Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that spent way too much time thinking about matters of personal hygiene this morning. See, it all started like this: A few months ago, one of our intrepid staffers was shopping at an office supply store, stocking up on notepads and pens, along with one of the irresistible check-out counter items, a $.99 nail clipper.”I could sure use one of those,” thought our staffer, remembering that he’d been cutting his fingernails with toenail clippers, considered an unpardonable faux pas of the highest proportion in the world of modern grooming. You get what you pay for, right? The new fingernail clippers were bad – waaay worse than the toenail clippers – leaving tender digits splintered and scarred and split, and cutting lickety-split across the front of the nail in a totally unacceptable straight line, not the little ergonomically curved configuration you’d get if you splurged and got the $2.99 model.So we’re thinking that we really need to get some of our high-tech guys working on an automated fingernail clipping system, where you just stick your fingers in and the machine does all the work. This could work on the pencil-sharpener design, with an automated adjustment for finger size, length of cut, and whether you want the clippings ejected out into a little tray so you can chew on ’em later at your leisure (groans of disgust start rising in the background).Another one of our far-flung (Help! We’re running out of clichés) correspondents reports having post-apocalyptic visions, sort of along the lines of the Mad Max series and Waterworld. After talking this over, we’re starting to think that maybe these guys aren’t so far off the mark. Maybe Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner are the Jules Verne and George Orwell of our time, predicting with uncanny accuracy the End of Civilization as we know it, when those who were clever enough to hoard thousands of gallons of oil or water in underground salt caverns will rule, and the rest of us will drool.Our correspondent started riding this train of thought during a recent trek in Mexico, when, during a drive up along Mexico’s fabulous Pacific Coast Highway, a rented VW beetle started to leak fuel from a faulty filter. Stopping at a junction, our adventurous travelers enlist the aid of some bystanders. The manager of a melon stand supervises repairs, turning up with a sharp machete and piece of refrigerator hose, planning on bypassing the leaky fuel filter altogether. In a successful NAFTA collaboration, the leak is reduced to a tiny drip, so our beach-bound tourists inquire about re-supplying with petrol. The nearest refueling station is about five kilometers away, they learn, hoping that the bug, now nicknamed El Scarabajo, will do at least a few clicks on fumes.The gas station turns out to be what looks like a private home, where they pull under a veranda shaded by banana palms. A middle-aged mom appears and after some multi-lingual negotiations, they disappear for a few minutes only to return with a giant plastic canister full of the precious world-lubricating fluid. The mom puts a piece of rubber hose in the can and takes a big sucking gulp to start the siphon.We are telling you, start hoarding now!***Ouch. Here’s a Scum Alert!! Scum Alert!! sent in by Rhoda. We’ll let her explain.This is for “whoever cleaned out ALL the food (except the baby food) from the Father Dyer Food Pantry,” she writes. “The food is there for hungry folks to take what they need, not for you to take it all. How could you possibly eat so much? Thanks to the good people who are restocking the pantry, and sorry to the folks who have to wait until regular hours to take what they need, because we had to put a lock on the door. I hope the thief is earning karma points back by sharing what he or she stole with people who really need it. If not, may God bless you because you surely need it.”***It’s Monday, and we are outta here, contemplating some weighty existential questions, like, are we wearing our underwear backwards? Did we floss on both sides of our mouths? How many beers did we have last night? Got any answers? Send ’em to us at email@example.com.
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