Cuticle

Cuticle (n) the epidermis that surrounds the edges of the fingernail or toenail.

Being healthy is a good thing.

There’s nothing particularly insightful in that statement. But may I follow with this thought?

Being worried about your health is the Suck Master of Life.

This is why I am careful not to watch too many shows on Discovery Channel or programs about bizarre medical procedures—because in no time at all, I am perfectly capable of sprouting some of the symptoms, with actual visual evidence.

I’m not normally paranoid but am willing to be flexible.

In other words, I can go pretty nuts wondering if I’m nuts.

I can get a queasy stomach just thinking about indigestion.

And I can sprout a headache at the mere mention of a brain tumor.

Yet, knowing this about myself, I accidentally watched a program on the danger signs of disease that can be found in our cuticles and fingernails.

  • What happens when they’re yellow?
  • Should we run to the doctor if they’re brittle?
  • Do white spots on your nails mean you have a calcium deficiency?

After all, human beings and other primates are the only animals who have nails.

Watching this particular documentary, I learned that men’s nails grow faster than women’s. Worse, the nail on one finger grow at a different speed than another. (It’s a little unnerving to realize that even my fingernails are competitive with each other.)

It was reassuring to learn that typing is good for your nails—except that I don’t do typing anymore. I have someone who takes my dictation and achieves the job in one-tenth the time.

Water is very helpful for healthy nails, and cuticles are there because they protect the tips of our fingers from infection.

One of the things that made me giggle was that they had a two-minute expose about the danger of cutting your nails in the dark.

Yet, when it was all said and done—and I calmed down my internal gag reflex—I realized one thing:

My nails probably won’t kill me.

And, as Kelly Clarkson once said, what doesn’t kill you helps you open packages.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Craft

Craft: (n) an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill

It is a chilling sensation of frightening proportions that sometimes the word “craft” appears by itself.

Normally it travels with its friend, “art.”

“Art and craft” are much easier to comprehend—at least for me. Art is something I understand. It stirs in my soul. Thank you, God, or whoever is in charge today.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But every once in a while, someone will suggest that we all “do crafts.” I break out in a cold sweat.

Because as much as I enjoy the “art” part of arts and crafts—in other words, coming up with new ideas, angles and possibilities, when it comes to taking something in my hands, and well—let us say, crafting it—I become a fumbling elephant with four feet and a cumbersome trunk.

I don’t know what it is.

When I was in kindergarten, paste, crayons, construction paper and staples made me develop hives. Mainly it was because some of the kids in my class were so good at it. They made birthday cards for their parents that actually looked like Hallmark might approve it. Mine, on the other hand, greatly resembled a Hallmark card that had already spent time on the floor, been crunched in the corner and stepped on by thirty people.

So I tried to offer ideas and pay off my classmates to do the work for me by giving them my bag of Doritos at lunch. I got caught by the teacher in the midst of one of my transactions, and she tender-heartedly (but obnoxiously) said, “Come on, Johnny, you can do it. And whatever you come up with will be just fine.”

I took her at her word. I dipped into the paste, scribbled with the crayons and stapled everything in sight. Even though my teacher was an extraordinarily generous and kind person, when I presented my craft, I am pretty sure she had to swallow a gag reflex.

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