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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Nails in the Coffin

Every great once in awhile, you come across a news story that changes your life. It's rare. But when it happens, it's as if a heavy curtain has been torn down from a window and the light is now being allowed to stream in, chasing away the ignorant darkness. I have been blind. I have been unaware. No more.

Paula Abdul has seen to it that the scales have fallen away from my eyes.

Paula testified before the California legislature today about the dire need for more sanitary conditions in nail salons. Apparently, Paula herself was a victim of a bad nail job, ending in an infection that caused the pint-sized diva to literally scream. Neighbors ignored her pain, as they thought she was simply singing. But she wasn't. This was no pop ballad gone awry; it was the voice of agony.

Nail technicians hold more than your fingers in their hand when you go in for a touch-up. They hold your very life. According to Paula, the conditions in California nail salons are so unsanitary that a worker might drop their emory board in a pile of ox dung, pick it up without so much as wiping it off and then resume buffing your pinky.

These salons are running unchecked. Where is the necessary oversight? Where are the daily inspections to make sure that when we're "soaking in it", we know exactly what "it" is? Where is the government agency whose function will be to guarantee that salon workers are properly trained and don't just gnaw my cuticles off with their teeth?

I suppose I could be like so many in this country and turn a blind eye to this problem. When I pass a woman on the street whose press-on nails have been painted with half-assed unicorns, I could keep my mouth shut. I could cover my ears to block out the screams of those who have been cut--literally--to the quick by an incompetent salon worker.

But, you see, there's a nail salon on my block. And another around the corner. This is my neighborhood and I don't want to see it's streets littered with victims of poor manicures. Because I care. I care.

Just one more reason why I go with the natural look. Not that I am opposed to ox dung...
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