What the hell is wrong with people? As I rode into Grand Central on the Metro North line, savoring my daily dose of the Wall Street Journal, I started hearing the pointed, and shrill clicks of fingernail clippers at work. Although dead-focused on an excellent op-ed in the WSJ, my eyes immediately darted to my right and confirmed my fear. The exceedingly dull looking, middle-aged, heavy-set woman who hasn't smiled in a decade was fast at work clipping her fingernails eighteen inches from my face. The horror.
The years have taught me to expect less from people, especially in places like public transit in New York City, but even my shockingly low expectations had a floor firmly in place. There are certain grooming rituals that I am a huge fan of, yet, believe need to be executed in the privacy of one's own home. Fingernail clipping ranks among these. The werewolf would like to think that in the America of yore, despite its various shortcomings, people had the decency to trim their nails in the privacy of their own homes, or risk severe societal rebuke.
The piercing sound of each clip is itself just cause for going postal. However, striving to be a gentlemen extraordinaire, I devoted my attention to the profound musings of the WSJ op-ed page and allowed my rage at my uncouth neighbor to boil internally. That was until a heard a pointed click that was quickly followed by a small impact on my cheek. Yep. The cow had fragged me. It was mortifying. How was I to react to this indignant insult? Options raced through my mind; a public dressing down of the severest order, finding the dead cell chunk she had just removed from her body and stuck me with and throwing it back in her face, farting in her general direction... the list was extensive. However, being slightly traumatized and never having been in this situation before, I settled with the restrained approach of simply turning of my head and giving her the twenty-five second "eat shit and die" look, before repositioning my paper to act as a shield and trying to purge the recent occurrence from my memory. She seemed oblivious to the crime she had just committed, lost in the desolation of her own myopia. The day went on.