Sunday, July 21, 2013

And There It Was, a Blog Topic Floating in My Pool

Insider knowledge that you will need in order to appreciate the punch line: 

My step-grandma once took my grandpa for his doctor's appointment. They were both well into their seventies at the time.  She went into the exam room with Grandpa. Everything was fine with his health. Before leaving, the doctor asked, "Is there anything else on your mind? Anything I can do for you?" And my step-grandma spoke up.

"Yes. Would you mind trimming his toenails? I don't want him to get an ingrown toenail again."

The doctor said, "Sure." He left the room and came back with some kind of scissory instrument. My step-grandma took off Grandpa's shoes and socks. The doctor clipped the nails, and all was good. They shook his hand and said their goodbyes. My grandparents, of course. Not the toenails.

It was only at the counter scheduling Grandpa's next appointment that my step-grandma noticed that she was not at the General Practitioner's office, but at the Cardiologist.


Life's rich tapestry left an unraveled thread in my backyard pool yesterday. I stepped out the laundry room door to look off the back porch at Hick and The Pony cooling their rough man-heels in Poolio. The Pony was running laps, spinning an air-mattress-ensconced Hick. The air mattress was yellow. I could tell by the parts that were visible, on the sides of Hick's head, and down by his feet. We made a bit of small talk through the hazy afternoon air.

"I'm going to go to town, to that place beside the old ice cream shop, and get myself a pedigree."

The Pony was behind Hick's head at that point. He looked at me in alarm. "Dad is a dog? He's going to get himself a pedigree?"

Hick was not really amused. More like resigned. "All right. So I said the wrong word. I was watching my show, American Restoration, the other night, and all of them guys went in and got a pedigure. Whatever you call it. On their feet."

"Yeah. I figured you meant pedicure. What's going on? Men like you don't get pedicures. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. A pedicure. Nobody wants to touch your feet! You barely even have toes. And you need a magnifying glass to see your tiny toenails. Something's going on. Why would you pay 30 or 40 dollars for a pedicure?"

"It costs that much?"

"I don't know. I've never had one. But you'd have to pay them, and then give them a tip. Are you getting your toenails painted?"

"I thought it would be about 10 dollars. I'm just going so they can clip my toenails. I can't reach them." The Pony snorted. "Do YOU want to clip them for me?"

"NO! Not even for 10 dollars!"

Something is up. Hick has always clipped his own toenails. It's not like he's been bloating up like Violet Beauregarde, getting ready for the juicer. In fact, he's lost a few pounds. And he's not like Frank Costanza, seeking a long-lost paramour from his war days. Hick is willing to take off his shoes.

I don't know why he can't just go to the cardiologist to get his toenails clipped like everybody else.


  1. I've never paid for a pedigree either. And i really could use one.

  2. You could always take Hick to the local nursing home on the pedicure day, plop him in a wheel chair, coach him to act in a non-lucid way, and have him get in line with the other old folks...

  3. The cardiologist sounds like a great man, not getting uppity and just clipping the nails.

    I can still cut mine, but it is getting more and more difficult...getting old sucks!

  4. Stephen,
    Well, I guess dogs of a feather get pedigrees together.

    I don't want to overwork the on-call cardiologist.

    The cardiologist was probably so shocked that he just did it. Now he has a great story to tell at cocktail parties.

    The cats who buried Hick in his childhood sandbox might disagree, but Hick has never been mistaken for a floating Baby Ruth.