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Getting nailed

I bought an electric staple gun this past weekend.

It was with no small amount of trepidation that I did so. The last time I handled any equipment that fired sharp projectiles at high speeds was when I was 14, in 1991. I was visiting my grandparents in Braintree, and my parents had foolishly let me and my siblings explore unfettered.

The basement was a pirate’s cave filled with bounty as far as the eye could see. Every tool you could imagine, old toys, electronics, nails, bolts, screws, blades, knives – everything an adolescent boy could hope for. The buzzing of the electric tools, all plugged in, of course, resonated through my head, in tune with my excitement.

I picked up the tool closest to me, a hefty nail gun that was probably made in the sixties. I raised it to eye level and aimed it at a part of the wall that was ten or so feet in front of me. The trigger felt awkward in my hand, but my finger squeezed around it until it fired.

The nail didn’t hit the wall in front of me. There was one main reason for this, and that was because I was holding the gun backwards. The barrel was actually pointed directly at my head. At a speed that felt supersonic, the nail whipped past my ear, lightly scratching it, and buried itself in the wall behind me with a cartoony “THWONGGGGGKK” sound that is usually associated with an arrow hitting its target.

My knees felt weak, and the realization that I almost spent the rest of my life eating out of a straw and wearing a special helmet overwhelmed me. I slowly made my way upstairs and decided to lay down for a bit.

As I unpacked my new electric staple gun this weekend, I was very careful. I clearly identified the front and back of the gun and made sure to keep the front pointed away from me at all times.

I loaded it with staples and plugged it in.

“Do you have the staple gun ready?” My friend Clown asked.

“Yup. It’s plugged in, but I don’t know if it’s turned on. It’s not humming or anything, so I can’t even tell how to–” I pulled the trigger in mid-sentence.

“THUNK.” The staple flew across the room and hit the wall a few scant inches from his body.

I think I’ll just stick to a hammer and nails from now on.

Don’t forget! Tonight at 9 PM EST, Britt and I will have angry word sex on air during our Episode Two of “Clearly, you’re retarded!” We’ll be discussing the different between being open and being guarded in all walks of life. You can listen live online at, or download the Talkshoe application and you can chat and even call in!

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37 Replies to “Getting nailed”

  1. Grant

    I did something similar with a manual staple gun. It was a new ergonomic type that looked backwards – the staples came out the fat end, the small part was the rear. Being too manly to read the instructions, I grabbed it and went to work. I wondered where my first three staples went, then found them embedded in my palm. I pulled them out and continued working, but the manly kind of man I am, but had to stop because I was bleeding all over the place.

  2. bluepaintred

    When you do shoot yourself in the finger, it stings a bit, but holy fucking hell, when they grasp the staple with their special staple grabbing pully things you will writhe on the floor in agony. There is normal pain, like childbirth. Or like being eaten an inch an hour by a crocodile, or lighting yourself on fire. repeatedly, and then there is the pain of having a staple removed from your bone.

    Trust me. stick with the nail and hammer

  3. blondefabulous

    OMG! Too funny! :lmao:

    I don’t think you would have been a veggie. I saw a CNN piece on a guy who had a metal rod lodged in his head and he’s a-ok. Now when someone touches his scar, he loses feeling in his front teeth.

  4. Poppy

    Look! You wrote something funny!

    Your blogging bad streak is over!

    (Not that there really was one, but you said there was…

    oh, nevermind.)

    I’ll be listening tonight barring unforseens.

  5. trishk

    Oh dear! I’m truly afraid now of you even handling a hammer and nails. What if you have the nail upside down? And then when you hit it with the wrong side of the hammper it flips up between those prongey things? And then the nail hits you right between the eyes?

    I think you should hire some carpentry help.

  6. little_lj

    Ahh.. this reminds me of the time I nearly stabbed myself in the eye at my brother’s 3rd birthday party. Do NOT EVER run speedily towards your mother when she is holding the knife for cutting the cake. EVER.

    I had to lay down for a while after realising what might have been after that too.

  7. Em

    Are you sure you shouldn’t let someone else handle the hammer and nails too?

    Okay so this talkshoe thing is this a one time deal… like if I’m say… busy at that time can I hear it later?

  8. Bucky

    I had a 3 hour block of shop class in my senior year of High School (1997) to learn this stuff so I wouldn’t be another statistic of power tool death.

    Well, that and I was too stupid to pass any other class.

  9. misi

    Oh that reminds me of something horrific when I was a kid. My brother and I were fighting, I climbed up a tree all the while taunting him and that lil bastard threw a small pitchfork at me and it stuck in the bottom of my foot!! No joke, STUCK. OH!!!!! The whole concept was wayyy worse than the pain itself.

  10. Becky

    Do big boy toys come with instructions? Anyway, I’m just dropping in to say hi and cause I told Janelle I would. You were only 14 in 1991?!?! For the love of God, when did I get old :angel:

  11. Avitable

    Amanda, I know – I’m like a hairy lesbian!

    Jay, definitely.

    Sybil, have I still disappeared off your Google Reader?

    Fogspinner, I’m old now – once you hit 30, it’s all over.

    BE Earl, or anything construction-related.

    Grant, I stop because I’m bleeding constantly.

    Karl, I’ve just now started to document them photographically.

    BPR, I do not want to learn your lesson!

    Dave, yes it is. We’ve built a few props so far. And as soon as Liquid finished her damn design, I’ll have a post!

    Blondefabulous, I like my front teeth!

    Soapy, yeah, that’s already a bad idea.

    Poppy, you listened but didn’t chat, did you?

    Gwen, I’m glad you listened!

    TrishK, I should just hire Mexicans.

    Hello, nope – it’s totally true.

    Finn, why do you hate me? Because I’m so old?

    LMSS, no more tools for me.

    Golfwidow, I’ve only seen that movie once.

    WillieG, I just don’t have the common sense necessary. You should see me with a circular saw!

    SinisterDan, I usually hire people, too.

    LittleLJ, you would have been next to me in the retard ward.

    Em, you can download it and listen to it later, even on iTunes.

    Dragon, maybe it did and I blocked it out.

    Robin, that’s true – I’m usually the only real victim.

    Bucky, they didn’t teach shop in my high school, I don’t think.

    Turnbaby, I’m sure – the jigsaw is fabulously dangerous.

    Sarah, I’m only good with one tool.

    Misi, wow that sucks!

    Heather, I ended up finding the staple last night by having it stick out of my leg.

    Manager Mom, then we’d be in real trouble!

    Becky, I don’t know, but I’m old too.

    Sarah, you are a kid, but it’s okay. I like kids. Yes, in that way.

    Sheila, having kids just fucks up your body for life, doesn’t it?

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