Okay, now that you’ve noticed, we might as well discuss this thing. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about; you looked right at it and cringed. My long pinky fingernail, that’s what! I was trying to keep it hidden, tucked into my palm, as I always do when I’m in the presence of people who cut all their nails to be the same length—“omni trimmers” as I call them—but, the more I think about it, I really shouldn’t have to hide. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.

You probably think I keep forgetting, huh? That I’m cartoonishly interrupted each time I’m about to trim it and, in the hustle and bustle of life, let the length of this counterculture keratin slip right out of my mind.

You couldn’t be further off if you tried.

I have an impeccable memory. In fact, at last year’s Impeccable Memory Awards (a small, invite only affair—the success of which is wholly dependent upon attendees’ ability to remember the event’s location after hearing it whispered quickly, once, in Basque), I was awarded a certificate for being “Least Likely to Forget The Small Things…Even Really Small Things Verging On Being Unimportant, Like Clipping Fingernails”. I was also lucky enough to snag the “Very Bright Cup” and the “Acutely Aware of Social Grooming Norms Talisman”. Beyond these recognitions, I remember every one of my burps since age six (19,982, excluding instances that led to vomit) and I’ve never once forgotten to wish anyone I care about a happy Guy Fawkes Day.

If my memory’s in good working order, then my one long pinky fingernail must indicate that I’m uncleanly, right? Wrong. I’ve got OCD and many alphabetically arranged pill bottles full of SSRIs to prove it. You may have also noticed this spacesuit I’m wearing, complete with airtight helmet and oxygen tank (the gloves were mailed separately and haven’t arrived, hence…the visible long pinky fingernail). It’s kind of tough to miss. As is the 43-component steel wool body brush kit I FedExed you in preparation for our meeting today. (The open wounds on your arms, face, and neck tell me you’ve used it, so thank you.) In case you’re still skeptical, I’ll say that I was forced to repeat my sophomore year of college after a grueling tweezer ordeal with an errant pubic hair left me bedridden for nearly 12 weeks.

Now what? “Your pinky fingernail is much too long for you not to be some kind of anti-establishment anarchist!” you must be thinking. Ah, what a wanton and misguided critique. No one is more pro-order than me, I assure you. Yes, I do my part as a citizen—volunteering and voting in all major national, state, local, and elementary school elections, and abiding by a self-imposed 95% tax rate, but my unbending support for the establishment stretches far beyond the norm. For most of my thirties, I traveled the country, snapping Polaroids of buildings’ “Est.” slates for inclusion in my book, “Establishment: The Coolest Thing”. To boot, I’m against all watersports (as they take place upon a surface that’s not as well established as solid ground) and an outspoken opponent of Jello.

Have I addressed all your presuppositions about me and my one long pinky fingernail yet? No? Oh—I know, you must think I’m a coke fiend who uses my long pinky fingernail to sniff up little specks of white delight between weekly cash collection sessions with my legion of unruly hoes. How silly of me to overlook such a rampant stereotype, cruel as it is. Sorry to disappoint, but I haven’t had cocaine since I mistook it for powdered bleach during my “snort yourself clean” nostril sterilization phase in 1983, the same year doctors determined I had advanced OCD and two years before I bought this very spacesuit.

Where does that leave us, then? Are you completely and utterly perplexed, shamed by my adroitness? Do you regret judging me so harshly for my pinky fingernail incongruity? I hope you realize now that—oh, you have one long pinky fingernail too…I see. Hmmm. Well, are you a forgetful, uncleanly, anti-establishment, drug-addict then? Or just batshit fucking crazy like I am?

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LUKE KELLY-CLYNE is the creator of Tribeca Film/Maker Studios’ digital series “Remix the Movies” and Above Average’s “Step 9.” He is a Writer, Director, and Creative Director of Branded Entertainment at CollegeHumor/Electus, a Freelance Contributing Writer to Weekend Update on “Saturday Night Live,” and a columnist for Splitsider. Luke has written, produced, directed, and performed content for Disney, Lorne Michaels’s Broadway Video, MTV, Gawker, Bloomberg TV, Huffington Post Comedy, ABC’s “Nightline,” Tribeca Film, Maker Studios, Splitsider, CollegeHumor, Fox’s “Laughs,” McSweeney’s, Funny or Die, and lots of other great places. His work was also featured at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and he is a 2015 Webby Award Honoree.

4 responses to “A Thorough Defense from a Man with One Long Pinky Fingernail”

  1. Bob says:

    It seems to me you avoided answering the question of “Why you have one only long nail on your pinky”.

    Either you are playing with peoples minds, or you are, as you have tried so hard to deny, a person who uses that nail to scoop and snort cocaine or heroin.

  2. Doppleganger says:

    Funny stuff.

    @Bob The reason, as the author states in his penultimate sentence, is that he’s “batshit crazy.” Get it now?

  3. Kosgrow says:

    So…. how much coke did you snort before you wrote this?

  4. John Houston says:

    Why are liberals so prone to endless histrionics? You have a long nail? You are a goofball, just like those moron 20-somethings who walk around in the summer wearing woolen caps. They think (like all their kind who preceded them) they are individualistic. But they are lock-step clones of each other.

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