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

Cud

Cud: (n) the portion of food that a ruminant returns from the first stomach to the mouth to chew a second time.

I am susceptible.

I don’t like to admit it.

Often, it’s why I refuse to watch medical shows or even programs of itinerant travelers who share experiences of strange lands, animals and diseases.

I buy in too easily.

Such a thing happened to me short years ago. In my ongoing pursuit to remove the mythology of my obesity and supposedly create the human-flesh-muddle that I’m meant to be, I listened to a young, slender woman (my first mistake) expound upon the importance of chewing your food at least twenty times before swallowing.

She explained that this not only made digestion easier, but also that chewing at for such an extended period of time caused us to eat less, and therefore promoted weight loss.

In that moment–in my flurry of passion and with her apt representation– she was able to convince me to try. She closed off her discourse by highlighting that animals like the cow chew their cud over and over again until it is just a mushy mess of drippy liquid, which they then gulp.

Surviving her vivid description, I sat down to my dinner that night and decided to pursue my own cud chewing.

I quickly realized that my normal number of chews for consumption was four or five.

I was still comfortable with eight chews.

At twelve I had to take my mind to a faraway place to keep insanity from ensuing.

When I finally reached twenty and tried to swallow, nothing happened. (All the little gushy, mushy pieces had already snuck down my throat to the stomach to the awaiting stomach).

Yet faithful pilgrim that I am, I continued this practice for an entire meal.

It was exhausting—so tiring it was that at the end of the feast, I found myself needing energy—starved.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C