit me in the head with the hatchet. It was meant to be a rhetorical question, but she underestimated the weight of the axe, and did a Lizzie Borden on me. Still makes her feel guilty…

  33. HereticChick says

    I have a scar on my knee that stems on “rock running” around the lake when I was a kid. We had a summer cottage on the south edge of a glacial lake, so there are small boulders that line the edge of the lake. We used to run across them as fast as we could go. One day, I misstepped and fell, smacking my knee on the boulder. It was cut all the way to the bone. Mom didn’t take me for stitches, but I did get a couple of butterflies and had to keep my leg straight for a week.

  34. says

    Let’s see… I have two faint (and small) indentations just above my nose, which I am told came from chickenpox when I was six. I have a scar across the base of my right middle finger and a two-part scar along the side of my right wrist, both of which I suspect came from one of our (now late) cats. I have needle-marks which may be semi-permanent in my right inside elbow, from donating plasma and blood over the years.

    My biggest remaining physical scar, and the one with the funniest story, is just above my left knee. I was running through the woods I grew up in when I was around fourteen or so (I think), and somehow a branch managed to open a nice big gash on my leg. No stitches, of course, since my parents didn’t believe in them, but the scar is still visible to this day.

  35. speedwell says

    I have a scar on my left wrist that looks like one of those old round vax scars, but I got it from dropping a soldering iron on myself when I was in college.

    Then there was the time I caught a baby squirrel that got into Mom’s house through the chimney–humanely leaving its head free so it could chomp down con brio on my finger was a mistake. My blood turned to pure adrenaline, I marched the little bastard to the front porch, and I threw him as far as I could throw… he scampered off, turned around, and looked at me like I was the one who lost my cool.

    I, too, fell on the edge of a coffee table, but I was seven and it was because I was trying out a “trampoline” I devised from my little brother’s old crib mattress balanced between said table and the couch. Landed straight on the bridge of my nose. Enough blood for a murder scene, the ambulance, ten stitches, and the admiration of the entire rest of the third grade.

  36. rowmyboat says

    Let’s see… There’s on on the left side of my forehead from it impacting the front door when I was five, resulting in a handful of stitches.
    A rather spectacular purple scar on my right knee from rollerblading down hill that was several blocks long, and finally loosing it on a patch of sand and scraping to a bloody halt. Was 15 at the time.
    Got this funny wrinkly patch of skin on the back of my left hand, cause I used to suck that, rather than my thumb when I was a baby. Is that a scar?

  37. Stephanie Z says

    I have a lovely matched set of scars. The first is on my chin, where I toddled behind a swing when too young to know better. The twin scar is where the very tip of my tongue used to be.

    Oh, and then there’s the one where I sunk the axe into my toe. It was the Fourth of July, so there was no way I was going to the emergency room. It stopped oozing after a few days of tight taping and careful limping. I have to look very carefully these days to remember which foot it was.

  38. says

    Oh yay, scar story:

    Well, I was at a friend’s house during the summer after my freshman year of high school. There were about four of us there and we decided to have a watergun fight because we were really ‘cool’. Or not. But that’s besides the point. We got to the shooting of water, and I decided do wait inside of her door where I could execute some sort of surprise attack. Well it turns out she knew I was there so she went to open the door, I went to stop it and my arm went straight through the window. I cut my arm open by my elbow. It was a beautiful sight, a piece of skin folded under the other skin. I, being a stubborn teenage boy, decided that I didn’t need stitches so I just put pressure on my arm with some paper towels an the bleeding just kept going but I was adamant, I was not getting stitches, I would be fine I told my friends who kept insisting I should call up my parents and have them take me to the hospital. Well, eventually the bleeding slowed to a trickle so I figured I’d call my parents and tell them what happened, but y’know, leave out some minor details like the whole “this is a rather deep cut”. Well, that night, I ended up going to the ER and getting some stitches and it was fine. Now I have this lovely scar to remind me of some of my best friends while I’m away at college.

    The end.

  39. Scrofulum says

    I was playing scar wars with an ex-services friend of mine, and proudly showed him my “surprised-a-parrotfish-under-a-rock” scar, and my “missing-chunk-of-patella-from-dodgy-swing” scar. He trumped with his nail bomb scar from Belfast, his haf-brick scar from a riot, and then showed me half his teeth were missing thanks to a mad lady with some bolt-croppers at Greenham Common.

    So I suppose he won that round.

  40. Bodach says

    Numerous little boo boos but I have two favorites. A triangular scar at the corner of my eye, happened in a random bed (yes, I have those scars, too) just before a kayak trip. Very dark room, I rolled over and pulled a lamp off an extremely high shelf which came crashing down and cold cocked me (ah, misspent youth).
    The biggest is a four inch gash transiting my knee caused by a rather elegant dive into Puget Sound. I apparently came between a mother oyster and her spat; them bitches be mean. Too far away to get to a doctor but elevation and gin and tonics seemed to suffice.

  41. Bob L says

    The scar with the best story I have is a small one I have on my forehead. I was using the men’s room at this place I worked in the ’90s when the guy in the stall next to me began “servicing” himself. In my haste and disgust while I was leaving I hit my head on the side of the stall and cut it open.

    We never figured out who the phantom machine gunner was but I was the high point of the week explaining the accident to my boss.

  42. Dave says

    Some reader feedback:

    Blogger games such as this could reasonably interpreted as a ‘link scheme’, which violates Google’s Quality Guidelines that are designed to prevent manipulation of Page Ranks and general deterioration of web content. See:

    Indeed, as a reader I find it annoying to see this kind of circle-jerk crap in my browser. It reflects poorly on the bloggers who participate. Links should be treated like proper academic references. This includes links to other blogs.

    Mindless expositions on personal minutia, whether it be ‘scar stories’, ‘my biggest turd’, or ‘a list of my 5th grade best friend’, also reflect poorly on the intellect of the blogger. I am likely to stop reading blogs with a plethora of infantile posts.

    Not to say that a ‘scar story’ couldn’t be good, and a link to a really great scar story appropriate. But this blog entry, PZ, is not an example of either. You can do better!

  43. says

    Chainsaw scar on my leg when I was felling a tree, just sort of rocked the saw into my leg. That was a dumb one, but was fairly superficial and is hard to see now.

    Chainsaw scar on my left thumb, this time not as dumb, unless getting onto a ladder to prune dead branches is dumb (could be, considering…). This time, as I finished a cut, the saw came down on my thumb, probably because of shifting weights and the like. Stitches, but not all that bad, really (the chain was slowing before and as it hit the thumb). It didn’t seem the thumb was in danger, unless one knew how trees react to falling limbs, which I didn’t in full.

    Oh yeah, it’s mostly gone now, but a nasty (not to the level of going to the doctor, though) welding scar on my ankle. No one told me of the importance of leather boot laces for welding (art), so molten metal burnt through my nylon laces, opening the boot up so that more molten metal would fall into my boot, which it promptly did. Wow, melted steel is hot, and a nice big glob of it wedged against my left medial malleolus.

    Puncture scar from a harrow tine is no longer visible.

    Glen D

  44. Wiggy says

    A 1.5 metre long goana (lizard) bit my middle finger leaving a pretty good scar front and back.

  45. Quiet Desperation says

    I was using the men’s room at this place I worked in the ’90s when the guy in the stall next to me began “servicing” himself. In my haste and disgust while I was leaving I hit my head on the side of the stall and cut it open.

    I have several scars when I saved my sister from ninjas. I was pierced through several times by katanas before I was able to reach a defensible position and lay about with a quadruple barrel nail gun built in shop class.

    Oh, the ninjas were riding velociraptors. Mutant velociraptors. And the velociraptors were pirates.

