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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« People get older! And other news. | Main | For the men--because I care. »

And I've seen pooping!

Here’s a strange fact about New Yorkers you may not know, if’n you don’t live here: people here think it's acceptable to clip their nails on the subway. I wish I knew why. I wish I could give a passable excuse for the people from all walks of life I see clipping away, letting their nail bits fly with abandon all over the train, skittering across the train’s floor, probably landing in someone else’s sandals, that person screaming WHY GOD WHY while God can only shake his head and weep in horror.

It’s not like nail clipping is the worst thing I’ve seen on the subway; I’ve witnessed exhibitionism and self-mutilation and private acts of love and some intensely distasteful grooming routines, but those were all performed by people with serious mental problems. No excuses are needed for those people. Abandoned by the system, they have been given implicit leave by the City of New York to go ahead and frottage* themselves against a subway pole. Go ahead! We just won’t ever touch that pole again!

But the nail clipping, people. Nail clipping. I’ve seen makeup applied, creams slathered on, nail polish removed—I watched a woman curl her eyelashes on a bus—and while I would never condone such behavior, I at least sort of get why (okay, except the creams, especially the smelly creams). But nail clipping? Can’t it wait? Do you want to impress your fellow passengers with your grooming habits? Does the idea of standing over a trash can or a sink while clipping fill you with despair? Are you hoping to meet someone who loves the feel of freshly clipped nails raked across his/her back? Do you not get that the clip-clip-clip sound rings throughout the entire car, that it’s like a siren announcing that you get off on littering MTA property with your dead skin?

I’ve had enough. Next time I see someone clipping their nails, I’m going to ... well. I'm going to give them such a look.


*Apparently this isn’t a verb. Until I made it one, just now.

Reader Comments (29)

this is late in the game but hey I have a story. Huuby and me went to pick up a pizza at Pizza Hut and while we were waiting we saw one of the girls clipping her nails right right RIGHT where they roll out the dought. Needless to say we did not pick up that pizza and went to Dominos instead.

Just found your site via Dooce.
June 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDarya
I'm a consultant and I've worked in Philadelphia, NJ and New York and there always has been one guy I've run into who feels the need to clip their nails @ office in their cubicles. Do they really not have time @ home to cut their nails? Are their nails getting in the way of the keyboard keys? Ugh. Some people.
October 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJD
it's a worldwide thing, I think. I've seen many a toenail clipper on the trains here in Sydney :-(
May 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermegan
I was on the train (the 3) heading downtown when I kept hearing a clicking sound coming from the man next to me. For some reason, I thought perhaps he was strumming something with a guitar pick. I don't know why, I just did. When I quickly glanced over, however, I realized that he was in fact FLOSSING HIS TEETH. NEXT TO ME. I'm usually a fairly tolerant type o girl but this was a little much. EWWWWW.
October 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMegan in NYC

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