Three weeks ago I stepped on a nail. True to the law of physics, which I have tried to prove doesn’t exist and is just a large hoax that “Band-Aid”, in a heavily shrouded conspiracy with the medical schools, has tried to promote in order to make more money, it went through my shoe and into my foot. At first, I thought as I pulled my foot out, “Gee, I lucked out, it doesn’t hurt too much, I’ll just continue on my merry little way”.
I managed five steps before I realized that the squishing sound as I stepped was not from stepping on what looked like dry ground, but from inside my shoe itself. Not a good sign.
I go to the emergency room of the hospital, I should have drove back to Innisfail to its emergency room since they know me so well that I get free coffee as I wait, but it was too late to think of that as I filled out the forms. I hand back the forms and the nurse asks in a bored tone “what is the nature of the emergency?”
I point down to where I’m leaving bloody foot prints. She tells me to sit down and wait. A half hour later, I’m still waiting while these little whiney people go before me, since when are broken bones more important than me? I hear a scream, I’m hoping that perhaps the guy with the gash across his forehead was getting stitches without any general anesthetic, but to my dismay, it was a nurse. Then another nurse, followed by a third, a fourth and a fifth, with the on call doctor coming through the emergency door last and taking up a position behind the women.
When a person sees six professionals all wild eyed and on the verge of tears, it doesn’t generally give one a feeling of security. So I got up and hobbled over to the group that looked like they were attempting to mime out a bobsled team. I asked what the problem was. The third nurse whispered shakily, “there’s a bat in the hallway.”
“Is it trapped?” I asked. The answer was that it was caught in between the two different sections; the double doors had it locked into that area. Animal control wouldn’t be here for at least an hour, they said. I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I grabbed a pillow case from the linen rack and a broom, turned around and announced, “Fear not gentle pansy assed folk! I the great bat slayer, shall rid you of this great evil!”
One nurse pointed out that I was leaving a bloody foot print trail and that I should really be more careful about contaminating the area. I thanked her with an old Celtic piece of sage advice, “blow me.” And turned to face the great beast.
I enter the battle arena to meet the beast – I could see why the gentle townspeople were in such terror. Its body length was ten feet four inches, minus the ten feet that had to have been invisible. I could sense the evil coming off of it, trying to throw me off its murderous intent by using the ruse of screeching while trying to look like it was trying to fly out the solid window to the outside; I knew better, I stood between its massive gluttonous feast, it wasn’t going to be happy.
I shouted in the proud high English to my nemesis, “Yah thou’st doest put up such a fine defensive offense, but thy will be conquered thou wretched furred pelt of the night”, which to those who are not schooled in high English would have interpreted as, “C’mere you mother fuckin’ cock sucker”. I thrust, parried and lunged on my one good foot with the mighty broom stick of justice, only to have it be snapped as the sly nightmarish creature lured me into using my forehead to do its dirty work by flying low over it. I was left only with the pillow case that I dubbed “The flowery satchel of righteousness”. I willed my thoughts into that of a bullfighter, twisting and turning in a ballet of feints and majestic swoops (though one of the nurses seemed to have misinterpreted my calculated movements as a possible lateral epileptic seizure brought on by fright when the bat came to close to my hair).
For forty five minutes the battle raged on, the doctors, nurses and patients watching my valiant fight until the cunning creature zigged when it should have zagged and I caught it in the pillow case. I held up my prize with pride and walked through the doors back to the awaiting and adoring victims of this wild creature’s malice. I expect a round of applause and accolades thrust upon me; I get, “Get it out of here! Get it out of here!” and “look at the mess on the floor! Someone get him a mop so he can clean up that blood…after he gets rid of the bat…”
I take the bat outside and released my worthy enemy into the bright light of the day, where it immediately flies up and back towards the roof of the hospital and the same dark spot that it used to get into the hallway in the first place. I put the pillow case in the garbage and was about to go back through the automatic doors when I had a thought – just how good of a job are they going to do on my foot when they can’t even handle a little flying rodent? I drove to the motel, got a new pair of socks and new pair of shoes, went to the drug store and handled it myself. Sure I didn’t professional attention, but I did have a tetanus shot last year from the spiteful vendetta that nails seem to have for my person ( I strongly suspect it’s a clan pride thing from the time a very quiet timid woman at Home Depot softly offered me a good deal on a pail of nails and I pulled out a screwdriver and said loudly, “but I’m here to get screwed!” – nails are very temperamental and gossip, word probably got out very quickly about my constructional preferences) but at least I didn’t have to clean up my own blood doing the hospital a favor.