What Should I Know About Running with Scissors?

Michael Pollick

The oft-maligned act of youthful rebellion known as running with scissors is generally considered one of the most galactically stupid maneuvers any human being could perform. The most likely outcome would either be an emergency medical procedure to remove the scissors from the runner's body, or an embarrassing yet factual obituary detailing precisely how the runner expired. The ill-advised practice of running with scissors practically defines the entire safety lecture industry.

Running with scissors may result in the requirement of an emergency medical procedure.
Running with scissors may result in the requirement of an emergency medical procedure.

One of the first conundrums raised by running with scissors is the inexplicable need for speed. There are very few situations in which shaving a few seconds off the old scissor delivery land speed record would be essential. Running at full speed with a sharp pair of scissors in hand is rarely necessary, so walking at a controlled pace would be the ideal for accident prevention. Running increases the chances of a slip or fall, which could prove disastrous if the scissor blades were in a position to impale the runner.

Running with scissors may result in death.
Running with scissors may result in death.

Running with scissors can also be a hazard to others. If the scissors are held with the blades pointed outwards, an innocent bystander could be cut badly as the runner brushes past him. Even worse, a sudden encounter at a doorway or other entrance could end with an accidental stabbing, or the impact might drive the scissor blades into the runner himself. Either scenario would be enough incentive to give up on the senseless act of high-speed scissor delivery.

The act of running with scissors has become the poster child of household safety programs everywhere, and with good reason. It is an ideal example of how a fairly safe household item, albeit one with two sharpened blades, can become a dangerous weapon when handled improperly. Few people would ever consider running with a full set of serrated steak knives or a power saw, but for some reason a pair of scissors is not always perceived as a safety hazard by a select group of potential victims.

If you should find yourself actually running with scissors, always keep in mind that scissors can be replaced, but the same cannot be always be said for body parts. If something appears to be going seriously awry, such as an impending fall, the best thing to do would be to toss the scissors away from your body before impact. The worst injuries occur whenever a runner lands with force on the scissor blades or has the blades driven into his body on impact. Make sure the blades are fully closed, and hold the scissors in your hand, not in a pocket or waistband.

In general, running with scissors should be limited to an extreme emergency situation in which time is an important factor, such as cutting off a constrictive object or freeing a trapped victim from a seat belt. All other scissor-related activities should fall under the general category of "no running required."


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Discussion Comments


Interesting how common sense makes its way into phrases. Too bad more common sense doesn't get into the electorate and the politicians. In these later days, or is it our last days, common sense is passe and not politically correct.-Donald W. Bales


How many people do you know who *actually* know of someone hurt running with scissors?

*one* - me.

My parents rented one of their homes to a family with many little ones and a frazzled-type mom. The accident happened to one of her children. The child lived through the emergency surgery needed to close the tummy wound,

but it was a thing no one ever entirely forgets.-elle


Should have been a finalist for the Darwin Award.

Many years ago I was a Mensa member, and one of the first things I found was that being intelligent has little to do with common sense.

The second thing I learned is that if you are smart enough to be right most of the time, you tend to believe you are correct all the time, on everything. This can also bite you.


I knew of a man who *once* mixed toxic pool chemicals in his basement for cleaning his hot tub. When his wife found him he had expired.

I've always remembered this guy in my own prayers. "God Please don't let me die out of some bone head move for which I will always be remembered.

By the way the deceased was goofy but well educated and very intelligent.


How literal can you get!

"Running with scissors is usually used metaphorically to describe any moronically dangerous activity--such as "playing on the freeway."

When used in the past tense, ("I was running with scissors.") or in the phrase "I run with scissors." it is used to metaphorically indicate that you take unnecessary risks--an indication of "daring" (or stupidity.)"

It is often used in the third person to indicate that the person described takes stupid chances.

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