The carpet tack story

I’m terrified of carpet tack, which I once lost a fight with, and which is now exposed around the perimeter of my living room.

Our new house, which we’ve lived in a little more than a year, is tacky and gross. The elderly women who sold it to us probably considered it chic, but its day has passed.

The window dressings and wallpaper make the biggest early-’60s statement, but the carpet may be the oldest thing in the house.

For the first month we lived here my son said, “It smells like old people.”

Like teenage boys smell good.

In fall I brought a kitten home from the grocery store for my son. It peed in the living room. Fine, cut that corner of the carpet out.

In June my daughter chose a kitten from the pound for her birthday. By the beginning of August our living room carpet was half missing. Not half all together, mind — half cumulatively.

Before my birthday party I made the kids pull it up from the whole room. There’s a nice wood floor under there. And tack strip.

Here’s why I’m terrified of it.

I was running late for work at the ’50s restaurant shortly after I had flooded my parents’ house. Tack strip lined the threshold between the living room and the enclosed porch I had stashed my uniform in.

As I ran by, I sliced open the bottom of my right foot, long and clean.

My grandmother took me to the emergency room. There was a lot of waiting. We played Scrabble together, but then I was alone with my thoughts after they led me into the exam room.

This is when I began to consider what would happen when I finally saw a doctor. He was going to want to stitch me with a needle.

Oh nuh-uh.

I tried to leave.

First my grama, then the doctor caught me before I made it past the desk.

I argued. “I changed my mind. I’m fine. It’s so silly. I don’t know why I came. I’m sure I overreacted.”

They probably thought I was in shock. “As long as you’re here, let’s have a look.”

More arguing. I lost that fight too.

“I need to stitch this.” Knew it.

“No, thank you.”

“No, really. You’ve sliced it clean open. Everytime you step, even if you tiptoe, you’ll re-open it as it tries to heal.”

“That’s OK.” I grabbed my purse. “I have to go to work now. I won’t step on it.”

“What do you do?” I was a hula-hooping dancing waitress. I had to wear saddle shoes. He didn’t think much of my good sense.

In the end, I was 19, and he could not make me get stitches. I stayed off my foot as much as possible, and it healed fine and quickly.

It didn’t even scar me, unless you count my fear of tack strip.

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6 Responses to “The carpet tack story”

  1. roberto Says:

    More needless medical procedures. Our healthcare system is broken.

    When my eyeball went screwy last December, the neurologist wanted me to get an MRA scan. I didn’t have $4,000 laying around the house, so I opted not to.

    I stayed off my eye, and it healed nicely.

  2. gunky Says:

    you FLOODED your parents’ house and there’s no link to THAT story?

  3. gunky Says:

    the ENT wanted to perform surgery on my 20 month old to straighten her broken nose, even though it was still perfectly straight. i said no.

  4. T. Says:

    The flood, in a nutshell:
    I didn’t live with my parents, but I did run over there to do laundry.
    Apparently there’s a rule everyone knew and knows but me, where you never leave the house when the washer is running.
    I threw in a load and went to work.
    Dad came home ‘to an inch of water’ and a washer that was pouring water into the house.
    They like to bring this up.
    I want to add a bit here that I concede has no bearing on my accountability and was not a factor in my leaving the washer unattended: the house was about to undergo the kind of knock-down, do over that’s technically a remodel cuz they chose a couple rooms to leave standing. You know what they say about Davy Crockett’s hatchet? It was that kind of remodel.
    The carpet was going anyway. It was nasty.
    This is not to discount the stress, time and energy involved in cleaning up the mess my negligence caused.

  5. Mike Says:

    what a great laugh this was.

  6. Brisbane carpet Says:

    These tacks are very important accessories in installing carpets. They may look small but their functions are great.

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