Thursday, November 29, 2012
Rant Rant Rant: Fingernails!
Fingernails are lovely things. Most of the time. You can paint them, scratch itches with them, turn the page with them, and use them to get difficult crumbs out of your keyboard. Eventually, unless you are Howard Hughes, you will need to cut your nails. You may hire someone to take care of your feet, such as the lovely Bastien Gonzalez (we love him because he once took on the almighty challenge of the feet of the father of ravaj). Fingernails are much easier, though, and usually you cut them yourselves. Or clip them.
Here comes the rant: since when has it become the custom to clip one's nails in public? It's not that the act itself is vile, but rather that the clippings are allowed to lie where they fall. For example, just this week I saw a woman across the aisle on the plane, this morning it was the woman next to me on the Tube, and the other day there was a woman on the top deck of the bus; all of them tending to their nails with no concern for their debris. It was utterly disgusting.
When I was young, Rabbi Hugo Gryn z"l told me that he would collect his nail-clippings and burn them, because his grandmother had told him that all the rubbish undisposed during his life would be waiting for him after death. I don't know about that, but Google did give me a couple of suggestions for the reuse of fingernail clippings:
1. they are compostable (as long as you remove the polish), since they are rich in protein.
2. if you cannot afford a Brillo pad (steel wool), put them in the foot of an old pair of tights and tie off the end. Voila - an inexpensive pot scrubber.
3. send them to Tim Hawkinson, a man who makes sculptures out of them
Ultimately, whatever you do with them, for goodness sake please do it at home. Thank you.