Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Worse Than the Bog of Eternal Stench

by Maggie Franklin | May 23, 2012

One of my most favoritest clients came back tonight. Over the last year, our schedules just have not been in agreement and she finally broke down and got her nails done ... (cue dramatic music) ... somewhere else.


Now, there are plenty and a half "somewhere elses" in town that she could have gone that would have been just fine. Places where she would have walked away with great nails that didn't damage her natural nails or inflict injury and pain during the process.


But that's not what she did. (sigh) She walked into a place that would take her on the spot.


Which is not, in and of itself, a bad thing either. There are also plenty of “somewhere elses” in town that work on a walk-in basis where she could have gotten a decent set of nails.


The unfortunate circumstance behind walking into a salon off the street is that all too often, the client doing the walking-in does it without any inkling whatsoever of what to expect from that particular salon's quality of workmanship.


Well, One-of-My-Most-Favoritest-Clients came back after a year hiatus with an existing set on her nails.


(Shrug) It's OK, I can deal with that. So I begin the process of a backfill while she apologizes for the horrible nails that she brought me to work with.




I have smelled some MMA in my time. I have smelled all sorts of products in my time. I have drilled through some cement that stunk to high heaven while I did it and I have slogged through two-hour soak-off times... but this stuff beats them all.


First, I think I have irrevocably damaged one of my extra coarse carbide bits. Drilling through this stuff was like drilling through glass. And poor Client would have been in tears if I had continued. I immediately concluded that I would not even attempt soaking it off. It was clearly some sort of alien substance that probably fell to earth in an H.G. Wellsian manner. I am pretty sure it would have taken hours to soak off — not an option at 7 o'clock in the evening.


So I switched bits and proceeded to destroy three silicon dioxide sanding bands in the process of thinning the nails to a point where building over them would produce enhancements of a workable thickness.


This stuff STUNK. Stunk in way that I have never experienced in 20 years of doing nails. I had to stop several times just to get a breath of fresh air; the stench was making me nauseous.


MMA has always come in one of two varieties: The reek of cat urine while you're filing it, or the cloying sweet fruity/floral odor from what I have always assumed is some sort of smell-masking fragrance that gets added to the product.


This was something else. Something worse. Something that had the slightest hint of a dental office, but lacking in anything that I can — in my most labored imaginings — associate with cleanliness, health, sanitation, goodness and light.


This smell was pure evil.


OK, OK ... Maybe I'm getting all dramatic, but it's difficult to share just how foul this odor was via the written word.


I don't know what the product was that was used for this set of nails ... but I'm pretty sure if I report it to the FBI, they're going to send Fox Mulder to investigate ....


.... hmmmmm ... Fox Mulder? Excuse me, I have to make a call.




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