It was a Wednesday morning like any other. Froderik got out of bed at seven, hoping to be on time for school. As usual, he got himself dressed and headed to the kitchen. Somewhat lazily, he picked up a loaf of bread and switched on the hand-operated electric bread slicer. Soon after, a penetrating pain surged up his right arm. The machine, the bread and the lower half of his sweater sleeve were all a bright red. Froderik reeled – the tip of his thumb was missing.
Fortunately, Froderik managed to locate the thumb tip relatively quickly. It was right next to the breakfast cheese. Then, and without really thinking about it, he took a half-full glass of pickled gherkins from the fridge and popped his thumb tip in among the miniature cucumbers. That’s sorted at least, thought Froderik to himself. You gained yourself some time there, my friend. He was convinced that the gherkin vinegar would be the best thing for his disconnected body part at that moment.
Placing the jar in a plastic bag padded with socks and hiding the package under his jumper, he hopped on his bike and reached the local hospital just 20 minutes later.
“Don’t you worry,” said the doctor, after fishing out the thumb tip from the vinegary brew on his fourth attempt. “We’ll get this sorted in no time.” On his way out, he called to Nurse Ines that she should pop round to take Froderik’s temperature before the operation.
“Here’s the unlucky fellow,” said the nurse, with a broad smile and brandishing a thermometer. For Froderik, time stood still for a moment: Such concentrated beauty, coupled with a captivating charm that he had never known could exist. He was immediately in love – with her big eyes, with her long legs, and with whatever it was that he could glimpse inside her slightly unbuttoned blouse. Health matters should come first, thought Froderik, pulling down his pants to signal readiness for an anal temperature-taking. Although he accompanied this with one of his winning smiles, he couldn’t help notice a slight hesitation from Nurse Ines, before she recovered her composure and got to work with what Froderik thought was admirable dedication. He attributed the hesitation to girlish enthrallment – the type that a young nurse would typically display at the sight of an attractive patient.
“That’s it, you can go home now” said the doctor, snipping off the last of the threads. The finger looked almost as good as new. Froderik took the jar of pickles and set off for home. But wait, should he perhaps catch a final glimpse of his beloved? Yes, that was a good idea. With determination, he set off on his mission, creeping through the corridors until he heard her voice from behind a corner. She appeared to be chatting with another nurse: “… at which point the pimply git pulled down his pants and showed me his bare ass. I almost puked. I thought: should I tell him to stick it in his armpit like everybody else? But no, I shoved the thing right up his backside…”
Upon hearing this, Froderik departed on a mental journey of great twisting and distortion to convince himself that she had been talking about another patient. Unable to succeed in this task, Froderik’s mind immediately turned to thoughts of revenge. Passing the nurses’ lounge on his way out, he placed the jar of pickled cucumbers directly alongside a communal jar of olives.
At home, his sense of calm returned. Anyway, the instructions on his mother’s clinical thermometer underlined the possibility of temperature variations of up to 0.5 degrees if measured in the armpit – far too great a health risk for the small chance of an intimate dinner with Nurse Ines.