Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Help! I can't look away!

Inspired by today's post on The Mom Bomb...

Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you just COULD. NOT. LOOK. AWAY. ? You knew it was a major faux-pas, you were probably hurting someone's feelings...but the more you berated yourself mentally, the funnier it got, and the more 'stuck' you became?

Hoo boy, do I know that feeling.

My previous job had a large Asian population. (Great for handmade spring rolls!) Many nationalities were there, but the Vietnamese were predominant.

Many of the Vietnamese men at my job had one strange quirk. They had extra long pinkie fingernails on their left hands. Very hard to NOT notice, but since it's a personal grooming issue...nobody wanted to inquire about it.

Except one Friday, one of my technicians finally asked the other about the nail. He replied that it was cultural (duh), and that most men used it to 'wipe' their butt. Said it was better than toilet paper - no residue. Ewww.

The next day, I had a pedicure schedule with my friend, "Barbie". As we waited, we chatted about the work day...and I told the fingernail story. We were shown back to our little massaging chairs, and relaxed.

Until the pedicurist arrived. A guy. A Vietnamese guy.

With that long fingernail.

He (thankfully) donned rubber gloves before touching us...but all we could do was stare at his hand in horror. I glanced at Barbie, and saw the same "oh god, what do we do" look on her face that I could feel on my own.

My eyes were drawn inexorably back to The Fingernail. It seemed to waggle obscenely at me, clad in rubber and standing off from the rest of the hand.

Barbie got the same impression, for as we once again matched gazes...we burst into giggles.

For the full 30 minutes it took to get our (admittedly great) pedicures, this same situation kept happening. We couldn't talk, we couldn't read our trashy magazines...all we could do was stare at this fingernail, and hope our guy never looked up.

[I know you're wondering - and NO, that's not really what it's for. My tech was having a little joke on the person who asked...lucky me, just caught in the cross-fire. Sicko]


Beat Black said...

holy gross!!! i've never heard of that before now... just wrong

Paper Girl Productions said...

ewwwwwwwwwwww!! Are you serious?! I've never even heard of that before and now if I ever see any long pink fingernail....you know what I'm gonna be thinking!!

BlossomingTree said...

OMgosh hahahahaha...that is too funny. I would be staring too lol.

niftyknits said...

so what is the real reason?

TexasTesla said...

The real reason - it's a status symbol. People with enough money to NOT have to perform manual labor are the only ones able to grow a nail that long.

KieutiePie said...

Errr.. now people are going to think Vietnamese people are disgusting. I'm vietnamese.. my family is all straight from Vietnam... None of us have that finger nail and I have never heard about this wiping butt thing. That's a pretty funny explanation...

Anonymous said...

it was also used for sniffing cocaine.

Anonymous said...

Dude he was totally fucking with you and your coworker.
The nail is just used as a status symbol in some cultures, or for cocaine as a primary use in others (AMMERICAA).

People use it as a 2ndary function for relieving an itch at most, or some other hygene-lacking people use it to pick their nose --

but face it they put that in their mouth usually without noticing and I doubt they would pick their nose or wipe their ass with it, unless they like tasting shit all day.