Channeling Sissy Hankshaw


cowgirls2It’s been some time since I thought about Sissy and her super-sized thumb. But now I’ve got one and appreciate her situation even more. She’s the wise and wooly character in Tom Robbins’s novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.


I had hand surgery two weeks ago and came home with a wad around my right hand big as a beehive. Once the pain meds were retired, I tried to resume my writing life at the keyboard-Ha! My best efforts looked like tweets without the #tags. I’d be plunking along and whoosh—a blank screen. I saw commands in Word I’d never seen before mysteriously appear. Email beginnings were “sent” without my inte nt and looked a lot like tbis… ..

I’m decidedly right handed and have mastered brushing my teeth without leaving a smear on my upper lip—got toothpaste? All other personal accomplishments shall remain unstated, but they are legion. Just try it—you’ll see what I mean.

My after-market hand

Yesterday we had the big unveiling and the stitches removed. I went to the local primary-care clinic, the lobby filled with garden-variety illnesses. I sat as far away as possible from several people wearing masks and found this among the Road and Track and O. Who knew?

Found in the lobby next to the Road and Track

Found in the lobby next to the Road and Track

I should have saved some anesthesia from my surgery for stitch removal. My involuntary gasps no doubt alarmed my coughing comrades down the hall, but it was soon over, and the sight of my rebuilt, after-market right thumb could be worth the pain and hassle yet.

Now, I’m in yet another, removable, slightly smaller brace for a month so the plunking, drop-downs, involuntary deletes, and frustration will continue. Find and Replace—just dropped in for a visit!

The moral of this post? There is none except a friend sent me a delicious list of thumbisms starting with Thumbelina and at least a dozen more. One he forgot or was kind enough to leave off the list was “Stick out like a sore thumb.” Hello Sissy wherever you are!

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