The Greatest War on Earth

the loathsome slivers in all their glory

The war between us and our nails began long ago, even before our ancestors dragged their scaly bodies onto the face of the earth. They are our greatest foe, even when compared with Iran and McDonald’s, trespassing on the only thing we can really claim for our own, our bodies. We beat them back endlessly with crude weapons and still they thrust forth with new strength, feeding off our very meals.

Despicable, loathsome, and repulsive, they are a repository of filth of every kind and deep within them breeds the very scum of the earth. The sight of them can make grown men shriek and children weep. In the right circumstances, they induce nausea, fatigue, and premature labor.

And yet we tolerate them, watching as they creepily grow longer and longer until we can take it no more and destroy them, cutting them from our flesh after we have softened them with a warm shower. But they always return.

The pain of fingernails’ existence drives some to madness, weakening their mind until they bite and nip at their fingers until their very bodies bleed and they taste sweet iron on their tongues. Others try to disguise the nails with lacquered paints and frilly designs, even covering up the painful reality with plastic imitations–anything to hide their true nature.

Industries have grown up around them: their suppression and removal. They are a liability to their keeper, easily becoming a source of indescribable pain. The sounds they make– the clicking and the clacking, the gnawing and munching of their incapacitated victims– fill the air with the crazed din of an insane asylum.

For a time they are windows into the body itself, but grow disgusting all too soon—tainted with the everyday wear of life, collecting beneath them the salt of the earth and the stew of the lunch and the peel of the orange. Our fingernails and toenails are our most dedicated and successful foes. My entire life I’ve been fighting them, cutting them back, even down to the quick, feeling the sharp sting of pain until I cry out and I feel I’ve defeated them at long last. This time they will not grow back.

But they do, and I find myself in the same shameful position only two weeks later, if that. I have even slammed my finger in a car door, unconscious attempting to rid myself of the foul parasites once and for all. After weeks of hiding my mangled finger in a brace, I took it off only to see the nail growing back, ever persistent, its shape leering at me in a grotesque grin. I got on my knees and prayed to all that is holy to take this burden away from me. I only heard faint laughter from the other room, my sister watching Arrested Development.

Will I never be free?

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35 thoughts on “The Greatest War on Earth

  1. Reblogged this on Speak2theHeart and commented:
    Loving It!!!

  2. Wow!!! Never thought about ‘The Nail’ that way. Thank you for helping me appreciate mine. Once they stop growing, I’ll probably be dead, therefore; I’ll just have to keep them cleaned, trimmed and well manicured for the next interview. (lol) Thanks for the good read.

  3. Hala J. says:

    Funny that I read this today. I woke up and looked down at my hands and thought, “Weren’t my nails two inches shorter yesterday?!”

    I don’t particularly hate my nails…they’re rather sturdy and look pretty good without my having to really do anything. But when they get a certain length (’cause I’m too lazy to keep cutting them regularly) it’s mostly me trying to avoid making myself bleed with them. They’re like little razor claws of doom. I prefer them short, and wish they’d just stay that way for longer than, I dunno, five minutes or so.

    But thanks to you, once again I have a whole new outlook on those long white demon knives that regularly claw their way out of our fingertips.

    • edrevets says:

      I enjoyed the last sentence….demon knives. As if they have a mind of their own, because they do. I wish mine would stay short as well, but, as you can see, they never do.

  4. blitzpillager says:

    If you want a great way to get revenge on those dag-blasted fingernails and toenails..JUST RIP them out with pliers! That’l teach em’, those evil leaches!

    Maybe one day they will have laser surgery for removing fingernails and toenails, then ladies can just color them in with magic markers…kind of like they do with their eyebrows? (ha ha)

    You know, I was thinking…I’d rather date a girl with a big old unibrow, than date a girl that plucks out her eyebrows and then pencils them in…why do they do that for…is it caused by retardation and inbreeding? I like my women natural…just saying!)

    • edrevets says:

      The ultimate plan for removal…..good thinking.

      On the unibrow note, I once traveled to the city of Salalah in Oman, and there it is considered more beautiful to have a connected eyebrow, and some of the girls do pencil them in all the way…..very interesting. Beauty is subjective.

      But I’m with you all the way on the natural front.

  5. My nails, back fat and mustache: three losing battles

  6. Sometimes I just sit around and scream at my nails so they’ll go away. Never seems to work.

  7. goodoldgirl says:

    Great post and I could agree with you that finger nails our greatest foe if it weren’t for that one hair that keeps cropping back up on the edge of my chin … no matter how many times I pluck that little tart.

  8. I despise fingernails so absolutely I wear big plaid oven mitts on both hands ALL DAY (even when I’m not cooking anything).

  9. Audrey says:

    A truly epic battle, the siege of the ages!

    Hilarious post!

  10. hangryhippo says:

    oh my, i actually had a dream last night where i was stuck in a very uncomfortable situation and started picking fingernails out of my teeth…any idea what this could be about?? i woke up grinding my teeth and it was all just awful.

    • edrevets says:

      Yikes. Apparently if you have dreams that your teeth are falling out, it means you fear losing control. But that doesn’t seem to have much to do with this except for teeth, but that is the end of my dream expertise.

  11. Surely something can done! Something MUST be done about this terrible and vile curse! Where are the charities? Where are the government grants to fuel the scientific research needed to beat back this universal plague that afflicts each and every person on this Earth ten times over?
    Consciousness must be raised! Fund drives must be organized! Large groups of people must disrupt traffic as they pledge to walk and race for a cure! We must never give up on turning fervent hope into reality, that yes, fingernails can be finally be eradicated forever, and all the suffering they have caused, will be nothing more than history.

  12. sirarmany says:

    So true if I miss my Sunday session my week is messed up.

  13. sillyliss says:

    This is very topical for me, because much worse than owning nails is owning a baby who owns nails. Babies do not like you do cut their nails. They would rather you just cut their fingers clean off. We have to cut our baby’s nails while she is sleeping, and this is no easy feat. Made less easy by the fact that we have officially lost our safety clippers.

    • sillyliss says:

      I don’t know if you’re into this sort of thing, or if you just want to see your name in (admittedly dim) light, but I have tagged you because it seemed like the right thing to do.

      • edrevets says:

        Thanks for the tag! I might do something with this, but unfortunately my favorite jokes usually leave only me laughing, but I laugh the hardest, so that’s a bonus.

    • edrevets says:

      I’m guessing very sharp knives are a no go?

      But seriously, baby fingernails are no joke…they can be super sharp and terrifying. This is a holy burden you have.

  14. Well Done, SB. I was trying to ignore my own but now I am staring at them as I type. They are shameful, indeed.

  15. jensine says:

    No never … bane of my life cutting them back and over night suddenly they attack me

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