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Monday, July 4, 2022
HomeHumorThe Papa Files: Big Toe Remote

The Papa Files: Big Toe Remote

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Fingernails are useful for many things, like opening a can of hops-n-barley soda pop, or picking up a ridiculously flat phone from a table, or for scratching my head when I’m confused about something – though for a long time now, I don’t scratch anywhere but the sides above my ears; otherwise, I’ll damage the epidermal capillaries and have to wear a Band-Aid on the top of my head.

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But what are toenails good for? Oh, I can scratch my legs almost up to my knees with them, but I have less control over my toes than fingers, and I have had to put a Band-Aid on my ankle after such a lazy experiment. I wonder, is there a simple medical treatment, like a toe dip, that will make them stop growing? I ask, because last night I had to inflict upon myself the monthly torture of trimming them.

After my shower (toenails are softer after a shower) I got my clippers from the medicine cabinet, propped one foot on the little square ottoman I have next to my bed (which I use mostly for putting on socks) and decided the lighting was too dim. Usually, I carry the ottoman into my office, where the lighting is better, or I’ll get my headlamp. But since I didn’t want to trim my toenails anyway, I refused to make that extra effort and decided to risk snipping off bits of toe tip. (Which I have done, and how do you put a Band-Aid on the end of toe? In that way, fingers and toes are alike: bandage problematic.)

I always start with the pinky toe, and had trimmed that and the ring toe, when I spotting on the bedside table my little book light. Hey, there’s a quick fix! I thought about unclipping it from the book and affixing it to my foot, but that was too much trouble; and besides, it would probably hurt. So I set the book and light to right when trimming my left toes, and to the left when trimming my right.

Then suddenly I had a flashback to seventeen years ago, when my granddaughter, Sneaks, was five. I watched her all day for a long time (this was before Exwork) and sometimes I got exhausted and decided to stop teaching her the alphabet or how to paint with water colors or playing kids games on my computer, and stretched out on my bed, with her watching TV at the foot. Well, one day, just as I was about to change the channel during a commercial, Sneaks looked over to my bare toes next to her and pushed my big right one. I changed the channel at the same time. It took her until the end of the commercial to realize that it was a different channel, and she asked me what happened. I told her she had pushed the big toe remote. She didn’t believe me. But she had not seen the remote in my hand, so she pushed my toe again, and I changed the channel. Eventually I established that pushing my toe forward changed the channel down—that is, to a higher number (isn’t that confusing?)—and pulling my toe back changed it to a lower number. Moving my toe left and right controlled the volume, and all the other toes shut the TV off.

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She did that for about twenty minutes before she became suspicious, and I fessed up that I was tricking her with the actual remote. Well, she still wanted to play the game, just for the novelty, and we did that for three or four days more, until she got tired of it. I’m sure she didn’t stop because of any kind of foot odor. My feet are clean, especially after I trim the nails.

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