Dave T’s Pros and Cons of Stuff Everyone Has: Fingernails

Big Wheel Blog: 

Look at your hand. On the tips of your fingers (the long tubey things) you’ll see kinda shiny, kinda clear, hard things shaped like the face-shields on space suits. Those are FINGERNAILS.

Don’t know what they are?

Fingernails are basically shells that cover the tips of fingers. They’re made up of a protein called keratin (also found in hair, hooves, claws, feathers, beaks, etc.).

People think your fingernails (and toenails and hair) grow after you die. Untrue. When you die, your skin shrinks and retracts during decomposition, which makes your nails and hair stick out more. This creates the illusion that they are growing. This disappoints me. I like the idea of dead bodies with crazy long hair and loopy-long fingernails.


• Fingernails help you peel tape and labels off of things. Without them we’d all have to carry butter knives around all the time, which is ridiculous. I guess we could all get Swiss Army knives, which would be less silly.

• If you play guitar, long fingernails allow you to fingerpick. Fingerpicking rules.

• Ladies with painted fingernails can be very sexy. Especially if the nails are painted red. And if the girl is not a prostitute.

• Dragging fingernails down a dude’s back during coitus can also be very sexy. (Tip: you don’t need to break the skin, ladies. A few faint pink scratch marks are quite erotic.)

• Even though banging your fingernail into something can smart like heck, there are no nerve endings in your nails, so without them you would have way more pains smashing the soft flesh and tip of your finger bone into stuff.

• Biting your fingernails can be a pastime and something to help calm your nerves.

• Doctors can use your nails to diagnose health issues. Example: Hey, Fendra, your nails are looking yellowish with a slight blush at the base. Let’s check you for diabetes. Also, what the heck kind of first name is that? Lithuanian?

• You can use your nails to defend yourself if someone is trying to steal your purse or beat you up or date rape you.

• My favorite insulting gesture is biting your thumb at someone, which goes back to Shakespearean times. You push your thumb up to your teeth so that your teeth slide between the tip of your nail and your finger, then you flick forward and it makes a slight clicking sound. Do it nowadays and no one knows what you’re doing. Do it back in Victorian England and shit is goin' down, Son expect a duel.

Total Pros: 9


• Fingernails get fungus under them, which is gross and yellow and maybe stinky (I’m not sure, never had it!). Not to mention hangnails. (Isn’t “not to mention” a weird phrase? Whenever you say it, you end up mentioning the thing you said not to mention.)

• Some girls get ridiculous accoutrements added to their nails, like tiny jewels and glitters and charms. Stupid, expensive, and distracting.

• Scratching fingernails down a chalkboard creates a shrill sound that drives most people bonkers. Just typing this is giving me a funny feeling in my mouth, my fingers, and the place in the back of my head where my spine meets the base of my skull. Shudder.

• Biting your fingernails is gross. I know I listed it in pros, but that’s because some people like it. I’m not some people.

• You need to clip your fingernails every week or so, which burns a precious eighty seconds you could use thinking about ways to go green.

• Long fingernails make normal tasks like bowling, nose picking, dialing, and picking up ball bearings very difficult.

• The term mani-pedi is one of the most obnoxious terms in the English language.

Total Cons: 7

So, Pros, 9, Cons, 7. I’m sticking with fingernails. I suggest you do the same.

‘Til next time, Ciao!

Dave T

Dave Terruso is half of the sketch comedy duo Animosity Pierre. Check them out at Helium Comedy Club on April 15.