I worked at a video store in college. I was 18 when I got hired. Even after I graduated, I continued to work at the video store. (I was one of those people who stuck around after graduation, you know, in order to bang the new freshmen. That’s what I loved about those college girls, man, I got older and they stayed the same age.) In the years that I worked there, I saw four different managers come and go before I became one myself. Today, I want to talk about my very first video store manager, the guy who hired me. He was a short, plump, gay man named Steve. (Names changed to protect the innocent.)
Steve wasn’t outlandish. He didn’t stand out in a crowd. He was as usual as the day is long. He always wore khakis, tucked in button down shirts, loafers, and his puffy, feathered brown hair always looked as though he had just spent the last hour driving around with the windows down. Steve always wore the same excessive amount of cologne to cover up the fact that he rarely showered or did laundry. Steve was almost always overlooked, which is I think what made him so bitter and resentful.
There was one quirk about Steve that stood out. It was his pinky fingernails. They were long and slender and perfectly filed. No other nail was as long or as well kept. I used to stare at those pinky fingernails as they typed away at the keyboard, checking out movies like two perfect military men. I often wondered what it was he used them for. Did he use them for peeling eggs? Apples? Did he use them to turn the pages of his Bret Easton Ellis novel? What were those pinky fingernails used for?
I’m now 33. I am a mother. And the other day as I stood over Emory I noticed that he had some lampreys in both of his nostrils. I found myself pondering a great question: How was I going to clean the snot out from the little guy’s nostrils? We were told not to use the suction unless he’s having trouble eating or sleeping and he’s obviously too young to understand what blow means. What was I going to do? And that’s when it occurred to me. Humans have two perfect shovels designed specifically for that very task.
After 15 long years, I have finally figured out what Steve used those pinky fingernails for. I now know why he kept them so long.
My gay video store manager was using those nails to dig the snot from a baby’s nose.