At the Children's Museum, the CDC recommends hot zone gear.
At the Children's Museum, you thank God for the seal of your skin.
At the Children's Museum, penetration = death.
No... oh God... no...
I pulled the large splinter out of the pad of my right ring finger, washed my hands with soap and hot water, and immediately applied a C-3PO band-aid. I lit a candle. I prayed.
But the wound did not heal.
This morning, two days later, I took off my band-aid.
Where I expected to see a pinprick, an inflamed but empty splinter-hole (see also: Donald Trump), instead I found an abscess, a hot, puffed-up, pus-filled bulge (see also: Donald Trump.)
I pulled out the mother splinter at the Children's Museum. But that splinter left something behind. A SPLINTER BABY, tiny, angry, and strong... so strong...
It lay in the fecund womb of my finger skin, slowly poisoning me with the nuclear cocktail of whatever ungodly plagues that ten thousand children have wiped, coughed, licked, spat, picked, crapped, and blew chunks all over the splintery pieces of wood at the Children's Museum.
Reader, I have accepted the probability of my fate. I have no choice but courage now. And if you are made of such mettle that you'll join the fight, now is the hour.
Listen very carefully because there's not much time.
First, call a priest. Any priest will do. Honestly, it could be a rabbi. An imam. You neighbor who's a yoga teacher. Your cousin who got certified to perform weddings at Burning Man, he'll do. Is he wearing pants? Actually, pants optional. Just get him here. I need someone standing by to pronounce the final rites, should this thing go more quickly than expected.
Second, boil the tweezers and get some twine, a dish of hot water, torn petticoat fabric, a bottle of Jim Beam, and a leather strap to put between my teeth. THERE'S NO TIME TO WAIT FOR THE DOCTOR.
Third, and this is important, bolt a set of Civil War-era shackles to the wall in the garage and construct a pen of iron bars, cemented seven feet deep in the ground and welded to maximum strength. You must do this before the next full moon. I might be a werewolf now.
Fourth, gaze upon my necrotic flesh, the tip of a finger that I always thought of as reliable, humble, and a bit cheeky. Do not dwell upon his deformed and bilious form - remember instead the rosy, round curve of yesterday, the ironic humor with which he hit the "o" key on the keyboard, his steadfast support of the back of the iPhone whenever we needed to take a quick selfie.
Good night, sweet prince. If the Gods favor our cause I may see you again, perhaps in this fatal world, perhaps in the golden fields of Elysium where you can be made whole once again, free from the wounds of mortal flesh, for all time.
READER, LEND ME YOUR STRENGTH as I tweeze my own finger, using the needle-tips of the tool to pull the wound apart, to dig, with teeth clenched, in the rubbery and unyielding flesh of my own body to find a sliver of pure evil.
LEND ME YOUR PRAYERS as I destroy my body to save it.
My tweezers brush against the eyelash of wood with an inaudble click, and with a scream to the heavens, I extract the hideous beast in a pool of pus and blood and a gushing stream of hydrogen peroxide.