Pick, pick, pick

I’m back at work this week, a little reluctantly. I’m still expelling – those of you with respiratory issues feel me. I feel run over. Those of you who haven’t been run over – I don’t recommend it.

However, my thumb – the real reason I haven’t posted in a while – still throbs. You may not know this, but approximately three out of every four American adults suffer from some form of self-mutilation.

Actually, as far as I know that’s not true. I made it up – out of whole cloth, as they say. I have no idea how many of you pick pieces off. I’d like to think there are a lot of you out there. Then I wouldn’t feel so bad. Me? I’m not doing anything that would draw the attention of a mental health expert, if that’s what you’re thinking. I just pick the hell out of my fingernails. The only phrase heard more often in our house than “Adam, stop running,” or “what the heck is that and what is it doing there,” is “John, stop picking.” I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s not like I’m blowing my big chance as a male hand model. Here’s the thing: it drives Cheryl crazy. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. If I were a pet I’d be a peeve. It’s not entirely my fault though. I swear she has a supernatural sense of hearing. We can be watching a movie in a loud theater and she’ll grab my hands in frustration, trying in vain to squeeze the will to pick out of them. It’s times like these I’m thankful she doesn’t have a firm grip.

Anyway, those of you familiar with Olympic fingernail picking know there are risks involved, one of which is infection. If you pick too much off it grows back off track. That’s what happened to my thumb. On my right hand. On the outside edge.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but that part of my hand gets a lot of work: it’s my space thumb. Come on, admit it, you’ve all got a space thumb. You probably take it for granted too – pounding away at your keys without a thought for it’s needs, dreams, or desires.

I won’t. Not anymore. I thought office email was painful before. Try it with a bum space thumb.


  1. Okay you two. I think you need to consult with each other and figure out which neurosis is causing this picking thing. I have to agree with Cheryl; it would drive me around the bend. BTW… I love the manicure kit.

  2. This is gonna get me a lifetime ban from the XY, real man club, but I’ve got a vintage La Cross, gentleman’s manicure set that belonged to my great-grandfather (on my mother’s side of the family). It’s a beautiful, black leather bound kit with heavy, stainless steel tools… all of them good for some serious damage: http://yfrog.com/0e70nuj.

    I wonder if he’d be proud?

  3. I do the same thing!!!! And I own two pairs of cuticle clippers, one next to the bed and one pon my desk, which I use to further mutilate my digits. I have learned over the years that hydrogen peroxide followed by neosporin quickly clears up the occasional infection. Of course, not picking would avoid the infection altogether, but what fun would that be? And what would we talk to our therapists about???

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