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  • Writer's pictureJenny Lynn Keller

Fingernails and Earthworms

What kind of person scares a five-year-old kid with earthworms? My grandmother. She told me chewing my fingernails would give me worms. What can I say? Desperate times demanded desperate measures. Painting my nails with apple cider vinegar failed. Bribing with money didn’t phase me. Threating to whip my legs with a privet switch was useless. She never laid a hand on any of her grandchildren except for a hug and kiss. So she resorted to psychology, knowing I didn’t like worms.

Is it true? Fingernail chewing gives you worms? I sure thought so for a while, and during that time my fingernails grew out and I liked the result. No more nail biting for me. Years later in a health class, I learned she told me the truth, sorta. Fingers may have been the original eating utensils, but dirty ones will give you something worse than earthworms. I still won’t touch them.

Now it’s your turn to share. What whacky ideas did you believe as a child?


Ginger Mullins
Ginger Mullins
Jun 02, 2018

This same grandmother told me that if she "picked" the seeds out of a seed wart (with a needle), that it would go away! She would pick at this wart located in the middle of my right palm for at least 20 minutes. She did this every time we visited her home over several months. Did she get those seeds? A few. Did the wart go away? No! Not from her picking at it. She meant well. She didn't want it bothering me. Compound W did the trick!!


Dave Keller
Mar 07, 2018

My grandmother told me similar things.

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