    Anyway, I called in some buddies in the Super Secret Service to help, and they brought along a blue wave disruptor gun and mopped up the remaining ninjas.

    But your story is good, too. Really.

  46. Dahan says

    Well, there’s a six inch scar on my left knee from getting hit by a car while biking, an eight inch scar on my leg from a tent stake (walking patrol in blackout conditions while with the Marines in the desert), and a whole slew of small ones from being a woodworker and mechanic for so many years.

    The bicycle accident one is the most impressive though.

    Oh, and I have very distinctive finger prints. I’ve cut two of my fingers to the bone before.

    My suggestion for an answer to “How did you get that scar?” when you don’t want to really tell them is to just casually say “Chainsaw.” and move on to another topic. It’s fun to see people’s faces.

  47. tony says

    I ran out of room on my INS application when answering the question about ‘identifying features’.

    A 6 cm scar, vertical, below my left knee (broken bottle in an unused (by kids) and long uncleaned sand pit) that took about six stitches when I was seven.

    A 1cm scar across the knuckle of my ring finger – right hand: a large 4×8 slab of chipboard fell on my hand edgeways when I was nine.

    then: a 2 cm v-shaped scar on my forehead, just below the hairline; a 0.5 cm vertical scar on my neck just above my collarbone; a 1 cm scar about an inch north of my navel; a 2 cm diagonal scar just over my right kidney; a 2cm scar, parallel to the knuckes, on the back of my right hand about 1cm from my pinky. These all courtesy of a gang fight that I happened to stumble upon (honest!) when I was sixteen.

    Nothing more until fairly recent: a 1cm vertical scar through my right eyebrow, courtesy of a doorframe, and night-blinded eyes.

    I hope I keep the rest of my cutaneous tissue uncut in future.


  48. Bryn says

    A small triangular scar on my right hand from a dog chomp. Vaccination scars on both the left shoulder and hip (oddly, neither resulted in autism. How rare!) Both knees permantly marked from too much baseball as a kid. A couple little dimples on my right knee courtesy of two arthroscopic surgeries (ditto on the baseball). One big-ass, .5 inch wide, 8 inch long scar down the front of my right knee due to an OATS procedure (ditto ditto on the baseball) which blends in and partially covers the big ol’ scar previously there from dropping a large sharp chef’s knife. Moral of the story? Playing baseball was totally worth it even if my right knee doesn’t think so.

  49. RamblinDude says

    I have a small scar on the bridge of my nose from…preaching!

    When I was a toddler in church, I climbed up on a lectern to play preacher. I don’t remember if I was full of the Holy Spirit or not. I do vaguely remember what happened next, though. The whole thing became top heavy and fell over on to me –smashing my nose into my skull! My mother fainted.

    It turns out that little kids have mostly cartilage in their nose, so once the doctor was able to pop things back out again, I was good to go. It was, however, not a propitious omen for my future as an evangelist.

  50. Wiggy says

    Oh yeah, forgot one.

    Made a “flying fox” from the gum tree out the back to the clothes line when I ws eight. My bottom teeth went through my bottom lip when I landed face first on the dirt. Five stitches. It’s my Harrison Ford scar.

  51. Carlie says

    Wow. Dave, it’s called “community building”. It’s called “sharing”. It’s called “people like to talk about themselves, and people like to be voyeurs into other people’s lives, so everybody has fun with it.” Christ, Dave, does everything have to be solely academic research? Biologist’s personal blog =/= BIOSIS.

  52. Hank Fox says

    Dave, I feel bad about this, since I was the one who started it, but it takes an uncommon level of tight-assery to write

    I am likely to stop reading blogs with a plethora of infantile posts.

    Besides, I don’t think “one” is equal to “a plethora.”

    I agree, “this kind of circle-jerk crap” is probably bad for you … unless it’s something shared between friends (and does not actually include a circle jerk).

    Links should be treated like proper academic references.

    Well, yeah. Unless you’re having fun, sharing things with others. You know, all that silly “community” stuff?

  53. stillwaggon says

    My right hand is the site of two scar stories. First, when I had to fetch an item from the back of the broken drawer of a desk around 1975, I tore a little slit in the back of my hand. Still a scar, but booooring. It’s the scar I don’t have that annoys me — I was bitten by a tiger years later. No scar. Damn. Is it fair to trade the stories around? I suppose not. Well, the desk scar is getting lost among the wrinkles anyway.

  54. says

    Dave (#46):

    Blogger games such as this could reasonably interpreted as a ‘link scheme’, which violates Google’s Quality Guidelines that are designed to prevent manipulation of Page Ranks and general deterioration of web content.

    Google doesn’t get to tell us what we can and cannot write about. If Google’s ranking algorithms can’t handle the natural behavior of bloggers in their native environment, then Google needs to put some of those brains it’s hired back to work.

    Now, run along and familiarize yourself with the concept of a “meme” before somebody interprets your comment as a meta-scar story wherein the damaged items are your frontal lobes. I’m a nice person who never would ever kill the joy of a grumpy killjoy, but some folks in these parts aren’t so kind.

  55. MizBean says

    Oh, I wanna play!

    Keep in mind this happened in my late 20s. I went to meet my boyfriend at the place he kept his boat and found he’d not waited for me to get started. I quickly became livid and decided to show him! There was a spit of land there where a horse was kept in a smallish barbed-wire pen with a hut to shelter in. I concocted the brilliant plan to ride that crazy mare bareback, wearing my brand new skirt. She didn’t cotton to the idea, and bucked me off within about 16 seconds, throwing me onto the barbed wire. I guess Jebus, the Buddha, and Carl Sagan were looking out for me, as I limped away with only a 7 inch gash on the back of my thigh instead of a Darwin Award. It makes a lovely scar!

  56. Duvenoy says

    Having wrecked my spine in a ship board accident ultimatly resulting in 2 fusions, I’m a walking zipper. I have a third degree burn-scared right arm & skin graphs, and a bullet in my right, lower leg. All of this has to do with military service.

    The most interesting story of my scars comes from my childhood; I was, and still am, a dedicated snake hunter/observer, a shade-tree herpetologist. In 1950, I was about 11 and prowling around a fairly large creek not too far from the house when I spotted a very large, southern water snake (Nerodia fasciata). It almost got away from me, but didn’t quite, and in the struggle to subdue it, it bit me in the face and chewed furiously. Now trying to get rid on the animal, I stumbled up the bank and then fell back down, driving my right knee into a rock.

    I got home, bloodied, snake-less and reeking of Nerodia musk, and Grandma broke out the idodine. The small but very painful injury on my knee didn’t seem to want to heal and after some days, began to swell alarmingly and drool a little pus. Grandma to the rescue again with the iodine and a needle, and probing around (talking about something that hurts, that does!), dug out a tiny bit of stone. I still have, after lo, these many years, a fingernail-sized scar where the snake & the stone got the better of me.


  57. Dave says

    @56, 57, 59 (and probably more to come):

    Yea, yea, yea. I know. I knew darn well as I was writing that I was pooping all over a private party, which is never polite in real or electronic life.

    I wouldn’t have posted just to be a kill-joy. I’m not that sick. I posted what I did as honest feedback for a site I respect. I think PZ (despite an unfortunate habit of puerile language and an occasional vapid ‘look what I just came across surfing’ post) does wonderful community service as a science educator and advocate for secularity. These are important missions. As a prof myself, with multiple awards for both research and teaching, I nonetheless often envy PZ’s eloquence and clarity for describing science. That’s why I check in at this site regularly — for the gems and inspiration sprinkled here.

