Tuesday, 11th July, 2017

A mystic experience?

     Ever since I was tiny, my Mom – bless her! – would tell me off about a certain thing.   For some reason, she felt that I would “get on” without it.

I was, I freely admit, totally addicted to that about which she warned me.   In fact, it was so much a part of me that I never really noticed that I was involved in it.

“Oo, our Keith,” Mom would say, sometimes in an angry voice, sometimes coaxingly, “it’ll make you . . . ”   And here she would say whatever nasty thing she thought of at the time of the telling off.

“. . . make your stomach go funny,” was one nasty thing when I was very young.   Then, as I grew towards teenage-dom, it would often be ” . . . you’ll never get a girl-friend.”   Her warnings affected me not at all because, as I say, I never realised that I was doing it.

Yes, nail-biting is a strange habit.   I suppose, in my case, it was due to having a nervous disposition and that I spent a lot of my growing-up years as a bit of a loner.   And many’s the time when I bit them so thoroughly (!) that there was hardly any nail left to bite and my finger-tips would bleed.

Then came the strange, mystic experience (fade in spooky music . . . ).

Towards the end of 2014, having been a nail-biter for mind-your-own-business-how-many-decades, I glanced at my hand for some reason . . . and there, growing perfectly normally, were all my finger-nails (thumb-nails, too, of course)!!!

My Mom had long-since departed this life by then, so her tellings-off couldn’t have stopped my addiction.   And I had as few close friends as when I was a kid.  (Nota bene:  I had a supportive wife in Rosie, and a loving daughter in Elizabeth by then, of course.)

I had simply stopped biting my nails.

I have not returned to the habit.   I do not miss doing it.    And I am used to the distraction of having to keep my nails clipped so often.

I cannot explain the mystery . . . any more than I can explain the mystery for Rosie and I suddenly – and independently – becoming vegetarians.

Isn’t Life interesting?

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