Cambrian: Slice of Life

It took a gory gash, but I found the perfect bandage for any situation

Kathe Tanner
Kathe Tanner

As toddlers, we wanted kisses, reassurances and decorative Band-Aids for our bumps, bruises, cuts and boo-boos. We sought the attention and hoped for sympathy, hugs and more kisses, sometimes in the vicinity of the injury.

Those usually made it “all better, Mommy!”

Then we grew up, and the idea of putting a cartoon on our forearm or finger became, well, a less enticing idea.

Pointing out to everybody that we’d been klutzy, accident prone or downright careless is a not-so-nifty concept for adults.

That’s probably why so many bandages are boring beige.

So, when I injured my forefinger while shopping one day, all I really wanted to do was clean it and cover it, aka hide it.

I asked a young grocery clerk for a bandage, showing him my wound as rationale. He turned slightly green around the gills and called for help, which arrived in the form of an unflappable young lady carrying several bandages.

I was genuinely grateful, even though the bandages were an amazingly vivid, visible shade of blue.

Yeah. Good luck hiding this boo-boo, Boo-Boo.

The Big Blue bandage’s hourglass shape is supposed to be for fingertips, I guess, but I was in no position to be fussy. I said “thank you,” took the bandage, went into the restroom and washed my wounded knuckle — does ladies’ room soap count as a disinfectant, Doc?

I carefully applied Big Blue, which stretched easily over the wound.

The neon blue bandage was just as noticeable as my gory gash had been but didn’t have nearly the same shock value.

More surprising than the color, though, was how well the bandage stayed in place on that awkward spot, through multiple chores, hand washings and gestures and the passage of time.

With Big Blue’s extraordinarily effective stick-um, I actually had to peel the bandage off the next day. (Fortunately, no skin came off in the process.) I smoothed on some antibiotic cream and applied a regular bandage from my medicine cabinet.

The new one was indeed boring beige, and, as expected, it came unstuck the very first time it got within squirting distance of any moisture ... as did the many replacements I had to apply until the cut healed.


I know a better mousetrap when I’ve worn one, so to speak, so I did an online search for Big Blue.

Hey, if they’re going to stay on that much bette. ...

As I scrolled from website to website, the concept behind the super-duper adhesive power and oh-so-noticeable color became obvious.

Most of the websites identified Big Blue as being approved for food-service employees.


I worked for years in restaurants and bakeries. I know that in commercial kitchens (even when the worker is wearing disposable gloves), bandages can and often do come off in the middle of a task, when they’re absolutely not supposed to do so, and wind up where they’re absolutely not supposed to be.

In your food.

I’m sure you, the customer, devoutly hopes the bandage wearer will notice very quickly if the bandage is missing. Trust me, so does the business owner.

However, if the disappearance isn’t noticed fast enough, a radiantly blue traveling bandage is much more apt to be spotted quickly if it crops up in whatever food was being mixed.

Preferably, before it’s cooked and served.

Sure, you could assume that a Band-Aid emblazoned with “Hello Kitty,” “Star Wars” or Disney images might show up just as easily as Big Blue.

But maybe not.

And that ultra-macho, 6-foot-4, 250-pound pizza guy with ear-to-fingertip tats, studded collar, skull ring and huge tunnel earrings might go to great lengths to avoid wearing a cartoony bandage on his pinky.

Now, courtesy of online ordering, the Tanner medicine cabinet is stocked with several boxes of bright blue bandages in fingertip, knuckle and rectangular-strip shapes.

They’re also really easy to find in the first-aid kit.

Meanwhile, I haven’t seen that young salesman at the store lately.

Maybe he’s avoiding me. Or maybe the poor chap just decided that any other career is preferable to serving free samples of herb salad to a customer who’s dripping blood and asking for a Band-Aid.

Editor’s note: Special versions of Big Blue bandages include a tiny strip of metal embedded under the pad. In mechanized, food-production lines, handy-dandy metal detectors are supposed to detect any errant bandage that might try to escape, perhaps via conveyer belt. Who knew?