Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: Vegetables, Trains, and Help
By Virginia Gorg
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When I was young, I couldn’t wait to grow up and become important. Being the F1-Help button sure isn’t what all the other keys think. They can be strung together to form words and sentences, while all I do is sit here. Sometimes I never get used, but other days, it’s poke, poke, poke. I used to complain all the time about my fate, but I decided it doesn’t help anything. Of course, I do sometimes get tired of being punched so hard.
As I said, I decided to stop complaining about my fate as the F1-Help key, and began looking at people’s hands as they type. Being attached to a computer in a Library lets me see many different fingers as they poke at me. There is such a myriad of fingernails punching the F1-Help key.
There are hands with long fingernails painted with designs. I remember seeing some nails that had diamonds in them.
Another set of hands had a fingernail with a painting of a train on it, and when I looked closely, I could see that each fingernail had a different train car, including an engine and a caboose. It was cool to see those.
Then there are the hands with very dirty fingernails. It looks like they have been digging outside in the dirt all day long. I wish they would wash their hands before coming in here and getting me all dirty. So far, no worms have crawled on me.
I remember another set of fingernails that had beaded charms on them. The owner typed very slowly because she didn’t want to break anything. The beads were very small, green, and flat. They looked like they were glued on to bright orange nail polish.
One day, I was startled to see a set of nails that had little words on them. As I looked closer, I could read things like bread, potatoes, vegetables, bananas, pudding, peanut butter, cookies, and orange juice. I guess this was the owner’s way of writing out a grocery list.
Some fingernails are very short and have no polish or color on them. Some fingernails are on very small hands, so I guess those must be children. The little girls paint their nails, too. Some of them are even more exotic than the adults’. I remember one little girl’s hands had animals on each of her fingernails. There was a tiger, a lion, a giraffe, an elephant, and an alligator.
One woman comes in to the Library every week and types pages and pages of information. Her nails are always perfectly manicured, the same length, and are covered with extremely vivid red polish. The nails are so bright that I almost need a pair of sunglasses.
One set of fingernails that I will never forget had stripes, circles, and small blocks on them. I was amazed at how intricate a design was woven into those nails. The stripes were in various shades of blue, the circles were light green, and the small blocks were assorted red and purple. I heard the woman say that it took four hours just to paint all her nails.
I really like the sets of fingernails that are decorated for different seasons. There are nails with snowmen and snowflakes, camels and wise men, ghosts and goblins, birthday cakes, wedding rings, spring flowers, and fall leaves.
One woman came in with numbers on her nails, and I heard her say that the numbers represented all of her favorite NASCAR drivers. Each nail was uniquely colored, she said, to match the color of the car and the driver’s number.
I think my favorite fingernails were on a woman who had the letters J E S U S painted on one hand. The other hand had the letters S A V E S on it. Another woman had JESUS LIVES on her nails. It’s good to see that some people get the message correct.
Even though I sometimes get tired of being poked so hard when people need help, I will never grow weary of seeing the variety of fingernails that come in the Library. I have decided to enjoy my life as a Help key – perhaps someday I’ll even write a book!
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