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An Adage Disproved
by Jerry Constantino

You never saw two guys looking so much alike. When Bob and Jim were together, even at 60, they still got stares wherever they went. Being identical twins has its blessings...and curses. The similarities ran deep...same gait, mannerisms, habits, cars, families (one girl, two boys), neighborhood, hobbies, etc. But at least, they hadn't worn the same clothes since mom stopped dressing them for pre-school... except on rare occasions when their almost identical minds came up with identical choices out of their closets.

It was Jim who got the first new Cut-Rite bench saw for his woodworking shop in the garage. "Slickest thing you ever saw, Bob...but heavier than a ton of feathers. Need your help to get it out of the pick-up and put it together."

With sweat stains discoloring their identical 'Measure twice, cut once' tee shirts, Bob said, "Lets set this bugger up and see what she can do"... or was it Jim?

It only took an hour before Stephanie opened the garage door and hollered over the din, "What is that God-awful whine that's making the dog go crazy?"

Well-satisfied with the set-up and initial test of the new saw, the brothers almost fought for the right to cut that first 2x8 into meaningless pieces. "Here... I'll hold this end and we'll do it together."

"No, stupid. That's too dangerous. Not that way... Stop it Bob... Oh Jesus!"

It only took seconds before blood discolored the shiny steel top and three loose fingers were lying impossibly askew with a fourth on the floor in a pile of sawdust.

Stephanie called Shari and the wives had their boys on the way to the ER in minutes, with the loose digits in an ice-cooled plastic bag on Jim's lap. Shari scolded, “Won’t you two EVER grow up?” The brothers, broodingly reflective, didn't have what it took to point a finger at one another.

"Nurse. Prep-'em We're going to put those fingers back on." The ER was abuzz with activity as the brothers were made ready. Jim was wheeled into OR1, Bob, next door in OR2...or was it the other way around?

"Operations successful," the doctors happily reported, and Stephanie and Shari sighed almost in unison.

It wasn't till two days later that the hospital realized IT WAS the other way around-- Bob was in OR1, Bob's fingers in OR2 and visa-versa. But with identical twins, it still, amazingly worked!

When the boys and their spouses were told, it was Jim that started to laugh first...from a smile to a giggle to a red-faced, almost apoplectic, 'can't-catch-your-breath' guffaw. "Well," he said with tears in his eyes after he had finally re-gained some composure, "I guess that disproves that."

"Beg your pardon?" said Bob, totally out of the loop on what was so funny.

"When we were kids, you always said,
You can pick your friends...
And you can pick your nose...
But you can't pick your friend's n..."

Before he could finish, Stephanie calmly emptied her luke-warm coffee on Jim's head and their world was back to if it ever was.