    I wrote what I did because:

    1) It annoys me to have to scroll through crap to get to the aforementioned gems. This reduces the value of the site for me. Maybe you think otherwise; maybe it’s the community that brings you to this site. Fine. We can differ in what we like about this site, and what we’d like it to be. And PZ can ultimately decide. It’s his site. I’m just offering some feedback, which he can note or discard as he wishes.

    2) I honestly think PZ would be more effective as an educator and lobbyist for atheism if he laid off the occasional childish antics. Like it or not, effective persuasion and education requires that the subject have some respect for the educator. Learners must trust the authority of the instructor. I think PZ’s authority as a spokesperson for biology and atheism are degraded by injudicious posting. I like quality over quantity.

    Relevant to my point is a famous saying that I could attribute this to Mark Twain (most do), but it might be more fun to use the Biblical version here: “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. — Bible, ‘Proverbs’ 17:28.

  58. salkagga says

    When I was 13 or so, I went out back to feed the horses, and in the feed barrel there was a nice, harmless looking little chipmunk. I tried for a minute to scare him out, but I think he had gorged himself on horsefeed, and so he just ran around in circles, about 2 feet down in the barrel.

    So, I decided just to grab him and toss him out. I got hold of him pretty easily, and he immediately chomped down on my thumb, on the proximal phalanx; and he wouldn’t let go. After a few seconds I shook him off and he scurried out of the shed.

    Anyways, it bled a lot and I have a half-inch crescent-shaped scar right over the extensor longus. I haven’t met anyone else yet with a chipmunk scar, so I take pride in it.

  59. says

    Scars with stories:

    Backs of fingers and knuckles on my hands: When you hit people, in the mouth, hard, it can happen. Hit the soft bits. Or at least the non-sharp bits.

    Right finger: A pocket knife is NOT a screwdriver.

    Left Upper Thorax: A re-inflation of my collapsed left lung.

    Abdomen: Checking for ruptured spleen. Doc’s says: “This will hurt.” No shit, getting cut open with a topical anesthetic for anesthesia is Not Much Fun!!!

    Left & Right Wrists: Ha! Not what you’re thinking! Gloves rolled up after head-on crash motorcycle vs pick-up on US Highway 20. Dumb-ass teenager cut the corner leaving me no road. Multiple dime-sized road rash scars.

    Left Elbow: Same as wrist, but this was the sleeve from my leather jacket. This one’s about 1.5 x .75 inch oblong.

    Right Abdomen: A scar about the same size as left elbow when the jacket rolled up there. All-in-all not too bad for hitting the truck, flying over it, then bouncing along the road, and eventually into the cliff face (obliquely), at 50MPH.

    Right leg: Two-inch scar on inner thigh. Cut by wire when dismounting horse. Idiot cousin reattached stirrup with a cut piece of baling wire. Sharpe as a razor blade. Didn’t notice it until my grandmother fainted from the blood running down my leg.

    Right and Left legs: At least a half-dozen bite scars (dime sized or better) from dogs. Attacked by a pit-bull and three poodles (who didn’t leave scars, just minor lacerations) that got out of a neighbors back-yard as I was walking home from the bus stop in 1st grade. Up until that point in time I was a dog lover. This, and two more, incidents… Not so much.

    Right Ankle: Dog attack. A different one. Bit through my boot while I was riding my 10-speed when I was 12.

    Both feet: Multiple small scars caused by stepping on nails. Some of the scars are on top as some of the nails went all the way through.

    Scars I don’t remember where I got them:

    Chin: About 1″ long, no stitches. My daughter has a matching one, I got her stitches because I’m a much better parent than mine were for me…

    Neck: I have 3 scars on the back, small & round. Don’t remember what they’re from. Might be chicken pox.

    Back: Some narrow, long scars. Might be from barbwire. Could be from the time I fell into the blackberry bush from the tree. Could be from something else.

    Right heel: Lost a goodly chunk of this once in 5th grade. Still have the scar, but I’ll be damned if I can remember why.

    Ironically, I’ve been vaccinated for small pox at least four times. I don’t get a blister or scar so they kept thinking they failed to inoculate me. The last time they gave me a different vaccination instead of the traditional two-prong prick vaccination.

    Now, when do we get to broken bones, teeth and torn cartilage? Because I have a huge list of those, too. :)

  60. JeffreyD says

    I am willing to accept a new scar from anyone who objects to this light hearted exercise in community building. The scar I am willing to accept is on my left buttock from the teeth of the objector. Or am I being too subtle?


  61. Dianne says

    I’m pretty boring. One small scar on my ankle where I fought a cab and lost. All the others came from encounters with surgeons.

    A more exciting story that is not my own*…Person in question was opening boxes with a Swiss army knife. She put the knife down on the sofa, where it proceeded to slip in between the cushions. Sharp end up. She forgot it was there. Some time later she sat down…

    *No, really, it’s not.

  62. mjfgates says

    Sorry, my best scars ARE surgical. I had a club foot that got fixed with surgery, so there’s a foot-long scar down the front of my shin where they sawed it in half, and one across the top of my foot where they sawed THAT in half. There’s also the exit scar down between two toes, where one of the pins they used to reassemble my foot bones slid down and popped out.

    My best non-surgical scar is the one on two fingers, where I slipped with a chef’s knife. Watching the tendons move when I wiggled the finger was really distracting, but I finally regained my senses enough to stop the bleeding, clean it out and butterfly-bandage it.

  63. ampersand says

    My favourite scar is self-inflicted. What can I say? I was young, and my friends and I were stupid. As a show of best-frienditude, we all scarred ourselves with ice cubes and salt.

  64. says

    Ooh, ooh! I got a doozie! The scar itself is uninteresting, but the story behind it says a lot about me.

    At the age of 12, I was hiking in the woods in BC with my folks collecting pretty rocks for an outside garden when I slipped and banged my arm against a log. Besides a few scrapes and a small cut on my left forearm about five cm from my elbow, I was unhurt. A few days later, the cut got infected. My dad, being the wannabe amateur surgeon that he was, decided to do a little exploratory with a sewing needle and some H2O2. Three days later, the cut had reddened and swelled up and was oozing unpleasant things, so my mom stepped in and took me to the hospital.

    The surgery ward was relatively quiet, and I only had to wait a few minutes before a young, beautiful, and oh-so-earnest surgery resident came in with the attending physician. After giving me multiple (and unnecessary) assurances that it was only minor surgery under local anesthetic and I wouldn’t feel a thing except for the needle and did I want something to squeeze (I was 12; did I ever!), I figured it was time to put a stop to this before she bedside-mannered me to death. So I waited until she’d made the first incision, and then in my most frail and piteous scared-child voice, I said:
    “Doctor? Can I ask a question?”
    She put down her scalpel, “Of course, ask anything, anything.”
    “After the surgery, will I be able to play the piano?

    Well, you know what came next. The poor resident, so anxious to reassure me, played right into the joke, and the grizzled old attending had to turn away so as not to laugh out loud. When he finally composed himself, he gave the resident his best this-will-be-on-the-test look, and reprimanded her with what I still consider to be one of the best compliments I ever received: “Doctor, you just got taken in by a 12-year-old with a Henny Youngman line.”

    Now the scar looks like an innoculation site, and whenever someone asks me about it, I deadpan, “Bullet wound. ‘Nam.”

    Oh FSM: the cheese, I love it so.

  65. says

    salkagga: I, too, have been a victim of the savage chipmunk. I once tried to rescue one of the wee brutal beasties from a dog, and it turned and bit all the way through my left pinkie — I felt its incisors meet in the middle. It was all futile, anyway, since the dog had already broken the ungrateful rodent’s back.

    It bled horribly. The scar is pretty much undetectable now, though.

