Male mall manicure madness: Just say ‘no’ if a beautiful blonde asks for your thumb

On the last Saturday before Christmas, I made my annual gift-shopping trip to the mall. I always procrastinate like this, but it's so hard to keep coming up with thoughtful gifts that I tend to put it off as long as I can.

Quite frankly, the whole Christmas gift-giving thing is out of control but it is what it is. Many businesses, they say, can't survive without the annual holiday gift-giving blowout.

So now I'm walking through the mall, by myself, trying to come up with some worthwhile gifts for family members. In the middle of the crowded, bustling, noisy mall (I had to park in another area code) were all these jammed-in kiosks and tables selling myriad sundries and whatnot — dried meats, Tupperware, cell phone cases, you name it.

All of a sudden, a beautiful blonde woman steps out from one of the kiosks and approaches me. Remember, I'm alone at this point — I'm shopping for gifts for my lovely wife, after all — so I must have appeared to be "fair game."

"Give me your thumb," the beautiful blonde says to me. I'm pretty sure all men dream of having a beautiful blonde just come up and talk to them for no reason, but I'm not sure, "Give me your thumb" is the sentence they expect to hear.

Without even having a chance to think about it, I stuck out my left thumb. The next thing you know, the blonde pulls out a small pink sanding block and proceeds to rapidly scrub and buff the fingernail on my thumb, and, when I say buff, I mean buff. I have electric sanders that don't move as fast as her flying fingers did.

At this point, I really didn't know what to do. I mean, I was supposed to be Christmas gift shopping, not getting a manicure, you know?

"Excuse me," I said to the hard buffing blonde, "but isn't this kind of a chick thing?"

"Yes, it is," she cooed, "but guys do it, too, when no one is looking."

Huh. Here I am, 55 years old, thinking (hoping) my days of doing things when no one else is looking were just about over. So I carefully extracted my left thumb from her delicate grip, and promised her I'd return at some point with my wife.

She seemed a little disappointed but OK with that. Later, on my return trip past her kiosk, I could see she had another guy roped in.

I heard him say to her, "But I work construction and my hands are always all messed up." Last I saw, she was still cooing and buffing him. Hard working girl for sure.

The next day, I'm sitting in church, waiting to enjoy the annual Christmas pageant. I removed my coat and got settled in when I noticed something was different. The morning light was coming through the beautiful stained glass as usual, but, when I looked down to read the program, I noticed that my left thumb was shining brightly.

I'm not even kidding here — my left thumb was buffed so finely, it was reflecting light. I've never had anything like that going on with my fingers before; you can trust me on this. It was quite unnerving. I kept my hand down so as not to distract the costumed children as they acted out their intricate and beautiful program.

Then Monday morning, on the way to work, I had to make sure to keep my left hand below the window — I didn't want to blind any oncoming drivers. When I got to my desk and sat at the computer, I couldn't stop staring at my super shiny left thumb.

It was clearly so different from all my other fingers it stood out like, well, a sore thumb. I started to think up stories to tell the guys when they walked over; I didn't want them to think I was having some kind of a mid-life crisis or something. (I prefer the lifetime crisis that I've been living instead.)

Fortunately, I had a remodeling project going on at the house. But, even with the sawdust and paint, my thumb still shone brightly for many days afterward. (The sexy blonde did say it would last two weeks.)

Now that I think about it, I should have bought the buffing block from the blonde and used it on my motorcycle gas tanks. I'll bet the shine I could have achieved with that little pink bad boy would win me some trophies at the bike rallies next year. In fact, I'm sure of it.

Seriously though, what was this woman thinking by selecting me for the manicure/nail buffing treatment? What guys do you know walk around with glistening, shiny fingernails?

Maybe I'm sheltered but my friends — even my gay male friends, of which I have a few, don't do this, even "when no one is looking." I mean, my buffed left thumbnail was so shiny and slippery, it was actually quite disconcerting. It just didn't feel right.

I think showering once a day and trimming my nails once a week or so is about all I want or need. What I could really use is a good way to get the grease out from under my fingernails when I work on cars and bikes. Now, that's a tool or treatment I would buy and use.

A segment on a newsmagazine show one time showed a car on the side of the road with a flat tire. When they had a "normal" person standing by the car, most people would drive by, and occasionally someone would stop and help.

When they changed it to a hot blonde standing by the car, so many cars pulled over, it was almost causing an accident. So there you go. We love young blondes, what a surprise.

Maybe I should add a blonde wig to my roadside hazard kit. I can pack it along with the flares, battery cables, and flashlight. I'll bet, if I wore it, they'd pull over, then, as they got closer and noticed the mustache and the five-o'clock shadow, they'd just peel right outta there.

The lesson is this: If you're a guy and a good-looking blonde says, "Give me your thumb," you may want to think twice before you do.