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Painful, but funny

I was reading the thread about finger cutting while cooking, and it put me in mind of a rash of older, food-related injuries showing up in ERs that struck me as very funny - Popcorn Eye was one (staring immediately into a just-opened bag of freshly-popped microwave popcorn) and Bagel Hand another (back in the day when bagels were novel in much of the country and the uninitiated insisted on slicing same with one hand while holding with the unfortunate other).

I'm probably not a very nice person for getting such yuks out of this, but there it is...a few steps shy of the Darwin Awards. Any nominations for similarly hilarious mishaps?

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  1. Back when I was a line cook, I found it pretty hilarious that a couple of my colleagues managed to dunk their entire hand into the fryer. Yuk Yuk!

    1. Oven Eyes, where you dry roast your eyeballs by opening a really hot convection oven "just to peek"--but you're standing too close because you're not wearing your glasses (and thus not protected because you're not wearing your glasses!).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Beckyleach

        LMAO @ dry roasted eyebrows.

        there is also eyebrow and eyelash instant removal when you light the gas burner and it makes a woooooooof and blows up in your face.

        we have boiling water hand scald when the electric kettle lid is not clipped in and you wonder why it won't turn itself off putting hand over the boiling top of the kettle to close it - duh.

      2. hehe, I have a Bagel Hand scar.

        Hows about Vinegar Lung? Leaning over a hot pickle stewing or similar seasonings on eg popcorn and taking a big deep inhale..... particularly enjoyable when you're asthmatic.

        5 Replies
        1. re: im_nomad

          jfood pulled that bonehead move once when he was reducing balsamic vinegar to a balsamic syrup for mozzy and tomatoes.

          1. re: jfood

            And then there was the time many years ago when I attemped to make chili oil. Or when I made steak au poivre. There wasn't enough ventilation in the universe to clear the air.... Live and learn.

          2. re: im_nomad

            A few days ago, my chile powder looked a little clumpy. I make my own, and I *love* the way it smells. But it was clumpy, so I gave the jar a hard shake before I took the lid off and promptly (stupidly, idiotically, etc) buried my nose in the jar to inhale, on purpose. Thank god it was a mild batch. Even so, I had flaming nostrils for a good hour.

            And I often manage to place my oven mitt, or my bare hand, directly over the steaming vent on my DO lid. The peek-a-boo burn.

            And I do sometimes start wiping the stove down, and forget that I've only meant to wipe around the still-hot burners, and I put my hand right on the hot iron.

            1. re: im_nomad

              Or homemade horseradish sauce, took the top off the blender and took a big sniff, sinuses were clear for months. Also dropped a frozen ham on my foot, have a couple of very ugly toes.

              1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                Rhetorical question, but why is it that a ham-related injury is just so very hilarious?

            2. Every year I get my "Thanksgiving Burn" When I burn my forearm taking the turkey out of the oven and it singes on oven wall somehow... EVERY DAMN YEAR!!!!

              14 Replies
              1. re: gryphonskeeper

                I manage to remember the food I was cooking while garnering the array of burn scars up my arms, somehow I managed to scald above the elbow during pumpkin pie, and I have an impressive inner side elbow scar from Thanksgiving turkey. Painful, and you get to feel dumb at the same time....

                1. re: rcallner

                  It has gotten to be almost comical. Every year they ask me "So where did you get the burn this time?"

                  1. re: rcallner

                    tiger stripes? I have plenty of faded ones from working in restaurant kitchens

                  2. re: gryphonskeeper

                    whimp, the sides are the not-so-hot part of the oven. You know that orange thing on the top of the oven...now you're talking hot. :-))

                    1. re: jfood

                      That is usually where I get it. Right on the top part of my forearm!

                        1. re: jfood

                          And knits this thread together nicely with the vented range hood thread. Apart from the horrific screams from the kitchen as we sip a cocktail in the living room, the smell from the burned forearm is a Debbie Downer. Don't you wish hosts would get their act together?

                          1. re: Veggo

                            the only skin jfood has ever smelled from the little orange thing is his own. when he is a guest at friends' houses, they are much more careful than he.

                            1. re: jfood

                              and they type more carefluly, too.:)

                    2. re: gryphonskeeper

                      Every year? Count your blessings. I do the same g__d__ thing every other time I bake something. It's not my fault. I like to wear short sleeves at home, and no one's making elbow length oven mitts yet. Why not?!

                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                        I have a row of four parallel burn scars just above my wrist from hitting the top of the oven while taking something out. Kind of amusing in a sick way.

                        1. re: DGresh

                          I've had those burns, too. Sadly, the last time, the pot holder had a thin spot I didn't know about so I burned my hand which made me jerk up and hit the top of the oven.

                      2. How about the famous Chili contacts? Rub eyes with chili juice (painful enough without contacts) only to re-experience it the next day when you put your now contaminated contacts back in!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Quine

                          Had a bad case of jalapeno eye this summer. Chopped jalapenos from the gareden and promptly rubbed my eye. Also gave myself a pasta facial just this very evening.

                          Like my kids say, it's all funny until someone gets hurt, then it's hilarious!

