The lungs provide our bodies with life-giving oxygen. The heart pumps our blood, the kidneys filter our system, the eyes provide visual representations of the world around us. We've even discovered that the appendix has a purpose, to store excess bacteria. But what are the fingernails for?

Your first thought is that they do serve a purpose, to protect the ends of our fingers. But you're wrong. Remember the last time you smacked your finger or thumb with a hammer? Do you honestly think it could have hurt any worse than it did? So ask yourself, did you fingernail really provide any true protection?

I have some other theories. I believe God did provide us with fingernails for a reason. In fact, I think there are many reasons.


Fingernails, what are they for?

Fingernails, what are they for?

The number one reason we have fingernails (and I believe we will all agree but not publicly admit it) is to pick our noses.  I know you agree because you just smiled, maybe even chuckled to yourself under your breath.  Some of you may have even laughed out loud and drawn the attention of people around you and now they want to know what was so funny.  You have two choices and you've got to act quick:  tell them it was nothing out of fear of embarrassment, or share.  It's up to you.

But you know I'm right.  We have fingernails so you can dig down deep in there and get that elusive booger that's anchored to your tonsils and refuses to blow out in a tissue.  It's glued to some nose hairs in the back and can't be reached except for a fingernail or a pair of tweezers.  And who's gonna stick a pair of tweezers up their nose?  That's just plain gross.

The number two reason fingernails exist is to pop the occasional zit.  You trap the white pus-filled pocket of skin between your two thumbnails and squeeze until either (1) you can't take the pain and your eyes water and you stop because you're a wus, or (2) you successfully pop it, sending its contents flying outward violently.  Get that visual of John Belushi in Animal House yet?

John Belushi in Animal House.

John Belushi in Animal House.

Third is the essential back scratch.  You can't have a proper back scratching without fingernails.  Men have the advantage here because women usually have nice nails and provide the most amazing back scratches.  Men's nails suck, we don't cut them good and we don't take care of them like we should.  Women get short-changed on back scratches.

The fourth reason is either to pull out nose hairs or clean your ears. Maybe even pull out your ear hairs. I do this.  They're white and they curl. They remind me of Walter Matthau.  I don't like them and I can't imagine a prospective Wife Number 3 liking them either.  So they get pulled.

Next has to be so we can hit those little chicklet keys on our cell phones.  Or how about so we have something to chew on when we're bored?  My dad does that, he chews his fingernails, then spits them out.  I've never seen the whites of his fingernails, they don't exist.

Nails are there so teachers can scrape blackboards.  Of course, blackboards are disappearing from schoolrooms to be replaced by dry-erase boards and laptops.  Nails also exist so you can tell when a man's been truly working.  They trap dirt, oil, grease and all sorts of contaminants just to prove that we did more than pay someone else to do the job.  So we can get back scratches.

And finally, as any CSI fan will tell you, fingernails exist to provide DNA information so that bad writers can move the plot along on a pathetic script that's been rewritten from CSI:NY last week and CSI:MIAMI two weeks ago.  Or maybe it was one of those LAW & ORDER shows.  Same crap, different time.  (Watch NCIS, it's the only acronym show that has really good writers with well-drawn characters)

Let's recap:  boogers, zits, back scratches, nose hairs, ear hairs, ear cleaning, small electronic buttons, boredom snack, blackboards, proof of a man's work and devotion, and saving the bad plots of lazy writers.

I think that covers most of it.  Got any more?  Email me and I'll add them.  If they're funn 

Also, other less-known reasons that didn't make the article: (1) so manicurists have jobs, (2) so women can adorn them with funky paint jobs and faux jewels, (3) to punish women with yet another item to upkeep just to impress us men, (4) so women click clack when they type, (5) so cocaine users don't need razor blades to split up their stuff, (6) so that chick could get in the Guiness Book of World Records with the longest fingernails (a combined length of 7.5 metres).