  66. brokenSoldier says

    This is a topic that I could babble on all day about! Keeping the graphic stuff out, I’ve got a permanent scar on the top of my left hand from needing three stitches after catching a piece of a mortar round that ricocheted (you see the kind of luck we were dealing with??) into the bunker we were sitting in and stuck right in my hand. We were all sitting in there waiting for the last one to hit, and this damn thing just decides to waltz into my safe area, bounce off a wall, and come to rest partially in my hand. The nerve of some metals…

  67. Ken Shabby says

    I have a puncture wound in my left biceps caused by a bale hook, accidentally self-inflicted. I was baling hay when the wire broke and the point slammed into my arm, hitting my humerus hard enough for me to feel it reverberate.

    After the ER doc put a drain in the wound, I got a shot of penicillin so potent I could smell it on my breath within a couple minutes. When I went to the pharmacy with a prescription for 500 mg Ampicillin, the lady at the counter took one look at the dosage and backed away from me in fear.

    I also have a circular scar around my left index finger tip. Yes, it goes all the way around. I closed a knife one-handed and took the tip off. I held it in place and managed to tape it down and contain the blood. It healed, although the nerves are still a little goofy, and I didn’t quite get the fingerprint parts to line up exactly.

  68. Carlie says

    Oh, I’ll bite. How exactly is someone’s authority damaged by the occasional personal story? Does a person need to be a stone statue, bereft of humor, personality, and human foibles, in order to be seen as an authority figure?
    And more deeply, is there a need, or even a place, for such authority figures in science? The entire premise of science and rationality is that the evidence is what matters, not the person presenting it. I don’t see how in the slightest PZ’s “image” is tarnished by joining in on memes.

  69. Hank Fox says

    I think PZ (despite an unfortunate habit of puerile language and an occasional vapid ‘look what I just came across surfing’ post) does wonderful community service as a science educator and advocate for secularity. These are important missions.

    Dave, do you think there’s ANY chance that the popularity of PZ’s site, which gives him the platform to serve as a “science educator and advocate for secularity,” is at least partly the result of his laid-back, playful approach to posting?

    The world could always use more science blogs. If you’re not already doing it, why not start now? You could keep it as stiff and formal as you like. Bet you don’t have one percent of PZ’s traffic, though.

    And “puerile”? Bloody hell, who actually uses that word in real sentences?? Besides, the level of discourse here ranks at least “jejune,” possibly even “adolescent.”

    (Also besides, you have no idea how popular fart jokes have been in the White House the past 7 years. Reportedly, Karl Rove is a master of the genre. Puerile is all the rage among the New Sophisticates.)

  70. Epikt says

    During my misspent youth, I suffered a severe bout of sudden-onset driving skill deficit in turn 1 at Mid-Ohio in a Formula Ford, resulting in some number (I lost count) of unintended rotations about (fortunately) the yaw axis. I was immediately hit by another car, and ended up with my left shin gently impaled on a suspension bellcrank. The result was two bloody puncture wounds in the middle of a bruise the shape and consistency of a rotten cantaloupe, which persisted for a couple weeks. That turned out to be not such a bad thing, since it garnered attention and sympathy from a couple cute physicists at work. These days, the scars look like fang marks from a very large snake.

  71. Sili says

    Not quite a chipmunk and it didn’t leave a scar.

    But I was once bitten by our pet ferret. He was still scared and upset when I picked him up to carry him home …

    After I’d had to wrestle him out of the jaws of a marten.

  72. Sven DiMilo says

    [this will seem pretty puerile after brokenSoldier’s post, but:]
    Seventh grade, art class. We did the linoleum print and then–in what I guess was a budget-saving plan–we were supposed to remove the linoleum from the piece of plywood to which it had been bonded so that we could make a mosaic on the wood. X-acto knife vs. left index finger. I felt nothing but started to wonder where all the blood was coming from…looked at my finger and saw the freakin BONE (2nd phalanx for you anatonerds). Six stitches, all now with little scars of their own around the main scar, and an extra funny bone: if I hit the damn finger the wrong way on something YEOWCH!
    [but it ain’t shrapnel *shrug*]

  73. Sven DiMilo says

    Links should be treated like proper academic references.

    Ahhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!ha! heh…

    (sorry, but I’ve been up all night grading lab reports, which involves repeating over and over and over that web-links should not be treated as if they were proper academic references)

  74. says

    I live in a town in which a large proportion of the population would be considered blue collar. ‘Puerile’ language is the norm among many just as avoidance of taboo words is the norm for others. I consider it useful to be proficient in both (hey, you try explaining ‘founder effect’ between shots of Jameson without at least one “fuckin’ evolution, eh?” creeping in.)

    Anyways, as someone who considers knowledge to belong to people, whatever their linguistic tendencies might be, I say this to the ivory tower scientific language purists: Chill the fuck out Egghead, and stop fuckin’ everybody’s shit up.

  75. says

    Oh, I’ll bite. How exactly is someone’s authority damaged by the occasional personal story? Does a person need to be a stone statue, bereft of humor, personality, and human foibles, in order to be seen as an authority figure?
    And more deeply, is there a need, or even a place, for such authority figures in science? The entire premise of science and rationality is that the evidence is what matters, not the person presenting it. I don’t see how in the slightest PZ’s “image” is tarnished by joining in on memes.

    What the f…? Are you seriously suggesting that scientists and, say, mathematicians should do anything but cultivate their reputations as nerds and dweebs?

    Dave won’t like it. He knows that only strait-laced puritans ought to be doing science. Got to live up the ideal of being prissy elitists.

    Glen D

  76. Hairhead says

    Shorter Dave: Shut Up and Do What I Say (SUADWIS)

    And a message to Dave: if in fact you disrespect PZ for his occasionally less than serious tone, that makes you . . . a humourless, pedantic, manipulative, rigid twit.

    And my scar story. Age four, running through a vacant lot in tall grass, tripped and fell onto a broken pop bottle. My older sister sees the gushing blood, shrieks, and *runs away*. I limp home, walking into the kitchen leaving a trail blood. Next thing I know I’m being held upside-down while my mother wraps my calf in a rag. For once, I’m getting some attention!

    Dad drives me 50 miles to the city hospital (we lived rural), and here comes the upsetting part for me. The emergency room doc gives me a topical anasthetic and prepares to stitch. I sit up to watch the procedure, which I find fascinating. Doc tells me to lie down. I don’t want to. Again he tells me. I lie down. He starts to stitch, I sit up to watch. This goes on for several minutes ’cause I REALLY want to see that needle going in and out of my skin. Eventually the doc tells me that if I don’t lie down he’s not going to do it. I lean back and look at the ceiling, deeply disgruntled. I still have the scar.

  77. molliebatmit says

    I have two Scars of Science.

    1. I was extracting DNA as an undergrad using phenol chloroform, which is a pretty nasty organic solvent. The material safety data sheet advises you pretty strongly to freak out if you spill any on yourself. I splashed a few drops on my arm by accident, and instead of freaking out, I decided I’d see whether the MSDS was a lie or not. (Hint: It’s not.) It was cool! My skin got all bubbly and white.

    2. Also as an undergrad, I was collecting tail pieces from mice to genotype them. The mice were about 3 weeks old, which is approximately the age at which they turn into furry pieces of hyperactive death popcorn. I was so nervous that the mouse would jump out of my hand that I forgot to check which way my razor blade was pointing, and instead of chopping off a piece of tail, I chopped into my middle finger. (And I didn’t know where the band-aids were, so I double-gloved and kept tailing. I had an important undergraduate job to do!)

  78. wisnij says

    I have a scar on the back of my neck. I had it done by Brian Decker at Pure Body Arts in Brooklyn, NY. (That is, on purpose.)

