By Lindsay Eckert
Tribune lifestyle editor
“Hey, guys. I shot a nail in my hand with the nail gun. I need to go to the hospital,” my dad said as he calmly interrupted my mom. My mom was in the midst of lecturing me for life about not brushing my dog and not following through on responsibilities, basically what an 8-year-old interprets as: “blah, blah, blah”
“Oh, whatever,” my mom sorely replied to my dad – comedic relief was not welcome at this time.
Then, without words, my dad carefully lifted his hand to reveal a huge nail that was indeed lodged — in “Tim the Tool man” fashion — through his left hand.
“AHHHHHHH!!! AHHHH!!!,” my mom and I screamed, only stopping for short breaths. “AHHHH!! AHHHH!!” Basically, every sound made in the last few minutes of a horror film erupted where a lecture and mother-daughter tension once lived.
From that point on, the two humans who didn’t have a nail shot through their left hands, ran around screaming at varying volumes while I yelled, “My dad is going to DIEEEE!!!!” During this dramatic outburst from — once again, the two unharmed humans — my dad calmly walked to the car and cozied himself into the passenger seat, where he waited to be escorted to the hospital.
My mom rushed him to the hospital, erratically asking questions: “How are you so calm?” “Doesn’t that hurt?” While my dad collectedly answered: “It’s not that big of a deal.” “No, it really doesn’t”
I remember thinking, “Did he also shoot a nail in his head? How can he have a NAIL IN HIS HAND and just put his seat in recline, while uttering answers with a tone of calmness?”
My mom and I walked — actually, a more accurate image: ran as we wildly waved our arms like The Muppets during a musical performance — while my dad tranquilly strolled down the halls of the ER behind us.
“Hurry up, Terry!” my mom shockingly had to tell the man with a nail shot through his hand.
And, during this, the dramatic daughter was thinking: “This is the last time I’ll ever see my dad walk.”
Keep in mind, there was little to no blood during this whole ordeal. Just a nail, a nail gun’s humble victim and two chickens with their heads cut off. We were the emergency room’s classiest act, I’m sure.
The surgeon even winced when my dad uncovered his nailed hand: “Looks like you should be on a cross,” he joked.
Good thing my grandma wasn’t there to take offense. Because that nail would’ve been going somewhere even less pretty than my dad’s hand.
My dad and his surgeon snickered and discussed how he’d take the nail out during surgery, I have no idea of the method. At this point, I had stuck my fingers so deeply in my ears to protect myself from the “gross stuff” that the surgeon was probably just a couple inches from having a second removal-type surgery.
The procedure was wrapped up in less than an hour and, soon after, we all headed home. To this day, I have no idea how my dad stayed so calm. But, I guess that’s part of fatherhood. Instilling calmness in the chaos and that’s exactly what he did — although it didn’t really work, the effort was appreciated. It’s that effort we celebrate on Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day and take a break from the nail gun, Dad.
[friday] editor/ Why I don’t use a nail gun