July 25: a week with my olde dad part two

I am going to cut my olde dad’s toenails. My toenails are not great but his are really not great. These toe nails are not great, I say. Ah! he says. When did you last cut these toenails? I ask. Don’t think I ever cut them, he says. My olde dad is 90. You must have cut them at some stage. They’re not that long, I say. I have the big industrial nail clipper but it still isn’t easy. Have we got a bowl or a bucket or something where you can soak your feet? I say. We must have, he says, but can’t think where it could be. In the end I find a plastic box that’s being used to put pills in. I take all the pills out. You could put some soapy water in it and it could fit one foot. These feet are smelly, I say. They are not clean. Roll your trousers up! We fit most of the foot in. With the bunion it’s difficult. I need a file, I say. There’s such a lot of stuff behind the toe nails. This is not pleasant work. You’ve got two good nails, I say. Good quality. But some of these others I just can’t cut. They’ve grown into funny shapes. They have and all. They have become like tusk, thick and twisted. One of them is the shape of a walnut whip. I can’t get the clipper round them. They are like stone. What I need is a barber for nails, says my olde dad. Chiropodists, they’re called, I say. Next time you see the doctor, ask him to get you an appointment with a chiropedist. Ah! he says. I’ll tell Helen, I say. Helen is my sister. She lives with my olde dad full time. She’s on holiday. That’s one reason why I’m cutting his toe-nails today.

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