Andujar: The prolonged epidemic of papercuts


This is an installment of Suzette Andujar’s weekly column “As I Was Saying”

The burn was unlike any pain I had ever felt before. How could something so thin, so tiny, affect my poor finger in such a way?

This is an epidemic and if this has never happened to you, then you’re from Krypton and shouldn’t be reading this anyway. I’m talking about the serious issue of paper cuts. This is a worldwide epidemic affecting millions of lives. In 2016 alone, I have had countless paper cuts, countless. That is an eye-opening statistic.

I can’t even determine which paper cut is worse: when you realize that it is currently happening and you’re helpless to stop it or when you put hand sanitizer on and feel the agonizing, heart-wrenching fire that explodes from within your finger?

Then I think; I’ll just ignore the cut and I won’t feel it anymore. I’ll lift my chin in triumph, raise my finger proudly and quote Mercutio, “A scratch!,” but then a few minutes later I’ll feel the tingling pain, collapse like Mercutio and cry out dramatically, “A plague o’both your houses!”

Paper cuts aren’t just caused by paper; there are a variety of causes that puts all of us at risk – the worst of which is getting a paper cut by a manila folder. The statistics on manila folders being an accessory to the crimes of paper are frankly disturbing. From my earlier data based on my experience with paper cuts this year alone, one in every 10 instances were from manila folders. This is an alarming trend and one that you cannot afford to ignore.

The paper’s squad runs deep, take heed. Cardboard has been known to be in on the action. Don’t ask me how it happened; ask the cardboard and its kind of deadly, saw-like edges. Card stock is part of this deadly gang and its sister, the card. I have, in fact, gotten a paper cut by a birthday card. My birthday is this week and quite honestly I’m terror-stricken at the thought of opening any cards. I’m pretty sure my grandmother won’t like that.

Statistically speaking, the worst of the paper cuts were the ones that were not bloody. One in, say, three cuts were just a frightening long line. If my figures are correct, that is a gruesome amount of non-bloody paper cuts. The longer the line of the cut, the more painful it is to endure.

Take heart, the statistics do, in fact, show that the pain does not last forever. Once a day or two of the unpleasant misery of the cut is over, your life resumes as normal. You come out of this grim experience a little older and wiser. You’re more careful when you hold those homework sheets. You handle that pizza box in a careful light, not letting your raving hunger rip open the top and be exposed to terror.

Don’t let the paper cuts win. If you or a friend are affected, hold your head up high and say, in Mercutio’s words, “Ay, a scratch!”