My brother once said that if he ever had to fight someone that he didn’t want to, he’d stub his toe first. That way he’d invoke the rage necessary to fight. I think we can all relate.

Recently Zach had the same revelation on a cold fall night. One evening as I was lying in bed reading, kitty tucked securely at my feet and both dogs close to my side, kitty and I heard a noise outside. I yelled to Zach, who was working in his shop, that we had heard something in the backyard. Unwilling to stop what he was doing to investigate a noise that only we had heard, he quickly said all was fine and continued whittling or whatever he does in his shop late at night. The kitty and I settled back in, the dogs none the wiser. Zach eventually joined us and as we all drifted off, we heard a big bump in the back yard that not even Zach could ignore.

“See I told you we heard a noise” I said.

“Oh @#$#*! it’s probably nothing,” he protested.

“Please go outside and look “I insisted (more cussing and protest because I usually win).

So, as you guessed, Zach got up and went outside to check while we (cats and now the dogs) listened. First there was the yell that got the dogs barking, and the cat jumped off the bed and hid. Then came more yelling and then the cussing. Now I was out of bed. It sounded like whatever was out there was kicking his butt. I ran to the door to find him hopping on one foot and cussing. He had gone out into the yard to investigate the noise and upon his return to the house stubbed his pinky toe.

Now it is never wise to laugh at a man in pain, but to laugh at a man who had essentially kicked his own butt out in the dark by way of stubbing his pinky toe was definitely the wrong thing to do.

After calming down he crawled back in bed. I apologized for laughing to tears and we all drifted off to sleep.

In the morning Zach revealed his (probably) broken black and blue pinky toe that he had to stuff into his hiking boot and eventually take to work. A lesser man would have called in sick.

We never did find out what that noise was. My guess was whatever it was ran away into the night as soon as it heard the toe smashing-induced rage. At that moment he could have killed them all – provided they stayed away from his toes.