This weekend was Get The House Ready For Sale Weekend at Chez Holt, with lots of minor improvements to the house made to enhance its saleability and curb appeal. My father’s visiting from Florida this week just for this purpose, for helping us do all those little things we’ve never quite gotten around to doing during our two years in the house: repainting the trim on the front porch, re-screeing the front windows, replacing the rotting fascia boards on the shed, fixing the electrical outlets in the master bedroom. That kind of thing.
My job on Saturday was to have been, essentially, “Dad’s Flunky.” Whatever he needed me to do, that was what I was going to do. I was geared up for it, too — while I’m by no means the handiest guy, I’ve always liked assisting my dad with projects like this, because he is a supremely handy guy and I’m constantly amazed by his knowledge of home repair tricks and techniques. Helping my dad with projects like these makes me feel more like a Traditional By-Damn Tool-Wieldin’ Man than the computer-and-comic-book geek I really am. 
But I’m pretty sure it was that computer geek inside of me, clearly feeling threatened by any big scary Manliness forcing its way into me (so to speak), which reared up on Saturday morning and felled my Manly impulses before they could take root.
Our first task was ripping all of the old fascia boards off of the shed so we could then affix boards of the non-rotten variety. My first sub-task as delegated to me by my father: go through all of the old boards and remove any nails sticking out of them so that the kids wouldn’t come out and step on them.
No problem, thinks I, and start removing nails. I’m a nail-removing machine, stripping the rusty and corroded old nails out of those boards like a maniacal dentist pulling the teeth from the mouth of someone with horrible dental hygiene and fantastic dental insurance.
I threw down my most recently de-nailed board, eager to find another in the stack to render harmless.
I managed to find the next board with the ball of my right foot.
I yelped with pain (where “yelped” can be translated here as “cursed loudly and violently”) and pulled my foot back. The nail came with it, what with it being stuck through my sneaker and into my foot. Terry again displayed the remarkable speed she can muster when she hears my yell — she’d been somewhere inside, I think possibly even upstairs, but she was at my side before my expletives had even left the air.
We managed to get my shoe off (the nail stayed in the shoe rather than in my foot) and saw that the injury wasn’t too bad — it wound up being just severe enough for my foot to hurt like hell, but not enough to actually need medical attention. Yesterday I stuck my hand into the shoe (which still has the nail in it; can’t remove the thing until I take pictures, of course!) and determined that somewhere between a quarter and a half an inch of nail went into the ball of my foot. Ow.
Luckily for me, I’ve had a tetanus shot pretty recently — and I have a wife who’s really, really good at treating minor injuries, what with being the mother of two little children and all. So I’ve got an annoying limp for a few days and a free pass out of doing some of the work that needed to get done around the house — neither of which I wanted.
 There’s also the fact that I’m damn lucky to have this chance to work on these projects with him, since the way things looked last summer, he wasn’t going to be hangin’ around this plane of existence anymore to be able to help with such things. If my dad wanted my help, then he was going to have my help, dammit.