Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cut and Paste.

One of the best creepy stories I know I learned in a graphic design class. Creepy stories in graphic design classes generally all revolve around the X-Acto knife. My favorite is one wherein a man was up late at night pasting together a layout in a print shop. Oh, sorry. For you kids out there who didn't understand anything I just said…Go watch an episode of Bewitched, and when Darren is at work with big sheets of paper and markers and light tables, you’ll totally get it. An X-Acto knife is kind of like the “crop” icon in Photoshop, only it’s razor thin, three dimensional, and super sharp. Imagine a tiny razor-sharp knife on the end of a pencil.

Anyway – so this guy is holding his tiny razor-sharp knife on the end of a pencil in his right hand when the phone rings. This gets weirder..,his phone is permanently ATTACHED TO THE WALL and he had to get up and walk over to it. So, he gets up and walks over to the phone, but Caller ID hasn’t been invented yet, so he totally cannot tell if he’s should answer it or now or not. He’s all “maybe its my boss” or “maybe it’s my wife,” and he’s totally distracted from the whole getting upness and from Caller ID not being invented yet, and he picks up the receiver (that’s the talky/listeny part) and brings it up to his face WHILE THE KNIFE IS STILL IN HIS HAND.

And he completely stabs himself in the eye. Grody, huh?

Two parts I’ve always been curious about. 1) Did it stay in there and he had to pull it out? Like, if he put his hand down, would it be sort of flopping around? And, 2) Who was calling? Because I wonder if it was someone he knew well so he could be all, “OW. I totally stabbed my own eye just now, ow, seriously, help me, but don’t call 911 because it hasn’t been invented yet,” or, if it was the client calling who was waiting for his paste-up because the newspaper needed the ad and so the guy with the knife in his eye had to act calm and reassuring and say, “Oh, hey, Bill. Yep, we’re almost done here, buddy. Oh, it’s lookin’ great, I’ll tell you that! You are gonna sell some sofas this weekend!” WHILE EYE GOO IS SPURTING ON HIS HAND, THE PHONE AND ALL OVER THE SUNDAY "SOFA CITY" CIRCULAR.

Skip forward a little bit and you learn the guy is now resets bowling pins for a living and is nicknamed Patch, and everytime someone asks him about his past, he looks off into the distance (with one eye) and says, "Arrg," (because he was afflicted with pirate-speech the minute the patch went on), "Damn that Adobe corporation for inventing Photoshop 20 years too late to save me eye."


  1. As someone who had to use those knives in high school journalism - i have fond memories of my trusty blue pencil! -- I always wondered if these stories were true!
    Oh, but snopes hadn't been invented yet then, either!

  2. Now if he'd been wearing his swimming goggles...

  3. I think I saw that movie... When he stuck himself, was his eyeball really a red light with an aperature opening and closing?? Then he just threw on some gargoils and went on his merry way to the gun store... "Phased plasma rifle in a forty watt range... Just what you see pal... Uzi nine milimeter..."



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