Thursday, March 11, 2004
The Strange Tale of Two(?) Toenails

Since everything I think about maybe writing about in this thing always seems, on further reflection, too silly and trivial to bother with, I'll just post the silliest and most trivial thing I can come up with to lower the bar on future entries.

Monday night I went in to work. From the time I put on my shoes, I noticed something poking my right foot, but I was in too much of a hurry to take them off again and check. The rest of the evening I endured the sharp pokings on the bottoms and in-betweens of my toes, shaking my foot to try and move whatever it was to a less sensitive area, and at one point even limping slightly due to it. When I returned home I took off my shoe and sock to find (what else?) a toenail. A little toenail clipping. Probably not from the littlest toe, but possibly from the next one in. Not in the shoe, but in the sock itself. That tiny thing had been causing all the trouble.

Tuesday I also went in to work, and this time when I noticed a similar poking-- in exactly the same place. This time I went straight into the office in back and removed my shoe and sock to find another little toenail. This coincidence spurred my latent paranoia into overdrive. What are the odds of two right socks two days in a row containing a sharp toenail? All the nails on that foot were intact, so it wasn't a case of them shedding or any such thing. This was obviously some kind of conspiracy. "Your roommates are trying to drive you crazy," suggested a coworker. I dismissed this possibility-- anybody who has lived with me knows that any such thing would be wasted effort of the same degree as importing hipsters to Portland. Yet the coincidence was too great to write off as meaningless.

I tried not to think too much about it, but obviously it remained cycling through some back part of my brain: in the middle of washing a load of dishes, I suddenly realized that it was in all likelihood the same toenail! The previous night I had simply thrown the offending shard on the floor, the next afternoon I had stepped on it and it had clung, unnoticed, to some part of my foot while I put on my socks. A much simpler, more elegant explanation than either coincidence or conspiracy.

I didn't mention this to any coworkers, as they were tired of hearing about things related to my feet, and were even starting to complain of lost appetites. So I had to share my cleverness with somebody somewhere.

Here put down as a record of my heroic solution to the least significant mystery in my life!
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