The doors open to a blindingly bright room, sterile and unwelcoming. An overwhelming smell of chemicals sears through your nostrils and burns your eyes, you try to keep from choking. There is a bustle of activity throughout the place but no eyes raise from their work to acknowledge your entrance. Those at work are shielded by masks, they speak to each other in an unfamiliar tongue and their busy hands wield various devices designed to torture the captive masses. One of the masked figures approaches you, he speaks to you but his words are drowned out by the screams of a woman in the background, her feet are being mauled by a worker. Finally you pluck up the courage to speak, “I’d like a manicure please.”
A man in black points you to a chair near the front, as you sit and wait you observe the activity around you. There is a woman sat upon a high seat, a man scrubs away at her feet. How can she stand to have her feet attacked like that? Perhaps she is hypnotised by the small electronic device in her hand, she clearly is unable to take her gaze from it. Eventually the man in black returns, you explain that you’d like acrylic nails, he asks you series of questions that you don’t understand. It would have been wise to learn the language of nails before you joined this journey, perhaps your lack of knowledge will be your downfall.
Suddenly a woman with candy cane nails grabs your hand and clips off your nails, takes out a tiny whirling drill, she grinds what remains of your nails and then leaves without a word.A spectrum of tips is laid in front of you and are forced to chose one. You panic under the pressure and pick something gold and sparkling. These are attached to your nails, they are so long and claw like that it takes all your will power not to channel your inner wicked witch, “fly my pretties fly!”
The pain begins, the man in black files away at your finger tips, this causes a cloud of dust to fill the air, is the dust from the fake nail or your own finger? Finally he stops, you are left with lovely shaped nails atop your now bloody stubbed fingers. Your hands are yanked here and there and a cocktail of gels and liquids are applied to your finger tips. The aroma is clearly making you delusional as you find yourself completely enthralled by an infomercial being shown on the TV. “How have I lasted so long without a Wow Saw?” You wonder to yourself, “look at how easily it sliced through dry wall. Must find purse. Buy. Buy. Buy,”
Now you are summoned to another table a strange glowing box is placed in front of you and you are instructed to place your hand inside. You hesitate, fearing that this is a trap and you’re about to lose your fingers. The man in black has no patience, he forces your hand inside snaps, “don’t move.” You are frozen in terror, you want to wiggle your digits to check they’re still attached but fear the wrath of the man in black.
After what seems like a lifetime your hand is released from its prison, to your utter surprise you find your once chewed, sick and shameful nails have become a thing of glistening beauty. You hold them high in the light and marvel at their glittering wonder. Your mind races as you imagine the never ending possibilities your nails now hold. You immediately retrieve your phone and begin searching for future designs you wish to covet. Congratulations, you made it through the initiation and are now part of the Manicure cult. I wish you luck in learning how to use your hands with newly acquired claws.