  79. says

    Well, I’ve got one of those stories that’s probably not as funny when told outside the confines of my family – my scar is a subtle little gouge under my right eye, barely noticeable if you weren’t looking for it.

    The story goes like this – when I was but a wee baby, not quite a year old, Mom was trying to fish some piece of lint out of my eyelashes and accidentally gave me a cut on my face with her fingernail. Being as I was the firstborn, Mom was naturally easily alarmed (and I guess I didn’t take being stabbed in the face too lightly either) and this was kind of her first OMG I HURT MY BABY experience. The trauma for her was such that revisiting the event became a minor obsession and it became a daily thing for her to inspect my face and see whether she’d left a permanent mark or if I was going to heal up normally.

    Nearly a year later she was still on the subject. One day she was describing to some group of aunts and uncles what had happened and she went to point out where the faint scar was… She slipped or I flinched or both and WHACK, she manages to slice me up again in exactly the same spot.

    I think this happened two or three more times over the years before I finally got the hint that when she started talking about my scar I should leave the room or put on some goggles or something.

  80. Ginger Yellow says

    I’ve got a small scar on my chin, although it’s mostly faded away in the last couple of years. I got it celebrating Oxford United’s escape from relegation in 2000. I’d been drinking absinthe during a Junior Common Room meeting. Walking back to my room with the absinthe bottle, I stumbled on the kerb. Being drunk and a bit stupid, I decided that preserving the bottle was more important than preserving me, and fell chin first on the cobbled street. Didn’t break the bottle, though.

  81. Tim says

    My most noticeable scars are from road rash, a fawn attempted to cross the highway in front of my motorcycle, unsuccessfully. Kansans I didn’t even know were very helpful, but the best part was the response of a friend’s mother, on hearing “Bambi vs Suzuki”, “Don’t you know you’re supposed to do that with a gun?”

  82. Jams says

    I used to have a scar on my left palm that came with an excellent knife fight story (where I was heroically unarmed). Then I was in a bike accident that tore the skin off that palm, including the knife fight scar. Now I’m left with this lame bike accident story. I try to beef it up with dramatic flying through the air antics, but it’s just not the same. I miss you knife fight scar.

  83. Eric Cartman says

    Dave: I am likely to stop reading blogs with a plethora of infantile posts.

    Translation: “Screw you guys. I’m going home.”

    Wow. You really are a serious dick, Dave. Does that broomstick up your ass hurt?

  84. Bryn says

    Looking over the number of science/experiment caused scars caused me to dredge up, out of deep memory in my bookmarks, this: [url=] The Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique[/url] merit badges. I may be misremembering, but I think I got it off Orac’s site (Respectful Insolence) lo!, these many years (at least one) ago.

  85. Bryn says

    Well, that’ll teach me to believe the “Preview” tool next time. Sorry about that.

  86. says

    I agree completely with Dave. PZ should get serious. The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves. I would never expend the time and energy on my blog writing about anything that is not serious. Ever.

  87. Eric Paulsen says

    I have a scar on the sole of my foot that I got as a child. A foolish trusting child.

    One day my little brother and our sadistic neighbor, a boy older than us by about five years, decided it would be great fun to smash a dozen or so mason jars on the ground, hide under the trailer their grandmother lived in next to their house, then have my brother scream for me to help him at the top of his lungs. I was barefoot at the time it being summer and all and as I rounded the corner looking frantically for my brother who MUST be dying based on the shrillness of his cries I skidded to a stop with what felt like dozens of razors embedding themselves into my flesh. Now I was the one who was crying and while the neighbor ran into his house laughing hysterically and my brother ran home in terror KNOWING what was to come when my mother found out, I was left to crab-walk about 150 yards home, holding my macerated foot out in front of me like a bleeding mass of burger meat stuck on the end of my quivering leg.

    That was also my first trip to the hospital to get stitches and the last time I trusted my brother without question.

  88. says

    Oh and mollie @83:

    I was extracting DNA as an undergrad using phenol chloroform

    Sounds like the kind of activity that’s likely to get you put on a registry somewhere.

    (as my mind rolls happily along the gutter…)

  89. Sili says

    You mean You text here

    And you get <> to show by typing < and > respectively (less than/greater than)

    (Took me forever to learn on my own …)

  90. Nick Gotts says

    I’ve only got the two on my forehead, where they removed the vestigal horns – oh, and one on my right thumb, the only lasting result of 2 years of school woodwork.

  91. Sili says

    Oh smeg! Do not use preview!

    Sorry! (Does this count as a scar on my pride?)

  92. BlueMako says

    I’ve got a decent-sized scar on the back of my left hand, and a smaller one on the palm directly opposite it. Damned if I can remember where I got them, though…

  93. Lana says

    I finally have something to contribute and it’s anti-religion too!

    When I was five, I was asked if I wanted to go to Mass. I didn’t have to go until I started school so I said no. So while most of my family was at church, I fell out of the apple tree and scraped my hand, leaving a scar that is still there half a century later. For years, I thought god had punished me.

  94. Dark Matter says

    Scar on lower left cheek. Out ice skating one night
    two years ago. Too confident, made too tight a turn
    on the rink. Tripped during turn, landed on ice chin
    first. Had to go to local ER, got 3 stitches.

    Still love ice skating, can’t wait to go this weekend.

  95. says

    Do scabs count? I’ve got a dandy set on my head, left arm and left leg from rolling a fully loaded concrete truck a week ago yesterday.

  96. Carlie says

    bill, pick at those scabs enough and they’ll become quite nice scars.

    Good thing it was specified as non-surgical, or I’d be obliged to one-up all of you y-chromosome bearers with the scar from a c-section where my abdomen was sliced open in order to pull an eight-pound writhing living creature out of my gut region, and then the entire process was repeated 17 months later being cut open again to get out yet another large wriggling being.

  97. Sili says

    That sounds nasty, Carlie. I think you should get that looked at by someone – might be serious.

  98. mothra says

    I have two ‘scars for science.’ First, while collecting butterflies, I slipped down an embankment and, after dumping the gravel out of my hand, and traveling to the doctor for stitches, I have an inch long scar at the base of my left thumb. Second, in Transmission Electron Microscopy class, I ‘thick sectioned’ my left index finger with a razor instead of trimming the plastic block with embedded mouse tissue.

    @16. I’ll see your two metal arm plates and raise you a third. I was hit by a roller-blader while bicycling- she liked my lane better than hers. The compression fracture required a metal plate near the wrist on the left radius. A year later: compound fracture, both radius and ulna, and the radius broke across the old plate. Now there are two plates on my left radius and one ‘arm-length’ plate on my left ulna. The second crash was caused by heaved concrete on a suburban street with just enough wet clay (=grease) overlay from nearby construction. Thanks be to the two TOP NOTCH surgeons, I have full use of my left hand and still do micro-dissections of insects.

  99. Kseniya says

    None of my scars show.

    Well, there is that four-year-old purple mark on my shin from when I slipped off a dock and slammed into the edge of a canoe. Kinda thought it woulda healed by now… Oh yeah, and that little Y-shaped on my palm from when I absent-mindedly put my hand down on a counter-top, only to find out (the hard way) that there was a broken drinking glass sitting right there. Damn those wild parties.

    Bored yet? I am. :-D

  100. Kseniya says

    Oh yeah, and the little scars from when I broke my hand (badly) playing basketball, and the doc had to put pins in it to, like, keep it together, and… argh. I feel faint just thinking about it.

