From The Ethics Alarms Life Competence Files: “Learn To Throw And Catch Keys!”

That’s young Canadian woman Renée Lariviere above, before and after her weird injury. She was leaving her apartment to go to dinner and reportedly asked a friend to toss her the car keys.  As she awkwardly grabbed the keys as they hurtled through the air, she managed to jerk them into her face. The result was that the business end of a key, as resulting  X-rays revealed, was embedded nearly two inches into her nasal cavity and below her eye.

The car key was successfully extracted—get face started right up! (sorry)—and thanks to plastic surgery, she now doesn’t even have a scar. However, this was, I think all were agree, an accident that never should have happened. Who was her key-throwing friend, Roger Clemens? These are all basic life lessons:

  • Learn to catch. It’s an essential life skill. Practice. (My wife has never caught anything I’ve tossed to her, including keys. Ever. I stopped trying long, long ago.)
  • Learn what “toss” means. (Hint: it does not mean, “Whip it at me!”)
  • If you can’t catch, don’t ask people, even friends, to throw things to you or at you.
  • If you don’t know if someone can catch, don’t throw anything to them or at them, Walk over and hand it to them.
  • One tosses keys underhanded, like a softball. Although, given Renée’s apparent hand-eye coordination, even that kind of toss might have ended with her wounded, only with the keys impaled in the top of her head.

3 thoughts on “From The Ethics Alarms Life Competence Files: “Learn To Throw And Catch Keys!”

  1. Some folks can’t catch, but some can’t toss, either. A few decades ago, a friend of mine working in our Fugitive Unit was returning with his new partner cross country by auto with a prisoner in custody. The partner was a relatively new guy in the unit and had never before traveled with my friend. During a pouring rainstorm they stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere to refuel and take a bathroom break. My friend took the prisoner to the restroom while the partner refueled the car. Upon returning to the car, my friend secured the prisoner in the transport vehicle and went on his own break. Returning again, he prepared to get settled behind the wheel to drive the next leg of the tip, while the partner went to the restroom. As the partner got out of the vehicle and headed to the restroom, my friend told him to toss over the keys to the vehicle. My friend says the partner “wound up like Sandy Koufax” and threw the keys waay over his head and… onto the roof of the gas station. His comment: “Oops!” My friend managed to control his temper and told the partner to figure out a way to retrieve the keys PDQ. Fortunately, the station had a ladder out back and the delay was minimal. The partner did get soaking wet while retrieving the keys, which he deserved. The partner actually got a few lessons and lots of practice tossing (and catching) keys after their return home.

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