There is a certain amount of positive shaming in the nerd world. Without this shame, we would still be overrun with the fedora, the “m’lady”, the cargo shorts, the Cheetos dust, and so on. Well, it’s time to add another oversight to the list. It’s time to trim your nails.

Statement: Your nails are gross. You need to do something. Clip them, cut them, bite them, tear them from the cuticle, use your samurai sword and slice away little crescent slivers until you reach the skin. Sever your last digit the way cats are declawed. Whatever. Up to you. Just do something. Please.

Have long nails, it’s not too late. Take a before and after picture and send them to me.I’ll reward the biggest change. This is not a joke. [contact: or @iggolding]

If you have long unwieldy nails, you pretty much have ten talons of neglect growing off your hands. Gross nails are the human equivalent of carpeting your bathroom—people cannot look past it. You look like the world’s worst Fallout mod where someone just put a Deathclaw hand on a GameStop employee body.Coworkers probably know you as “that dude with the nails.” The second your hands come out, they're zooming in on those fingertips. Every time you reach for your soda, every time you scratch your butt, every time you write something down, they hold back a gag as they look at the universe’s grimiest anthropomorphized Claw Game.

And let’s be clear, long nails are grimy. The grayish tint, the weathered edge. There’s a thick layer of buildup under each one, a substance of dead skin and pizza sauce caked deep within. There’s enough DNA under your pinky for a cloning experiment. It’s a time capsule of debris, a record of everything you’ve gotten your fingers into. A group of elementary kids could excavate and study each layer the way you count rings of a tree, learning every time you had a coupon from Papa Johns.

Sure, a lot of people grow their nails out on purpose. But these nails are loved, they’re polished, they’re cleaned. Your nails are feral. They’re a threat to society, they’re a threat to you. They don't need to be the gnarly, twisted world record nails to grow too long. As if the clacking of your mechanical keyboard wasn’t enough, whenever you play CSGO your nails hitting each key is deafening. Save your fingers. Save your ears.

And the best part about having long nails is the ease of fixing the problem. Unlike problems with your body, your diet, your self-image, or your unresolved abandonment issues,clipping your nails takes less than a minute to make a major improvement in your life. Right now you're life is theequivalent of being on the Price is Right Showcase Showdown where your biggest prize is an electric fireplace and some ugly dishes. You trimming your nails is the real life version of guessing within $500. You get the best of both. You are less gross, you are more attractive. Clipping all ten fingers is equal to a month at the gym.

So, please, for your own sake, clip your nails. And, if you want to win a prize, go ahead and send me before and after pictures.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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