Luxuriating the in warm weather I decided to go for a lordly stroll about my rented domain.
Clad in the finest of boxers and singlets I meandered through the flat, out onto the sheltered back balcony from where I can survey all that I don't own but could hit with spit balls from behind some handy lattice screening if the mood takes me.
I considered having a bit of a sweep, tidying up the ancient retro bar and evicting the resident spiders to make way for possible frivolities this summer.
I took a step backwards to take in the scope of said task.
I took another step backwards and felt a sharp pinch on my left heel.
I aborted the 'lower foot' process, reversed the motion and looked down.
I'd stepped on a cack-spackling rusty nail!
Some rampaging flag-noggin had - at a point in the past - decided that the best way to secure one of the floor boards was to hammer a back-up series of nails in from the crawl space below.
Having never pranced about on the back balcony shoeless before this was the first time I'd noticed the little death-march of rusty stupid nails and boy did I notice them now.
I knew I'd had a tetanus shot at some point but damned if I could remember when.
All my hazy memories of immunisations and boosters seemed to feature my school uniform which didn't bode well for currency.
So in the grip of a mild bout of panic, wondering how long it took for tetanus and lock-jaw to set in, I began staggering around the house like a pirate with a peg leg, trying to remember where I kept things like disinfectant and bandages and my clothes.
I thought about ringing my GP - I remembered it was 8pm at night.
I decided to look up tetanus online - I wished I hadn't.
I called my aunt who is a nurse - she told me I had a 72 hour window in which to get a tetanus jab and to calm down.
I looked up the address of the local hospital, made a note of their phone number and then curled up on the couch under a blanket to await my impending doom, moving my jaw every now and then to see if my body was an overachiever which was going to seize up days or weeks ahead of schedule.
I considered popping along to the hospital for an injection - I remembered it was a Thursday night and all the just-got-paid-gonna-drink-my-week's-wages brigade would be turning up in the emergency room soon. Or driving the streets under the influence.
This kind of malarky is exactly why it's a good thing I'm so easily distracted and so very lazy.
If I were a more focused person I would be a full blown hypochondriac.
At various times in my life I have been briefly convinced - until diverted by something shiny - that I had the various ailments:
- sore wrist = early onset arthritis
- sleep away the weekend = chronic fatigue syndrome
- rash = meningococcal (it wasn't a rash, it was red ink from a pen)
- blue-green marks on wrist = varicose veins (it was vertigris from the work key I had clipped to my watch)
- forgetfulness = early onset Alzheimer's
It's counterproductive and pointless to get myself all in a tizzy over almost unfounded imaginary ailments - especially since I'm planning to die of twitchy old age atop a pile of money and be ceremonially eaten by my squadron of highly trained attack cats - but every time I fall into the same pattern of runaway speculation.
In this case what I had to fight off the knowledge of my impending grisly doom by applying a healthy dose of the original Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy radio play for long enough to get to sleep so I could make two important stops the next morning.
The hospital for a tetanus jab.
And the hardware store for a hammer.
Those nails are going down.
*Yes, yes, words made up or used out of context but you get the point.