Curiouser and curiouser…

You never really know what’s going to happen when you pay a visit to Fairfield. You may be swept up in the sweet undertow of a downtown candy festival or have to sweep yourself out of the way of a drive-by shooting.

Until a short time ago, however, I’d never imagined being caught in a drive-by manicure.

Perhaps I should explain.

(Sure, why not?)

This rather unusual experience occurred as I made my way through the bustling Westfield Solano mall at the conclusion of a successful cigar safari.

I was headed toward an exit with my recently purchased stogies when an attractive young woman approached and took me by the hand.

“May I show you something?” she asked.

Hey, I’m a 50-something newspaper bum with quite healthy instincts when it comes to young women.

She could have dragged me to the roof, showed me the edge and booted me over and I would have grinned all the way to the pavement.

Keeping a firm grasp on my left hand, the young woman glanced pointedly at my left thumbnail.

“Do you pay a lot of attention to your nails?” she asked.

“Why, er, yes,” I responded.

“They’re, like, those things on the end of my fingers.”

The mobile manicurist was not to be deterred.

“Uh-huh. And do you see those lines on your nail?” she asked.

Yes, I saw the lines on my thumbnail.

“Those are ridges. You don’t want those.”

“I don’t?”

‘No. No ridges.”

Escorting me to a nearby “Spa to Go” stand, she began industriously polishing my left thumbnail with a rectangular bar of something that apparently came from the Dead Sea, one side of which was kind of soapy and one side of which wasn’t.

Within seconds, I had a sparkling thumbnail.

Although I didn’t immediately purchase any Dead Sea thumb-polishing compounds, I was more than happy with the result and rushed back to the newspaper to tell my co-workers about my experience and newfound dedication to nail care.

It didn’t take long for my colleagues to question my motives, ethics and sincerity.

“You know, that’s how congressmen get into trouble, Mr. Congeniality,” counseled one editor in the newspaper’s feature department.

“Although that is quite the stunning thumbnail you’ve got there.”

Others were more pointed in their assessment of my true reasons for allowing my thumbnail to be polished to a glowing shine.

“Three words – you’re a lecher,” opined one woman from the newspaper’s advertising department.

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this – how could you suspect me of having ulterior motives? Do lechers have thumbnails like this? I think not!” I retorted huffily.

My critic was not convinced.

“All that shows is that you’re a lecher with one well-manicured thumb,” she muttered before striding purposefully away.

Hmmph. Some people simply don’t appreciate the eradication of unsightly ridges…

Originally published October 29, 2017