Friday, January 5, 2024


When I was a Boy Scout, they spent a lot of time teaching first aid, with many sessions of improvising bandages, making splints, crutches and stretchers, and learning the proper way to use tourniquets. Because, you know, Be Prepared.

All this left me with the impression that one or more of us (I hoped not me) would be seriously injured each time we ventured into the woods. Billy or Johnny would manage to find a cliff to fall from, leaving him broken and bleeding.

But we never had occasion to deal with compound fractures or severed arteries. Just cuts, scrapes, blisters, sunburn, insect bites, and the occasional twisted ankle—not even a proper sprain.

“Are you sure you don’t need us to bind that up with your neckerchief?”

“Nah, I’ll just walk it off.”

“How about a crutch? It would give us an excuse to chop up a branch. Maybe pad it with a neckerchief?”

“Nah, I feel much better already.”

“You’ve been scratching that mosquito bite a lot. We should bandage it with a neckerchief.”

“Leave me alone!”

So, why has Boy Scout first aid been on my mind?

Snagged my finger on a sharp bit of something in the toolbox. In my years out here on the road, where the building dwellers warn us it’s so dangerous, I haven’t needed much in the way of bandaging. Just some booboos now and then, mostly cuts. The worst was probably scraping some outer flesh from my shin when I lost footing in some rocks. And it was nowhere near a cliff. But I still have a bunch of bandaids and medical tape on hand. Maybe I should get a neckerchief or two, because Be Prepared, man.


  1. I always carried a neckerchief in my van's glove box. Never used it, though. And my metal band-aid box held quarters for the laundry.
    Linda Sand

  2. Neosporin? Tetracycline? Tetanus shot? Sepsis?!?!

    Do they still knock out your teeth if you get tetsnus?

  3. Have you heard any specifics of what the building dwellers think is so dangerous?

  4. Haha. Great post