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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Nails Are Tough!

So, I’ve got fingernails.

I don’t mean that in the ‘Woo, lookit that, a body part I’ve got!‘ kind of way, of course. Not like when I was three, and careened around the house naked, screaming, ‘Penis! Penis! Penis! Penis! Peeeee-niiiiiiiiiis!!!

(Or for that matter, last Saturday morning, when I tore off my shirt and jiggled suggestively at my wife, singing, ‘Nipple in the morning! Nipple in the evening! Nipples all of the time!

What can I say? The muse strikes at odd moments, sometimes.)

Anyway, the fingernail thing. What I mean is, I’ve currently got long fingernails. Long for me, at least, which is sort of a minor miracle. You see, I’m a long-time nail biter. Mostly fingernails — and almost exclusively my own, save that one rather memorable time with the neighbor’s daughter on the playground.

(Eh, it was a school initiation thing. I explained it all later, and it was cool. Oh, how we laughed, once the restraining order was lifted. Good times, man. Good times.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying:


You, Charlie, with an OCD-driven nervous habit like nail biting? Why, I just can’t see that.

A heroin addiction, maybe. Ritual self-scarring? Sure, you seem the type. Cross-dressing devil worship? It wouldn’t surprise me. But nail biting? Gracious me, no.

Sadly, though, it’s true. I’ve even confessed to my dirty little habit before, a little less than two years ago. In the past two decades or so, I’ve had white tips on my fingernails for maybe four weeks. And half of that was the week before and after my wedding, including the honeymoon.

(Because hey, I’m compulsive and all, but people — if you have the time or inclination to bite your nails on your honeymoon, then you are not doing it right. Get nakeder, drunker, or preferably both, and start over from the beginning. Chop chop.)

But for some mysterious reason, the nibbling stopped three weeks ago. Whatever inner demon was causing me to chew shriveled up and died, apparently. Possibly, it was all the alcohol and hot sauce I’ve been pouring on top of it all these years, via the stomach. That’ll teach those inner demons to hang out in the organs I have control over. Get into the prostate, where only the creepy butt doctor can reach you, dammit!

But I digress.

The point is, I don’t know what to do with these damned things now. I’ve gone without fingernails for so long, I’ve got to relearn how to use them, now that they’re back. Last week, I spent an hour exploring the simple joys of peeling a price tag from a CD jewel case. Some people take that sort of thing for granted. Long-nailed people, like manicurists and hookers and dirty, unkempt hobos, for instance. Well, not me, dammit. I even offered to go back through the store and peel all the tags off for them. I was denied. And rebuked. Also, I got a wedgie. Sam Goody’s has a thing or two to learn about ‘customer satisfaction’, goddammit.

Of course, being armed with fingernails is not all cupcakes and stripper sweat. No, indeed. More than once, I’ve accidentally poked the dog with a nail-where-no-nail-used-to-be. I’m afraid I may inadvertently put an eye out with one of these things. Also, drumming my fingers on the desk is a lot louder than it used to be. I’m going to need to find another way to privately express my boredom at the office — especially in meetings with the boss.

And let’s not even talk about my testicles. Honestly, I’ve been scratching my boys down under for a lot of years now, and I have never had these ‘issues’ before. There are some plaves you should never have to put a Band-Aid, people. Not even the Elmo kind. Hell, especially not the Elmo kind. Ow.

I suppose I’ll clip the things soon. Assuming I can remember how, of course. I’ve only had my toenails — and the dog’s claws — to practice on for the past few years, so it may get ugly. I might cut one too far, or jagged, or lop off a pinky or something. And then I’ll have to file the things, and worry about the cuticle skin, and all of that nonsense. Jesus, if I’d known fingernails would be so much damned trouble, I’d have never stopped biting them. Can I have my filthy habit back, please?

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “Nails Are Tough!”

  1. RRaccoon says:

    Won’t you be surprised if the creepy butt doctor finds fingernails in there!

    Just remember, women like it when your fingernails are short and tidy, not bitten and not jagged. That’s why lesbians always have very nice, clean, short nails.

    “The more you know.”

  2. i have got to remember not to be eating when i visit this site again. geez.

  3. #Debi says:

    Maybe you should check and see if your little Hispanic hairdresser has a friend who does manicures–could make for a good story, anyway, and just might bring your habit back.

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