Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Toenail Chainsaw

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Toenail Chainsaw


BALLERINAS  DANCE on their tiptoes. How on earth do they do that? Never mind. But I did try that once when I cut my tongue while licking an envelope. I got up on my tippytoes and danced across the room hollering “oooooch, oooooch, ooooooochy” until my tongue stopped hurting. Took about 20 minutes.

I learned two things: (1) Don’t ever get a paper cut on your tongue; and (2) You can’t dance on your toes if your toenails curl all the way around the ends of those toes.

My desire to keep my toe talons pruned put me in an embarrassing situation.

One of the only good things about getting old is that at some point, Medicare and your supplemental insurance will pay for visits to the podiatrist where you can have your toenails carefully inspected and scientifically trimmed. This was really great because I have gotten so plump and inflexible that I can’t bend over and clip the nails without cutting off the oxygen supply to my brain.

I only learned about this foot doctor trick when my many of my good friends and neighbors held a meeting in the alley and voted unanimously to stop taking turns trimming my toenails. One of them did, however, offer to call the foot doctor’s office and make me an appointment.

I don’t whine and cry too much while the doc’s trusted assistants are fooling with my toes. But I do whine and cry some. To listen to those toe doc assistants you’d think I was the worst patient ever to tippytoe/dance gracefully through the door.

The whining starts as soon as the assistant straps me in her chair and fires up the converted Poulan chainsaw that she uses to trim the aforementioned toe talons.

I’m only in the toe torture chair for about 15 minutes, and boy is it ever great to be able to walk barefooted in my kitchen again without hearing my toenails clicking on the tile floor.

Last week, when the doc’s assistant shut down the Poulan Toe Saw, she told me that I had to start soaking my toes before and after each visit to the office.

She said I needed to use a mixture of Epsom Salts, White Vinegar and Pure Mountain Spring Water. Okay, that last part was exaggeration. She just said ‘water.’

She said that soaking my toenails in the mixture AFTER they were clipped would keep the toes from getting fungus or infection.

She said that soaking my toenails in the mixture BEFORE the office visit would cancel some of the foul smells from my feet and make the aforementioned office visit so much more pleasant for the staff on duty that day.

“I didn’t know you had all of your patients soak their toes before office visits,” I told her.

“We don’t,” she said. “Just the ones with the worst-smelling feet.”

She added that I should consider looking for that new Eucalyptus-scented Epsom Salt, too. “Lay in enough to last until next year. And don’t buy the cheap vinegar, either. Soak your feet each night for about two weeks before your appointment. Matter of fact — in your case —  you should just plan on soaking them the entire time.”

Heck, I’ll run up a big bill just for that fancy smelling Epsom Salt, I complained. I may not soak my toes at all.

She had an answer for that: “In that case we would be glad to make you an appointment with another foot specialist.”

I would have made more smart-aleck backtalk, but she fired up that Poulan nailtrimmer and I couldn’t hear myself think.

She was glaring at me real hard. Real, real hard. So I decided the smart thing to do was to leave quick as I could. On tiptoes. At least they didn’t click, click, click.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS.  I know it’s not my imagination. I have seen a lot of butterflies this year. I thought they didn’t come around ‘til summer.

I know the ones I’ve seen have included several different species.

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THE GOOD EARTH. I’ve been around for a lot of Easters, but I don’t think I’ve EVER seen the dogwoods and redbud trees so vibrant. The blooms of my front yard Japanese Cherry Blossom Tree are long gone, but a neighbor brought me a framed picture he took of my tree when it was in all of its glory. This was its best year ever.

And here come the Azaleas! 

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Monday I had a surprise visit to the dermatologist. It was a surprise because I had forgotten my appointment and luckily I looked at the day’s calendar when I got to work. I broke the speed limit all the way to Texarkana, and I took a shortcut through the boonies that only I, and 450 other drivers, knew about.

I got to his office just in time to avoid getting a ‘tardy’ ticket.

When he came into the examination room he sniffed the air. “Well, I can tell that SOMEONE has been to see their podiatrist.”

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WORD GAMES. The twins: Suck It Up and Move On. Their philosophy is: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

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HE SAID: “Passover and Easter are the only Jewish and Christian holidays that move in sync, like the ice skating pairs we saw during the winter Olympics.” Marvin Olasky, editor and author

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SHE SAID: “Sticking to good habits can be hard work, and mistakes are part of the process. Don’t declare failure simply because you messed up or because you’re having trouble reaching your goals. Instead, use your mistakes as opportunities to grow stronger and become better.” Amy Morin, author and psychotherapist

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