                        2. Sacrifices to the mandoline god are apparently fairly common, as I found out. Use the holder; they make it for a reason. I always cringe when I see people go w/out now. If you look closely, you can see a missing sliver in my thumb.

                          Oh, has anyone seen the arms of long time cooks in Chinese restaurants? Talk about war wounds.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: chowser

                            ouch grated finger syndrome - also lost a few fingernails in the grater!

                            1. re: chowser

                              Um, I'm missing a tiny piece of thumb too. And I actually WAS using the holder!

                              1. re: chowser

                                Yeah, I took off a thumb tip once doing that. It grew back but there's still a scar.

                                On the other hand (so to speak) - my grandfather was a professional butcher - or as he preferred, "meat cutter" - and I inherited his huge, heavy cleaver, but I've never used it for its intended purpose. Every time I'm tempted to do so I remember those missing finger tips of his. I've only used it flat side down for pounding meats.

                              2. Every year we read about a few families who don't have a Thanksgiving table at which to eat their deep fried turkey because during the process they managed to burn their house down.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Veggo

                                  And this is why I refuse to honor my husband's wish for a deep-fried turkey. Antique wooden houses and vats of boiling oil in the driveway do not go together.

                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    Aren't they supposed to used OUTDOORS?????

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      The ones we read about Friday morning after attempted it in the garage.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Are these Darwin award nominees? I always pray they don't procreate.

                                  2. How About "Non Asbestos Hands Discovery" wherein I regularly grab hold of the handle of a screaming hot cast iron pan I just carefully removed from the oven with oven mitts? There is a split second where the hand sends the signal to your brain that says, "Idiot, you did it again!"

                                    8 Replies
                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                        I've done that and passed out from the burn... had blisters all over the palm of my hand... and I've done it subsequently.... stupid brain!

                                      2. re: EarlyBird

                                        Ha! That's the one I was going to post. At least a few times a year. And yet I still looooooove my cast iron.

                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                          add jfood to the list as well. then double-down on stupid when he places the skillet on the cooktop, plates the dinner and after placing the plates on the table returns to the kitchen, notices the pan and does not like it on the island and grabs the handle to move it. Oh crap.

                                          now jfood places a mitt on the handle immediately after he plates and before he brings the plates to the table.

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            And c oliver (using 3rd person in honor of himself)learned from jfood and uses the never before used oven mitt from the Scottish (or was it Irish?) woolen mill. But I STILL did it once. Expletive deleted :)

                                          2. re: EarlyBird

                                            There was a Topher Grace / Scarlett Johansson movie called "In Good Company" with a funny scene where Topher had invited himself over for dinner, and Marg Helgenberger and Dennis Quaid are arguing. As Marg removes the baked ziti out of the oven and faces Dennis to continue the argument, Dennis instinctively takes the casserole dish with his bare hands, then lets casserole dish shatter on the floor.

                                            1. re: EarlyBird

                                              The handle on my stainless steel skillet stays cool on the stove top. So why is it so hot when I try to remove it bare-handed from the oven?

                                              1. re: al b. darned

                                                Yep, same thing. I was roasting quail for dinner, with guests waiting at the table, and removed the stainless steel pan from the oven. 425F. The choice was save my hand or dinner. I chose the latter. Fortunately, I had some aloe gel, and applied it liberally. I had a red mark, but the gel worked remarkably well. I suffer for my art ;-)

                                            2. Painful, for the one who got hurt. Funny for the observer.

                                              Labor Day 1978, I was working for a local caterer, and was on duty in his restaurant. One of the young banquet chefs had to work in the restaurant on the holiday, it was her turn.
                                              At 1:15 PM, she sliced her hand open on the deli slicer.
                                              I wrapped her hand in a clean towel, tied a knot and took her to the emergency room at St. Raphael's hospital in New Haven.

                                              An intern saw her shortly and she was left with her hand bleeding slowly into a metal bowl.
                                              I called her father, a plastic surgeon in NYC, who then contacted the surgical resident to give instructions.
                                              We sat and sat and sat, nothing was happening. When queried, the ER doc, said that this was a work accident and the Insurance company doctor would not let anything be done before he arrived.
                                              The hurt chef, said that since her father was a plastic surgeon, the insurance company was probably scared of a lawsuit if the on call ER doc handled this.

                                              At 5:45, the Insurance Company Doc finally showed, still dressed in tennis whites carrying a black bag. He apologized for the delay, but explained he was playing in the club championships.
                                              The insurance doc opened his black bag, took out a polaroid and took a picture of the wound. He then told the ER doc to stitch it up and walked out. The chef was pissed, and I tried to keep from laughing in her face.

                                              She later won a major suit against the insurance company for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

                                              She quit the food business and went to law school, She makes her money handling medical malpractice cases.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                Edited to remove my commentary re: 'I tried to keep from laughing in her face'.

