ouch-voodoo-toothpick-1Bane of my existence.

Yes, that’s a harsh phrase. One I’ve used in jest over the years regarding this annoyance of the moment or that. One that was used to describe me by an ex-boyfriend for a while (*waves at Brian L*)—which I personally thought was a bit harsh. But I get it. I get the term. I get the usage.

And I have found the true bane of my existence.

See, the Ex used to always have toothpicks. It was a strange little habit he picked up from his father that I never really thought about or blinked at. Often, he would set them on the table near the ashtray with the intention of throwing them away later… and a cat or two would decide it was a new toy. Then I blinked and cared, because suddenly we were finding them everywhere. This was a humorous foible of the house and we made many a joke about it.

Until the day I stepped on one.

Now mind you, I didn’t just step on a flat toothpick. Oh no. Nor did I step on a broken one and poke myself with a jump and a start and an ironic swear word followed by giggling. Oh, hell no! I stepped on a broken one that had fallen into the carpet at just the right angle that it buried itself in the arch of my foot. You know, that tender spot that Legos, stegosauruses and other toys tend to find in the middle of the night. Yeah, that spot. And it required pulling out, with force, to remove. It was deep enough that it bled. And it sucked more than wet socks… which is a whole different blog regarding pet peeves for the feeble minded!

After that, they became my bane. If I saw one I floor I would point and scream, fearful of my arches and making a big deal out of it in jest with the family and threatening to stab the cats with one of the evil wooden spears.

Then I got divorced and the toothpicks went away. It was actually kind of funny the day I saw one and realized I hadn’t for a while.

galentoothpickAnd now they’re back. See that picture? That’s my keyboard at work. That’s Papasan’s idea of funny. Because when I told my boss’s father (who refuses to retire and keeps coming to work and probably always will) about the toothpicks when I saw him with one, he turned it into a game. A game I didn’t think was funny at first, considering I run around the office barefoot every day, even in the winter.

But when I realized I never found one on the floor—only behind his ear, in his mouth, or strategically placed on my desk (such as in the keyboard)—I began to play back. We now have toothpicks jabbed into corkboards, holding up calendars and my personal favorite, all Papasan’s messages are stuck to a toothpick on his wall like an order in a restaurant on that little silver skewer they keep on their counters.

It’s funny now. It’s a game now. But you know what they say… it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye steps on a toothpick!

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