The Nail

She pulled with all of her might and, like an impacted wisdom tooth, it didn’t budge.

It was a straightforward task – remove the nail and move it two inches to the right and one inch down.  “Easy enough,” she thought, “I’ll do it while dinner defrosts in the microwave.”  She grabbed her hammer, hooked the claw end around the nail and pulled.  Nothing happened.  “Wha…?”  she murmured to herself – and to the cat who sat cleaning himself a few feet away.  She grabbed the step ladder for better access, planted one bare foot firmly on each side of the step and pulled again.  Nothing.  She thought, “How could this be? It’s a nail for chrissakes!”  She had managed to put a nickel-size divot in the wall with the struggle, but the nail held firm.  “Beeeeeppp,” went the microwave.  She was not giving up.  She hooked the claw around the nail head for a final attempt and pulled, and wiggled, and pulled some more and wiggled.  The dining room lights flickered, bits of drywall crumbled to the ground and finally – FINALLY – she pulled the nail from the wall.  It was a good four inches long and as thick as builder’s nails.  “Why,” she thought, “would I use that to hang a picture!?”  Then she remembered, it was there when she bought the house nine years ago.  Probably there from the time the house was built in 1951, stubbornly holding tight through six owners and multiple pieces of artwork.

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