Friday 26 January 2007

and the pain was enough to make a shy, bald buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder....

Wow. I seem to have talked about a whole lot of different things this week. Are you ready for another sudden shift in direction?

Okay. Let’s go!

I used to pick my nails. I wasn’t ever really a biter, but I used to tear at them until I was right down to the quick. The problem is that I simply have no tolerance for long nails. Well, I say that, but I don’t mind them in other people. I just hate them on me. As soon as my fingernails reach a certain length, they really start to annoy me and I simply have to deal with them. In the old days, this meant either savaging them with a pair of blunt scissors or picking at them manually, and as a consequence, my fingers were always sore; I had those nasty little snags in the the corners where the nail joins the skin that always seem to hurt disproportionally to the size of the wound.

The solution in the end was quite simple: I bought a nail file. Whenever my nails started to bother me, I filed them down.

Simple, huh?

Just occasionally though, I lapse: I find myself somewhere that I don’t have access to a nail file, and I just can't seem to stop picking any irritating long nails down. Today was one of those days: one of my thumbnails caught my eye. Far too long. I picked it and worried it until I had shortened it. It looked deceptively neat though, so I was actually feeling quite pleased with myself….

…and then I peeled an orange.

As the citric acid leached under the nail and onto some of the exposed delicate bits underneath, I nearly screamed. I swore right then that I really would get round to keeping a nail file at my desk.

Oh good grief. Would you listen to me? Why stop at a nail file at my desk? Perhaps I should just cave in to the inevitable and buy myself a little bag that I can carry with me at all times? I could keep loads of useful things in there that I might need at any moment. A hairbrush is out, obviously, but how about a nail file and some moisturiser… perhaps I could also pop my wallet, my keys and my phone in there? That would improve the hang of my trousers no end….


I still haven’t worked out a satisfactory approach for toenails either.

Answers on a postcard.

Actually, don’t bother. I’ll manage.


  1. I always carry nail clippers with me. I hate long nails on me : they get dirty easily, and are fragile and brittle and hurt.

  2. I carry a small Swiss Army Knife pretty much all the time. I use the scissors to clip my fingernails. I used to bite my nails, until one day in 1988 I simply decided to stop. I then used a metal nail file for a couple of years until I lost it. That's when I switched to the SAK scissors. I have a few different knives, but tend to carry the same one.

  3. A nail file?! Why don't you bite them like a MAN!