    Never mind that “none of them show” business. I was just being emo. ;-)

  101. Cal Harth says

    Do you know anyone who grew up in Pine County, Minnesota on a farm? Comparing scars tends to be an inevitable part of conversations.
    I lost the tips of two fingers to an axe cut when I was 5 years old. I have had over 40 stitches so far. I was inside the bulk milk tank to scrub it in 1964. My sister turned on 180 degree water to run into the tank. When it hit my bare feet I leaped to escape and fell on the stainless steel agitater blade.
    I bled like crazy and had to get 5 stitches in my calf. I have not forgiven her yet. The blood in the milk tank was hard to clean up.

  102. says

    I’m relatively scar-free. The worst I’ve got is one on my right index finger from a pocket-knife incident when I was 9 and the worst it does is make it easy to identify me with fingerprints. I suppose I do have some on my face that are no longer visible, the product of a cat who was sleeping on top of my head, getting spooked and sliding down my face, backwards, claws out about 12 years ago. Luckily, the only time you can even see a remnant of that is if I get a heavy tan and you can see a couple ghostly remnants on my nose.

    Otherwise, I live a happy and adventureless life and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  103. says

    I splashed a few drops on my arm by accident, and instead of freaking out, I decided I’d see whether the MSDS was a lie or not.

    You and I have similar approaches to science, molliebatmit. I took a few geology courses that had minerology lab components. Even though we were told not to lick any of the samples for public health reasons, I jammed pretty well any rock that didn’t involve lead or asbestos in my mouth. Mineral identification lab exams become that much easier when you don’t have to mess around with hardness scales or cleavage to identify halite and sylvite.

    Then I found out that HCl diluted to 10% isn’t that caustic and can be applied to the tongue with a few scrapings of limestone for fun fizzy-mouth lab hijinks!

  104. SteveM says

    mjfgates @68: Sorry, my best scars ARE surgical. I had a club foot that got fixed with surgery, so there’s a foot-long scar down the front of my shin where they sawed it in half, and one across the top of my foot where they sawed THAT in half. There’s also the exit scar down between two toes, where one of the pins they used to reassemble my foot bones slid down and popped out.

    Hey, I was born clubfoot also. They first tried casts and other mechanical corrections. Left foot corrected, right foot required surgery. I only have two scars from it though, one on the top of the foot from big toe up to the shin, and another up the back of the heel along the Achilles. They also put a wire though the foot to hold stuff in place. I still have the button they used to anchor it on the sole of my foot.

    I have never met another clubfoot in all my 50 years so even though I know I’m not the only one, it is nice to actually meet another (even virtually).

    [so there, Dave, this “frivolous exercise” actually produced something of real value, even if only to me. And so I’d say this has justified its existence]

  105. SteveM says

    wait, I think the part about the button was a little unclear. The wire and the button were removed the same time as all the other stitches. I don’t still have a wire in my foot.

  106. Patricia C. says

    When I was still young enough to be called ‘Patty-cakes’ I was riding my pony to bring the cows in, when a grumpy porcupine crossed between trees in front of us. The pony spooked the porcupine, which made it rattle it’s quills in warning. The stupid pony spooked and bolted with me, hit the barbedwire fence and opened up my knee all the way across the front. We lived too far from a doctor, so grandpa wrapped it up with iodine and plantain leaves. The scar was a beauty, wide as a pinky finger for decades. Almost gone now. I have a hindu forehead pox mark too.

  107. Aquaria says

    If only I were scar-free.

    I have a scar on my forehead from pulling an old-fashioned telephone by its plug from the stand. It was one of those old metal rotary numbers that weighed about 20 pounds. I was about 2 or so, from what I understand.

    I have a monster scar on my ankle from thinking it would be fun to crash into coke bottles at the bottom of a slide. I was 4 when I did that, and yeah, I was stupid. Took something like 20 stitches to close it up.

    Then there’s the large round pit in my thigh from a dog attack. Don’t ask my opinion about dogs since then.

    My knee has a scar from when I fell on gravel while chasing another kid. I made it worse by falling down a rock-infested hill (off-balance from the original injury, natch) before the first wound healed correctly. Fun.

    I used to have a patch of strips on the back of a calf from when I got too close to an old-fashioned gas space heater. I also had a scar on my wrist from a vicious burn from leaning over to take an order at a charity cookoff thingie way back in the 80s. Got too close to the grill and wound up with a nasty second-degree burn. But those burn scars eventually faded.

    I also had a burn from some smart-ass who thought it would be funny to drop a burning cigarette between our arms unavoidably pressed together while we were studying in junior high, sort of a one-sided chicken game. Never fear. I got even. I always do.

    FInally, I have a freaky little toe, thanks to having most of it chopped off when I was leaving my room in a new house. One of the movers had broken one of the glass shelves and didn’t say anything about it. I was going across the room barefoot, and, wouldn’t you know it, I found the one piece of glass that hadn’t been picked up, and it just about took off my little toe. I felt this sting on my toe, looked down, thought something didn’t look right, then I saw this thing that looked like a discarded band-aid to the side. Picked it up. It was the missing part of my toe. Took it into the contractor working in the kitchen, held it out and said maybe I needed to go to the doctor and get myself checked out, would he drive me over? This 6′ 200+ pound guy fell over like a tree. Boom. Dead faint. I had to wait for him to come around before he finally took me to the emergency room, where they sewed my toe back together. Pretty cool, actually, although I hated the shots for the anesthetic.

  108. Julie Stahlhut says

    My non-surgical scars are generally minor (and the surgical ones are in places normally unseen in polite company,) but I have three sets of scars from independent incidents of tipping hot liquids over on myself. The most impressive happened five years or so back, in a Tim Hortons in Windsor, Ontario. My husband and I were having a quick breakfast there, we both tried to move a very large cup of fresh coffee to another part of the table at the same time, and it fell into my lap instead.

    That “Attention: Chaud” label? C’est vrai. I was wearing shorts at the time, and you can still see the line on my thigh — the burn was much worse on the uncovered portion of my skin. I also had to get dressed right afterwards to go to a wedding where I was doing a brief reading, and since this was my third experience with a large second-degree burn, I knew there wasn’t much that an ER could do that my husband the former ER resident couldn’t. I also knew that you can get codeine-laced aspirin directly from a pharmacist in Ontario, so I dispatched Rick to the nearest drugstore to get not only pain meds, but the various specialized bandages that are best for second-degree burns.

    And while he was out and a bunch of patrons fussed over me, I just sat quietly and drank the unspilled remainder of the coffee. Rick returned, I took some codeine, we went back to the motel, I showered (which felt like having my leg doused with boiling oil,) he basically pasted my skin back onto my thigh, I thanked Zarquon that I could get away with wearing my dress without pantyhose, and off we went to the wedding, where I did my reading on schedule. In fact, the couple didn’t find out about my accident until a mutual friend told them about it after they came back from their honeymoon.

    The worst part was that there was no alcohol at the wedding reception. I really appreciated that codeine, and was at least glad that the accident didn’t happen on the Michigan side of the border.

  109. Athene says

    I don’t think my family loved me either, PZ, as I only got boring old bandaids even though I cut my leg and foot open on chainsaws as a little girl. Admittedly they were not ‘on’, I just fell over them in a dark shed while hunting for my grandfather’s secret stash of chocolate bars, but bones were exposed! My parents did at least take me to hospital when I shredded my face (and clean severed my right eyelid) on the newly tarsealed road after falling off my bike (the volcanic chip used on New Zealand roads is bloody sharp).

  110. Carlie says

    In the “my parents didn’t love me enough for the ER co-pay” category, when I was little my dad was using a blowtorch to strip paint off of a basement window, I went out to ‘help’, reached for a putty knife as he moved the just-turned-off propane torch the same direction, and I got my elbow wrapped around some reaaaaally hot metal. They just stuck my arm in a bowl of ice and turned on cartoons. I didn’t get a cool scar from it, but the opposite – the skin there is very thin and transparent, so it’s come in handy for phlebotomists. (Wow! Your vein is right there!)

