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Friday, February 28, 2003

The Politics of Nails

I drove down to Mount Rainier National Park last weekend to go snow shoeing with some friends. I love how in Washington you have to go vertical to find winter. The snow starts at around 4,000 feet and by the time we reached the highest point you can reach on the mountain by car (around 5,400) there was snow up to the rooftops. Rainier is truly an awe inspiring mountain and the surrounding wilderness can practically take your breath away but what I want to talk about here is the drive down from Seattle.

We passed through Spanaway, Washington en route. I hesitate to call Spanaway a city because it seems to be nothing more than a series of god-awful strip malls and used car dealerships. I had driven this way many times before but this time I was a passenger and was able to pay closer attention to this atrocity of a community. I counted no less than three Walgreen franchises, countless fast food dumps, nothing even remotely charming, and no evidence in the area’s urban planning of a nod to pedestrians. I saw no evidence of urban planning at all. Spanaway is simply a commercial cancer attached to a highway host organism.

What really got my attention was the alarming number of nail salons we counted along the way. There was a nail salon in almost every strip mall. Spanaway must certainly be the nail salon capital of the world. As much as I may think that Spanaway is the ugliest city in the country with the most nail salons per capita I also can’t help thinking that there are probably many cities across the United States equally as ugly and equally as committed to the trash culture of nails.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I can’t help but think that there must be a link between nail salons and heinous urban planning. Even in my relatively charming neighborhood in Seattle there is a nail salon in the area’s ugliest building. What is going on here?

I figure that it must have something to do with the toxic chemicals they use in nail salons. The poisonous vapors in nail parlors must destroy the aesthetic sensibilities of their clients. At first the disease simply creates a psychotic delusion in the minds of the individuals that having big fake nails actually counts for something in this world. From there the disease progresses until all visual taste is destroyed in the victim and they see nothing wrong with living in a city that is nothing more than parking lots and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets or that watching TV talk shows is a good way to spend the afternoon.

Fake nails are the chadors and burkahs of American society and we must all do our part to end this press-on oppression.

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