This last Monday, I was working on a deck. My nail gun double-fired, and somehow I managed to fasten two of my fingers together with a three-inch ringshank nail.

My only regret now is that I didn’t take a picture. But, then, I haven’t yet got the bill for the emergency room.

I always wondered what it would feel like. There was no blood, just a long nail going right through the middle of my fingers and a dull pain in my bones. The worst part of it was the thought of what it would take to get it out. I imagined the doctor putting his foot on my hand and reefing back on the nail with a pliers, and that I’d be able to feel that ribbed nail grating against my bones.

What eventually happened was that the doctor inflated my digits with some kind of numbing agent, till they were about double their normal size. Then he jerked the nail out and let my fingers bleed for awhile, medieval-style.