I do not allow them in my house – especially those round wooden ones. Occasionally my mother tries to sneak them in when she comes to visit. I remind her that if she wants me to be kind to her in her drooling years, that those instruments of the devil – those things she refers to as “toothpicks”
--but that I KNOW are Satan’s pitchforks –
are NOT allowed on the premises.
I don’t remember what I was doing when “IT” happened. Actually, much of the time around the “incident” is a blur – but I’m sure that’s common. Ask anyone who’s been attacked by Satan – and they remember the attack. But they probably don’t remember exactly what they were doing. I know I was in my room. I know I was walking. And suddenly I was crumpling.
I immediately removed a tiny wooden sliver from my foot.
“Mom! I stepped on one of your toothpicks…AGAIN!”
“Yeah, right! Really funny!”
Unfortunately, no one was laughing at three o’clock in the morning.
“Jaynee, what’s wrong sweetie?”
“My foot—it’s throbbing! It feels hot – and it hurts when it touches the covers, an—“
“Jaynee, sweetie. I’m not taking you to the Emergency Room. It costs $500 to walk in the door (hey, it was 1976) --just—“
“I don’t want to go to the Emergency Room!! I just want to go to sleep”
“Jaynee, sweetie – I’ll take you to the doctor first thing in the morning. I promise. Just try to rest.”
Of course, Satan would not let me rest. Whenever my foot came into contact with anything, pain would shoot up my leg, sending me into convulsions, which inevitably would cause my foot to touch something else – which kept Satan entertained and me in tears all night.
True to her word (as my Mother still is), she called the Doctor first thing, and I soon found myself waiting in the room for the doctor.
But I didn’t get the Doctor…..I got Espy, Satan’s protégé.
“What seems to be the problem?” asked Espy.
“Well, I stepped on a toothpick yesterday, and it still—“
“You’ve got a sliver!?!?”
“Well, I don’t know….I thought I got it out. Maybe it hit someth—“
“You’ve got a sliver?” Espy sneered, “and your Mommy couldn’t get it out?”
“I don’t know! All I know is that it hur—“
“Here,” Espy snarled, “let me take a look at the poor baby’s foot.”
And with that, she grabbed my throbbing foot, and started prodding and poking. ‘Hmmm, it does look like there’s someth—“ As I increased my death grip on the bed and my mother’s arm, Espy grabbed a pair of needlenose pliers
--okay, okay, it was a pair of hemostats – but it felt like pliers
--and began to dig in the hole in the bottom of my foot.
--my throbbing foot.
“Yes! There is something – I’ve almost—“ As Espy dug deeper, twisting the pliers (yeah – pliers!), I could see her horns curling, her tail lashing,. My mother insists that she saw none of that – but I’m sure I did
“Yes! I’ve got it!”
And with a triumphant yell, Espy pulls the pliers from my foot. The blood drains from my head. Her horns and tail disappear, and I see Satan vacate her body, leaving only a very apologetic Espy-the-nurse….holding ½ of a bloody toothpick. A very bloody toothpick.
“Oh sweetie,” Espy murmurs, “I’m so sorry. I should have given you something for the pain!”
Yeah, you should have. Bitch.
But, it has given me and my family another great line:
“I’m not taking you to the Emergency Room – it costs $_________ to walk in the door...”