  111. Dee says

    I would like to thank everyone for a great afternoon of light entertainment – these stories have been a helluva lot of fun to read.

    My scars – couple of C-section scars (thanks Carlie, for the reminder), and a big scar down the front of my knee from an ACL reconstruction. I can’t wear dark nylons anymore because the scar shows up like a neon sign, and it looks like a huge run down the front of the stocking.

    I have a backpacking scar right starting at the very top of my sternum, going about 2 1/2 inches down. I was on a deer track on a very steep slope, with a bush in the way. I don’t like heights very much, so I hugged the bush real good as I went by. It left a very thin scratch right down my sternum, which left a very visible scar. It looks just like a surgical incision. Now anytime I visit a doctor, I have to explain that I have not had thoracic surgery.

  112. says

    @34 “I’ve also got a scar on my middle finger from reaching for a slice of cake before my mum had finished cutting it up.”

    Your mother would CUT YOU if you tried to go for the cake too early? I hate to think what would happen if you snuck out after lights out or something.

  113. Logicel says

    Just one, tiny, but extremely beautiful scar in the shape of a perfect quarter moon on my left big toe gotten from crawling around in broken-glass festooned sand under the family’s summer shack when I was about five.

    I was just so happy and pleased with my body ability to take care of the problem. We have been best friends since.

  114. says

    I have a 17cm vertical scar running from just under my sternum to the middle of my belly. I was born with a hole in my abdomen and had to have my liver and intestines shoved back in as they were practically falling out.

    Thankfully had the scar neatened up somewhat 3 years later. They even tried to give me a little fake belly button.

  115. Nico says

    Guys! Science is Serious Business!

    Um. Hahahaha. Anyway.

    For animal biology related scars: I have a nice assortment of scars from the claws of my two late iguanas, all over my arms. They’re nature’s cuisinart.

    And in the category of “don’t experiment on the neighbor”:
    A rather impressive set of scars on my knees and the tops of my feet from my neighbor’s kid doing experients in velocity ( he shoved a skateboard in front of my bike tire whilst I, the lab rat was unaware this was his plan. I went flying.)

    I haven’t had any lab related booboos, but give me time, it’ll happen.

  116. FW says

    This reminds me of an old television commercial:
    Thomas Sandström and Mikael Renberg are in an elevator and start comparing scars – on their chests, on their backs, on their legs.
    The elevator stops, the door opens, and Börje Salming, standing outside the elevator, see the two men with their pants down, one bending beside the other …

  117. says

    For the record (I didn’t slog through all the comments, so if it’s been said already, I apologize) a while back your former fellow scienceblogger, Dr Charles, set up a separate site for pictures of and stories about people’s scars. It was quite touching, including, of course, mine.

  118. Damned at Random says

    What is the anatomical term for the web of flesh between the base of the thumb and the knuckle of the index finger? I have beautiful little quarter moon scars on both sides of mine from putting a cork puller through it. I always did prefer corkscrews

  119. Barn Owl says

    Scars = wound healing = cell biology.

    One word for the collector of mouse tail clips for genotyping: scissors. You can hold the anesthetized mouse and the end of the tail in one hand, cut with the other-no need to cut against a hard surface. Throw ’em out when they get too dull to make a clean snip. The scissors, I mean.

    My best scar arose from a radiator vs. occipital region collision at age three. Think “stuck pig” for the amount of blood. Required many stitches, and left a long jagged scar on the back of my head. Fortunately I have lots of very thick hair, but the scar is always a nice surprise for the new hair stylist. I was sitting in a booster seat in a chair at the dining table, and decided I wanted to get down RIGHT THEN*, so I pushed back on the table, and the whole thing toppled over, and I split my scalp open on the radiator. This was in the bad old days, when your dad could put a piece of plywood across the back seat of the Corvair (“unsafe at any speed”), so you and your siblings could lie down and nap, untethered, on long drives. I’m sure I probably ingested a few lead paint chips in that house, the chimney and fireplace were intriguingly filthy (and the occasional blackbird came through into the house), and the neighbors made a huge icy sledding course, with a dropoff into the alley, each winter. Like a luge run for little kids.

    *Impatience is still my middle name.

  120. labert says

    As a senior in high school, I played volleyball. At a tournament, playing the best school in the state, I went up to block the best hitter they had. He hit the ball so hard, it bent back both my thumbs, tearing through my block and tearing ligaments in each thunb, one of which needed surgery (hence the scar.) He started for Pepperdine as a freshman the following year. I didn’t.

  121. Richbank says

    When I was about 7 I discovered that trees can be climbed. One day while climbing a thin young tree, my hand slipped and i began to fall. Desperately trying to stop my fall i reached out for a branch, and got my arm raked by a particularly sharp branch for my troubles. I ended up with a really cool 3 inch scar to show off to my friends.

  122. says

    I have a small scar on my scalp, on the back-left side of my head. When I shave my hair off it becomes quite clear for about a week before it gets overgrown.

    When I was a little over a year old, my eldest sister was carrying me up the street on her shoulders and dropped me, I fell five and a half feet onto pavement. All I got was a bandaid and a kiss on the forehead for such a traumatic experience.

  123. brian says

    Iwas the victim of a vicious drop-kick on the playground. Good thing i was looking the other way, also lucky I was standing in front of a large wooden post. 6 stitches on chin.
    I’ve also got record of my first skin tab that grew on my chest, fixed it with a pair of tweezers. among others

  124. Beth B. says

    I have a crescent moon-shaped scar on my left knee which is the result of a nasty fall at geology field camp. Stupid Fountain Formation. It’s a sandstone/conglomerate with a penchant for weathering into slopes covered in veritable ball bearings, and I was a) not watching where I stepped, and b) wearing shorts.

    Once I’d finished extracting all the little Fountain pebbles out of the thing, I was left with what is actually a really cool-looking wound/scar.

  125. says

    Lets see if I can start at the beginning and work my way forward. As a small child I fell knee first onto a rusty nail. Scar on my knee cap that is almost invisible now as well as an indentation in my patela where there was once a hole. A few years later I played tug-o-war with an elastic belt with my younger brother and told him to let go. He did. Scar hidden in my right eyebrow. Around the age of 11 I decided to headbutt a concrete fireplace. The fireplace won. Scar just below my hairline on my forehead. Not long afterward I brought the sport of street luge to suburban Chicago. Road rash along my right hip. Various others on my knees and elbows from general scraps and cuts. A multitude on my hands from years of rock climbing.

    I’m sure they’ll be more.

  126. says

    Most of mine (right forearm mostly) I got from playful cats. Add two broken noses and the callus one gets from wearing glasses.

    My most unusual consists of a few dermal divots I got from Smallpox, in a way. I was very young, it was the live virus vaccine, and I came down with a more serious than usual mild case. That is, my vaccine caused case was more serious than they thought it would be.

  127. shane says

    4cm scar above the eye. Used to work in a bar and copped something to the face which opened a gash like a filleted fish during one of those weekly all-in-brawls we used to have.

    Sole of the foot when my foot was squished like a grape in a motor cycle accident when a large truck ran over my foot – almost amputated the bloody thing.

    My brother had 11 stitches in the junk. Landed on the handle bars of his postie bike (a little 150cc honda – he is a postman) after he ran up the back of a car. 6 stitches in the shaft and 5 in the sack.

  128. Bacopa says

    I once worked for a major pet supplies chain. I ended up taking a class and being in charge of birds. Never handled birds before, but it became my job to trim a white-cap Pionous parrot’s nails. Never trimmed a parrot’s nails before, but i was something of a natural with the birds. I fiured I’d hold Zelda while a dog groomer did the actual trimming. Zelda tore my hands open. She showed me the fine structure of the tendons in my right middle finger. I bled all over the place, but never let go. That finger has a huge keloid to this day as it got infected. I should have got stitches.

