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An Open Letter to the Nail(s) That Went Through My Foot at the UMass Tailgate

A quick note that this is an actual thing that actually happened.

Dear Nail(s),

Well, this is a little awkward, isn’t it? I’m sure you thought you’d never hear from me again. I’m sure you thought, “The infection must have spread to the rest of her body by now. Surely she’s a goner.”

Well, you’re wrong. Because thankfully medical science has advanced to the point that a rusty needle to the foot is generally no longer cause for amputation, I live to see another day (albeit at a hefty price). But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start with how this happened in the first place, shall we? Perhaps I may be a little at fault here. After all, who goes stomping around a former-industrial-yard-now-tailgating-lot absolutely shithoused at 10 o’clock in the morning and just expects everything to turn out fine? Oh, I know— the literal hundreds of other people who were doing that exact same thing. But, in all fairness, you could chalk it up to a simple miscommunication. With the clarity of hindsight I can now say that this is not what I meant when I said I would, “love to get nailed this weekend.”

The pain of impact was negligible, predominantly because at this point I had largely forgotten I was in possession of a pair of feet at all. Admittedly I was shocked when I lifted my leg to find that the board (at this point attached to my foot through two— yes, two—punctures in my right foot) had come with it. As my brain attempted to process this information, I could come up with only two reasons as to why this was happening.


A.) I had spontaneously developed the somewhat whimsical ability to summon and adhere planks of 2×4 to my body like an off-brand Magneto, or…

B.) This board is attached by a fucking nail, through my fucking shoe, inside my fucking foot.

And okay, yes, having my friend use napkins and duct tape to keep my insides…uh…inside might not have been the best response. And okay, again, dancing on that same foot for approximately another 3-4 hours may have been a bad idea. And, okay, sure I probably should have stopped drinking at that point, but they were playing “Gold Digger” and I really like that song.

But we aren’t even to the worst of it, Nail. You hurt me badly. Not just with your unwelcome presence inside of my foot, but because of the indignities I was forced to suffer the next day when I finally sobered up enough to go to Health Services. Have you ever heard the phrase “the cure is worse than the disease”? Well, in my case it goes more like, “a needle in the ass is worse than the nail through the foot.”

I’m telling you, you don’t know indignity until you’re bent over a lab table and a nurse is asking you whether you’d prefer the antibiotic shot to go in your right or left buttcheek, as if this is something you consider enough on a daily basis in order to have a preference. I picked left.

To top it off, the doctor made me take pictures of my foot to use as a reference photo to watch for the spread of infection, and worst of all he didn’t even laugh when I asked if I should put it on my Instagram. That’s what hurts me the most, Nail. The physical injury is nothing in comparison to the poignant sting of rejection when no one laughs at my jokes.

It’s been three days and the swelling only just now went down enough for them to be able to tell that there were two points of entry. Two nails?! Honestly, when I said I needed ideas for a Halloween costume, I didn’t think an inanimate object would volunteer to have me dressed as the world’s most elaborate Jesus Christ. Also, wasn’t Jesus a carpenter? Do you really he would approve of the shoddy craftsmanship that caused this problem in the first place?

Anyway, because of you I can’t walk right and the nurse pressured me into taking a handicapped-parking pass so I don’t have to walk too far for class. I’m having to confront a lot of guilt about enjoying the use of a handicapped spot generally reserved for actually handicapped people. Unless you count poor decision-making skills, I’m not handicapped in the slightest.

To be honest, I’m not that mad anymore. Even as we speak, the swelling from the infection has gone down to the point where I can ditch the medical boot and fit my foot in a shoe befitting a normal human woman. It’s hard to be angry when you’re looking #freshtodeath.

And besides, at least I didn’t get screwed.


I Was Hammered, I Got Nailed


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