1. Lose a toenail.
I ran cross country throughout high school. I was one of the best on the team, so coach had me practicing two-a-days, running up to seven or eight miles per session. With that much training, it doesn’t take long before toenails start falling off.
JK I’M MESSIN’ — that ain’t how it happened at all. Of course I didn’t lose my toenail because I was running too hard! The only thing I was known for on my cross country team was complaining and my famous Allie jog — a gait that, thanks to bad posture and a disproportionately long torso, made it look like I was jogging when I was really just walking. I don’t think I ever even sweat during cross country practice, let alone ran hard enough to lose a toenail. Come on, son.
It was because of cross country that I lost a toenail, though. Sophomore year my friend Sarah, a cross country teammate who also hated running, invited me over after practice to go swimming in her pool. Since my hatred for running is only trumped by my love for frolicking in bodies of water, I accepted her invitation.
Sarah was going to ride the after school bus to my house and then her mom would pick us up from there. Her mom was already there by the time we got off the bus, so I had to run inside and throw my bathing suit on real quick. Since I also had to go to the bathroom, I decided the best use of my time would be to change and pee simultaneously.
Clothes changing on the toilet is difficult in the best circumstances, but it becomes especially difficult when you’re in a rush to squeeze into your tankini (the two piece bathing suit for modest, blubbery young girls). Add a set of poorly maintained toenails into the mix and what was once difficult becomes dangerous.
In my haste to change into my tankini while on the toilet, my big toenail got caught while I was yanking up my bottoms and torn most of the way off. That toe got to’ up from the flo’ up.
As a side note, I never ended up going swimming in Sarah’s pool on account of the blood and the freshly torn flesh.
2. Save that toenail.
Losing that toenail turned out to be an incredible gift. Not only did it get me out of cross country practice for a couple of days, but since it only got ripped off three quarters of the way, the rotting skin that still clung to the nail did wonders for my social life. The smell of human decomposition both masked my B.O. and attracted lots of flies everywhere I went. In fact, in the middle of class I once had three flies land on my festering toe all at once. I’d never been so popular in all my life!
Those flies did good work, too. It only took a couple of days before they ate the remaining flesh and the toenail finally fell clean off.
Approximately 1/16th of nail had pink polish on it. Not wanting to lose a symbol of my femininity, I put the toenail someplace safe. I opted for an empty tic tac container I had in my backpack.
3. Pretend your toenail is a tic tac.
When shaken inside a tic tac container, a toenail sounds remarkably like a tic tac. Before class, I’d often take the tic tac container out of my bag, give it a little shake, and offer it to friends. Ten times out of ten, the people I offered it to would accept. I never really gave it to them — I’d just laugh, show them that the tic tac was a toenail, and be on my way.
The only time I actually dumped the toenail into a person’s hand was with my acquaintance/friend Curtis. I asked if he wanted a tic tac, he said yes and stuck out his hand, and I filled his palm with my torn, mangled toenail. The laughs we had!
4. Wait seven years.
Start dating the boy you gave your toenail to.