Hang nails are undoubtedly one of those tedious little issues we must deal with in life - always at the most inopportune moments - you know, new stockings or new cashmere sweater kind of moments. It's been a while since I've had to deal with this particular annoyance in my life. In fact I can't really remember the last one - no lasting scars - so obviously not a major ordeal. But yesterday's hangnail - now that's one I won't quickly forget. It was a doozy.
OK - so here's the scene. Me and the kiddlywinks have just totally exhausted ourselves - dragged around all over the beach by our exuberant, slightly mad puppy. It is quite late in the day, we are all hungry, tired, over it, and bordering on hysteria. All I want to do is go home, shower, eat, and go to bed.
To do this, we must first get ourselves in the car. Normally not an issue, but for some wierd reason the traffic roaring past the car is in inordinate proportions for this normally, quiet stretch of road. The children, one standing in the gutter going "phaw - look at that car" and the other, fingers in ears yelling "the cars are too noisy Mummy", are not helping me to reach any of my goals.
Meanwhile, the dog, in a bit of a frenzy due to the traffic, runs around a bit and wraps the lead very tightly around my lower half pinning my right arm to my body. If I lean slightly one way or the other, I will end up in the road, smashed and leaking all over the place. The children are whining, the dog is whining and I am beginning to feel like this is a situation I am not going to win.
"If only I can get the car open. Where are the keys? The keys are in my back pocket. If I can just get my fingers out from the lead (the other hand is holding very tightly to the dog's collar) I should be able to reach the keys".......went the manic thought process in my head.
# Note - the back pockets of board shorts are always, for some mad reason, made out of a kind of netting material. Not sure why........
So anyway, I can just manage to get my fingers in to my pocket and grasp the keys (and here comes the climax!) I cannot get my hand (or the keys) out as my hang nail is very painfully caught up in the netting.
Had I been thinking clearly, it would have been a reasonably easy job just to untangle myself from the lead, but with the mounting exhaustion and everybody whining at me, my head just refused to work coherently. So the answer to the situation was......laugh. Not the polite kind of laugh, but bordering on maniacal (maybe even slightly menacing) which I believe was why no-one came to my aid.
Anyway, after a certain amount of hysterics, I realise that if I just pressed the button to unlock the car, the children could get in the car (removing the extra, unnecessary panic that they too would be run over) and I may be able to work my way out of the mess I was in. I spun around a few times and unwound the dog, then with my left hand, I adroitly open the back door, scoop up the dog and place him in the car. All with my right hand still firmly entrenched in my back pocket - pretty impressive eh!
I mean, there was no way I was going to rip my hand out of my back pocket - the pain of a ripped off nail has got to be right up there with blisters on your feet - so for the next few seconds I worked my fingers around until the nail unlatched itself.
Rather pleased with myself and hoping everyone else realised how well I had performed - nobody had been run over, the children and the dog were safe, and although my finger hurt, it was a bearable kind of pain! - I got in the car to what I imagined would be the sound of applause. Alas, they were all asleep.
I'm fairly sure that as I drove off, another harried looking woman with two children and a dog, gave me a big thumbs up!!
"I will survive, as long as I know how to live........etc