    I later learned how to train a bird to accept having its feet held lightly. I got them used to a Dremel grinder by running it near their cages and then right next to them so they would not fear it. I could do the front claws of both feet before they knew what was happening. Give them some treats and fuss over them and then you can get the back claws the next day.

  129. Matt says

    I’ve got a couple scars, one on my right thumb, one on my right ankle, from flintknapping. Both wounds required stitches.

    Two things I learned:

    It’s amazing how embarrassing it is to cut the hell out of your hand demonstrating to students how flintknapping works…

    It’s amazing how a piece of falling obsidian can cut open your leg without you even feeling it…

  130. says

    I have a scar from a motorcycle “wreck” :-)

    When I was 14 or 15, I had a small Honda. (14 had been the legal driving age for motorcycles in Colorado up until a couple of years before, but my otherwise law abiding parents were scofflaws when it came to letting me ride it.) We were visiting friends in a very small (pop. 300 max) town with little, if any, traffic. My friend and I tied her little brother’s wagon to the back of the motorcycle and we took each other on rides around town. At one point she stopped and then started suddenly, jerking the wagon, and I went flying out of the back of it and landed on the small of my back — my arms, torso & legs were sticking up sort of like a turtle on its back — and I got a nasty scrape right below the waist, and because we didn’t tell our parents about it, and I didn’t really get any treatment, I had a huge scar for years. It’s faded a bit now, but it used to be a silly conversation piece.

    The next day, 3 of us took the motorcycle (we were thin then and could get 3 of us on it) to the general store, bought a pack of cigarettes, drove to a field, and proceeded to smoke the entire pack, where I promptly got sick and threw up. By the time we’d gotten back to my friend’s house, word had spread through the town that we’d bought cigarettes (there isn’t much to do in a town of 300 people but rat each other out, evidently) and we got in trouble for that. Getting sick like that did quench any desire I ever had to smoke again, though.

    Reading through these, I’m thinking it’s a wonder any of us made it to adulthood.

  131. says

    My only ‘major’ scar is about a half-inch long thing above my top lip. When I was 4 or so the family dog (a boston terrier) jumped up and bit my face – one of its fangs went totally through the skin above my top lip and tore downward. Nowadays it’s barely noticeable, except for making my Billy-Idol-type sneer a bit more pronounced on that one side.

  132. Adrienne says

    The only noticeable childhood scar that I have is the roundish one on my upper left thigh, toward the back. It’s about the size of a quarter. That’s where they decided to vaccinate me for smallpox. I guess I should be glad I didn’t get it on the arm like most folks did, considering the size of the scar it left. But then, I have enough other scars on my arms (and legs) from things like those blackberries and other thorny plants I have encountered while doing field work. And, from my cats. And, from minor burns and overzealous scratching of mosquito bites…

  133. deang says

    Most of my scars are tiny, the result of picking relentlessly at small scabs as a child. But I do have one unusual one, from being bitten by a squirrel. A great aunt fed squirrels out of her hand daily in her front yard and at about age 5 or 6 I asked to try. She poured mixed nuts into my hand, I held my hand out to the one remaining squirrel, and it sniffed my hand and bit my left index finger. Not deep, but blood went everywhere and I had to be taken to a doctor. “Hmm. That’s never happened to me,” said my great aunt. I have a small, crescent-shaped scar to this day.

  134. IBY says

    Other than the ones on my knees which happened after scrapping myself on concretes several times in my childhood, I have one on a finger which happened while I was cooking and I touched the edge of the flat cooking thing, which burned it.

  135. outlier says

    Man, all the stories here involve either teeth or sharp pointy objects.

    *My* scars were caused by a colony of invaders using my body for food and shelter. Their former homes excavated through two or three layers of skin, leaving small but numerous hypotropic, hypopigmented areas.

  136. Sloan says

    I have a crescent-shaped scar, about an inch long, on my left palm near the base of the thumb. Years ago, as a young lab technician, I was tightening the fittings on a glass Cornwall syringe (a type of repeating syringe used to dispense liquids aseptically) and I tightened just a little too much. The glass barrel snapped and cut across my palm. Blood went everywhere. I didn’t need any stitches but it didn’t heal very well, and there is a raised line of scar tissue there that I’ll have for the rest of my life.

    Incidentally, I like to scare people with that story by explaining that the syringe was full of potassium cyanide medium…which it was, but the concentration of the KCN is so low as to prove no real hazard at all.

  137. kev_s says

    On an expedition in Irian Jaya looking for deep caves I was working with one of the local dani to cut a path through cloud forest onto the limestone plateau at around 4000m altitude. He was doing all the work. White man was just tidying up the odd bits left behind and was knackered doing only that. None of our team had used machetes before and they were razor sharp. In the morning I had warned everyone to be particularly careful around the end of the day because the accident would happen when they were tired. So they should recognised tiredness as a warning and stop.
    So around 4pm, just as we were due to finish for the day, I swung my machete at an insignificant twig that was harming nobody and the machete sort of bounced off and the swing brought it down onto my right knee, stopped by the bone.
    I called to the dani path-cutter, he turned, then wailed and fell to his knees in prayer!
    “Oh great!”, I thought. “That’s all I need… a god-botherer in the middle of Irian Jaya to pray for my recovery!”
    Since camp was several hours away, the nearest village 2 days away, and the nearest doctor another day’s flight away, self-help was the only option.
    However in camp that night we found we had no kit to stitch wounds. So my friend had to walk over the hill to our other camp to get one.
    When he returned we found the needles were the ‘blunt’ sort for major muscle not the ‘sharp’ sort for skin. No matter how much he pushed and how much I gritted my teeth, the damn thing would not stitch. So we had to resort to steri-strips and a splint made from the frame of my rucksack to keep the wound still. It made a great scar.
    I also got given some antibiotics which usefully cleared up the got-rot I was suffering from. This side-benefit was rather essential since getting in and out of my tube-tent with one leg in a splint took several minutes and the previous night I had to leave the tent abruptly several times and do the business in seconds rather than minutes.
    Later in the trip we saw a guy with an axe in his leg after an argument. Now that would have made a great scar!

  138. Matt says

    ’twas bitten on the face by a german shepherd as a six-year-old. The scar has mostly faded (at 45), the memory hasn’t – still skittish around dogs.

  139. Daniel says

    Lots of ’em. Three on my forehead from various falls, a large one on my chin from falling over ice skating,nine or ten on my right hand where I lost my temper and slammed a door…I was pushing on a large pane of glass – lots of blood gushing and whimpering ensued.
    I also have one beneath my eyebrow from a mugger, one on my cheek from playing footie with a rock in school, one on my lower lip from a childhood scrap with a bully, there’s more I think.
    Yep… a large one on my left hand from a hunting knife, another one where the end of my left pinky was almost completely severed, and a large patch of burns scarring on my right forearm from trying to fix a scrambler whilst the exhaust can was still hot. Last one I know about is on my lower back, chipped a vertebra when I was dropped on a railing whilst crowd surfing.

    Then there’s the surgical scars.. a huge one across half my abdomen, to correct a blocked pylora when I was a few weeks old, and one on my ear lobe from a violently snapping top E guitar string (this took 3 stitches).

    I’m not the luckiest guy in the world :)

  140. says

    Little (8mm) pink circle on my inner thigh. Hot gluing while naked. For the life of me I cannot remember why.

  141. Wendy says

    I got a huge vaccination scar on my right upper arm from the good old smallpox shot. Bigger than a quarter, circle with dots in the center