Now for the summit for healthy fingernails

Vusi Nzapheza Straight & 2 Beers
A voter gets his thumbnail marked with indelible ink at a voting station in Marikana, North West. The writer is perturbed by the conditions of some of the voters' fingers.
A voter gets his thumbnail marked with indelible ink at a voting station in Marikana, North West. The writer is perturbed by the conditions of some of the voters' fingers.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/ Gallo Images

The rule of thumb deigned that the voters display their inked thumbs.

Filled with pride at the opportunity to steer the course of the sixth parliament, my fellow countrymen went on a frenzy of thumb exhibition on social media after they voted on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, most of the fingers displayed showed flagrant disregard for personal hygiene.

In my book, only a car mechanic should get away with fingernails filled with sludge.

Considering the oily work they do, it is excusable for a mechanic not to be friends with soap. A mechanic can also be excused for a deformed thumb as a result of an injury when a spanner twist misses.

For the rest of us, there cannot be an excuse to have thumbs that resemble those of hilly billies in Wrong Turn horror movies.

A thumb is undoubtedly a very important appendage and deserving of good care.

Without a thumb, you cannot maintain a proper grip on a cup of tea or even a pen.

As I surveyed the stumps disguised as thumbs on election day, I began to wonder about the condition of the rest of the fingers on their hands. If a thumb could be so disregarded, what chance did the middle finger, the forefinger and the pinkie stand?

I am particularly concerned about the state of the middle finger since apart from making an "up yours" statement when it is raised, it can also be an object of pleasure.

There can be no fingering without the middle finger and fingering requires a clean, well-manicured middle finger.

If the nail is too long like that of pastor Mboro, fingering will be painful. If the middle finger is not 100% clean, fingering can cause an infection.

I shuddered to imagine the crimes of passion an unkempt middle finger could be responsible for.

In a rush to display their pride at casting their votes, many people unintentionally exposed a lack of manicured etiquette.

If anything, the horror thumbs I saw should be a rallying call for all South Africans to visit their nearest nail salon urgently. Men and women who use their teeth for a nail cutter deserve harsh punishment.

The thumbs were in such a bad state that IEC staff that had the unenviable job of applying indelible ink were scarred for life.

Straight & Two Beers got it from IEC spokesperson, Iminwe Phezulu, that electoral staff suffered acute manicure syndrome halfway through the inking of those stumps.

"The IEC is considering passing legislation to compel all registered voters to visit a nail salon before the next elections," said Phezulu with a straight face.

The only fingers that looked hygienic and well-kept at the voting stations were those with fancy but fake nails. Unfortunately, these could not be inked for voting purposes as they could be removed to defraud the voters' roll.

Considering the importance of maintaining a credible election, this issue of rogue fingers should take precedence on the agenda of the incoming president. It is a matter of hygiene and safe sex importance.

Knowing the predilection of Cyril Ramaphosa to probe issues of national importance, I expect him to convene a Fingering Summit soon.

There we will be afforded the opportunity to frankly discuss the dangers of unclipped and long fingernails in the bedroom. For those with a foot fetish, we would include the toenails for urgent attention. There are few shocking sights than toenails that resemble grave-digging implements.

We showed tremendous civic duty when we went to vote on Wednesday.

The same energy should be converted to avert disaster of dirty fingernails. The health minister should immediately address the germs and sludge that lurks beneath the fingernails of this nation.

This issue is especially critical to the guys and dolls who regularly finger their partners. I am also guilty of not frequenting a nail salon but following what I saw on election day, my eyes have been opened.

The role of clean fingers in maintaining a happy relationship cannot be overstated.

Iminwe! Menwana!

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