                                              2. I went to the doctor about a pain between my left thumb and index finger that radiated down to my wrist. After eliminating possible causes I was given the ice/heat advice and told to take ibuprofen. Welll. bummed out and in pain I decided to drown my sorrows in chocolate. It was back when TJ's had the pound plus bars. I tried to break off a piece and then realized the culprit. The bars were pretty thick and I was too lazy to use a knife or other utensil so I used my hand.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                  I think that's the best one yet... who knew that chocolate could be so dangerous?

                                                2. Being a nurse and having worked in trauma I've seen a few interesting scenarios. I still think my favourite was a chap who amputated his finger while making sausages. What made it even more interesting was when I forgot to dispose of his finger and another staff member found it in the fridge a week later...oops!

                                                  1. Whenever I toasted sweetened shredded coconut in the oven, every time I opened the door to stir it and was too close to the oven, I got blasted with something akin to pepper spray. Eyes would shut and water painfully and my sinuses would burn. I was puzzled about this and one day I posted to a message board and someone said it was from the propylene glycol used to process supermarket sweetened coconut. I've since switched to unsweetened coconut from a natural foods store and no longer mace myself when toasting it.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: stilton

                                                      So THATS what happened when I made coconut cookies.... I thought I needed to clean my oven.

                                                    2. First apartment. Electic stove. Always had a gas stove before. Needed something that was in a cabinet 'way on top of the stove & braced myself by putting my palm down on a recently turned off burner. For weeks my hand looked like one of those overhead views of crop circles.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                        OWWWWW! It hurts just reading that one

                                                        1. re: PattiCakes

                                                          PattiCakes wins!!!!!!

                                                          Game over, nobody will beat that.


                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            I can come really close. I was once sitting on the kitchen counter (don't tell my mother) and decided to stretch my legs. Little did I know my roommate had just turned off the electric stove. Those burn marks were on my calf for years!

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              electric stove with decorative metal burner covers. FIL visiting & he turned on one burner but mistakenly removed cover from a different burner. I went to remove the rest of the covers & seared all 5 fingers. Swore loud enough to scare the cat, and the FIL.

                                                          2. I love Cheetos, crunchy, ball shaped, whatever, something about that fake cheesy snack hits my guilty pleasure button. I also love hot stuff. Naturally when Cheetos came out with the giant fist sized balls in hot flavor, I had to get some.

                                                            A whole ball was held with my front teeth while I was staring at some numbers on the computer. A set of numbers grabbed my attention and I and took a huge breath in puzzlement. All the spicy cheese powder came off the ball and right into my lungs.

                                                            Immediate hacking fit and lungs on fire. Water wasn't going to help, nothing. I just had to tough it out. I was coughing and wheezing with tears streaming from my eyes. Everyone was wondering if I was okay. Of course everyone also knows my predilection for hot stuff so they were very amused at what happened after it was determined I'd be okay.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Jase

                                                              When I finished laughing at that, I remembered the time I got an whole Triscuit stuck to the roof of my mouth. The four corners had caught on the sides of my teeth, holding it up there firmly enough to panic me. It took a few moments to dislodge the thing, and I could think of was how long it would take a Triscuit to dissolve if I happened to be unsuccessful. Triscuits are very sturdy.

                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                When I was a child I got a Life Savers sucker lodged in my mouth so I can relate.

                                                                They make fist-sized Cheetos?

                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                  I think it was one of those limited edition deals. That's why it caught my eye. I was practically drooling in the aisle when I saw them. I normally stay away from snacking on potato chips or anything of that sort. But every 3-4 months I succumb to my cravings and destroy a large bag of puffy cheetos.

                                                              1. re: lacunacoil

                                                                Or bacon.... Never cook bacon and eggs while intoxicated and naked. Not that I would know of anything.... just sayin'

                                                              2. After repetitive shoulder injuries & nerve damage, my father's left hand is numb from his middle finger over to his pinky. One year he was playing assistant in the kitchen around Thanksgiving and pulled the 23lb turkey out of the freezer, and ended up dropping it on his left hand. Everyone freaked out asking if he was okay, and he just laughed and said "I didn't feel a thing!" The best part was, after dropping the turkey on it, he regained feeling in his hand for a day or two, and now he likes to joke that if he wants to use his hand he needs a frozen turkey first.

                                                                1. Okay, not exactly painful, but once after eating a slice of pizza I felt a tickle at the back of my throat. Cough, cough; drink water; cough, choke; drink more water; gag, cough... Finally DH (who was just the BF at the time) got a flashlight, and there lodged at the very back of my throat was a piece of... something, likely an herb stem. Sticking straight into my throat and out, kind of below the uvula. No amount of drinking, swallowing, coughing would dislodge it. After much debate (and drama on my part) he finally got a pair of tweezers and went in after it. It took him nearly 10 minutes to grab onto it with the tweezers and keep them clamped on it before he could pull it out. When he finally got it, I really felt it pulling out, kind of like a thorn. Not funny until he removed it, then we couldn't stop laughing, it was just such a stupid thing to have happen. I still can't imagine how it managed to lodge so firmly into the back of my throat.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: lisavf

                                                                    Reminds me of catch-and-release fishing. Sometimes the fish senses that the best way out of a tough predicament may be to stay still and not to flop around, as you did.