My future father in law and I were going to install a set of gas logs in my girlfriends house. We purchased a standard set of logs and all of the materials we would need for a successful install. There was an existing hookup that had been plugged by the previous owner. It appeared to be a simple job, as all we had to do was remove plug, then remove the 90 degree bend that the plug was in and install the new fitting and hose we had purchased. The geniuses that we are we assumed it would be easy enough to remove the plug and hold my thumb over the end of the 90 and quickly remove and install the fittings without having to shut the gas off. That is where it goes horribly wrong. Mr. Lou removed the plug and I covered the hole with my thumb. Step one complete. He then used a pipe wrench to begin to turn the 90 to remove it, my thumb securely holding in the gas. It was an old fitting and was fairly difficult to turn. Mr. Lou really started to pull on the pipe wrench when all of a sudden the fitting broke loose and spun around. There was a strange crunching sound and a sharp pain that started in my thumb and ran up my arm. I quickly realized I couldn't pull my hand away from the fitting. I instantly studied the scene and discovered my thumb was pinned between the end of the 90 and the brick wall of the fireplace. I began yelling for Mr. Lou to turn the pipe back the other way. One problem, he couldn't get the pipe wrench on the fitting because my hand was in the way. So quick thinking (however it seemed like forever) he grabbed some channel locks and was able to free me from my jam. Now free, I realize that alot of blood is gushing from my thumb and it looks really flat. Mr. Lou is frantically trying to re-plug the fitting as the smell of gas fills the house. I am no help to him because the combination of blood and pain caused my body to turn itself off apparently, because I think I passed out. Mr. Lou and his wife Mrs. Leslie wrapped my thumb and we headed to the ER. Mr. Lou was visiting from out of town and did not know the area. The trip to the ER was very interesting as Mr. Lou drove and I would pass out, wake up, give him directions to the next turn, then pass back out. How we got there I'm still not sure. My girlfriend who was out shopping met us at the ER to relieve her over stressed Dad (I think he was sweating more than me). Anyway, the icing on the cake is this was my girlfriend and mine's first Valentine's Day together. So instead of a nice romantic evening infront of the fire, we spent 6 hours in the emergency room. The damage; clean fracture of left thumb and severed nail bed. Two titanium pins surgically inserted, along with reattaching of my nail bed and about 6 months of healing and therapy, and everything is nearly back to normal. With Valentine's day approaching this year, I think I will stick to flowers and candy.