Sort of a belated Fourth of July thing happening this weekend brought us to pals Jentry and Markus’ parents’ place in Hirschau for an evening of grilling and breeze shooting with a number our English-language Regensburg peeps. Note: it’s interesting to see how the alliances flesh out at one of these types parties when you’ve got Northern-Irish-married-to-Irish, American, and English types present for an independence celebration (I would have enjoyed some other colonial representation in the mix, but maybe next year). We rented a car and drove up. I almost parked in front of this sign (pictured). At the start of the evening I would have been an inconsiderate, improper driver, but by the end of the evening, I would have qualified for that parking spot a tiny bit more.* The squeamish are advised to continue reading the rest of this post at their own risk!
The evening was going swimmingly with exactly the kind of joyous chaos we’d come to expect at Jentry’s In-Laws’ Party Barn® over the last few years: screaming kids of all ages, 15 conversations between 5 adults happening concurrently, and tough decisions about how to spend that precious belly real estate, given all the homemade and military-base-only items to choose from (I drank my first Dr Pepper in recent memory, and OMG was that good). The evening’s culinary Tour de Force were the beef loin steaks someone managed to procure from a PX. Markus grilled them expertly (I helped a little to give him a chance to eat), and once everyone was pretty much sated already, he brought out this monster Porterhouse. I wanted to snap a picture of it, but was a little late off the mark — he’d already cut half of it off the bone.
It was at this point that he sat down on the far end of the bench to dig in. Somehow he lost his balance, or expected there to be enough counterweight on the bench support him — but there wasn’t. The free end of the bench launched into the air and Markus landed in a heap on the floor of the barn. My hands were still full of camera, but I tried to stabilize the bench with my legs, so that we could put it down gently.
Unfortunately I misjudged the weight of the bench and couldn’t hold it. It tumbled forward and the edge of the bench smashed down onto my left big toe. I yelled quite loudly, but didn’t realize I had more than a bruise waiting for me until Sarah noticed some blood on my foot and my toenail oddly askew on top of — opposed to being part of — my toe.
It was pretty gross. We realized quickly that I’d need some professional medical attention. Markus drove me and Sarah to the nearest urgent-care clinic in Amberg, where I did a lot of sitting around. There was a fest in Amberg going on that evening, and Markus accurately predicted that we were just the first of many party-related patients there that evening. But as opposed to those revelers, alcohol was not a factor in my injury. Once the clinic staff figured out that we weren’t coming from the fest, they lightened up the bedside manner a bit (I just told them a Bierbank fell on my foot, and I think they assumed I was one of the morons whooping it up at the fest and causing extra work for them). They complimented me on how professionally I managed to break the toenail clean off. Had the nail been unusable, they would have had to mold me a prosthetic one to shield my vulnerable toe flesh from possible bone infection. So they numbed my big toe up, set my very own nail in place, stitched it in nice and straight, wrapped me up, and sent me on my way.
In about 10 days, I’m going to need to have those stitches removed, allowing my toenail’s Nachwuchs† to slowly force its predecessor out, like a glacier reaching the sea.
*Yeah, I’ve got a gimpy foot for a few weeks, and it might mess with our upcoming vacation. But it’s not anywhere close to comparable with “behindert.”
†I love this word for “offspring”: “after growth.” Most people use it somewhat figuratively to refer to their kids. I love how literally it applies to my own next toenail generation in this case.