The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 12, 2012

Broken fingernails can shatter dreams

By Kelly Kazek
kelly@athensnews-courier.com

— It’s always a sad day when I have to bring you news of broken hearts and shattered dreams.

I’ll wait while you get a box of tissues.

This first story is an update on one I first reported in a 2009 column. Remember when I warned that a woman named Sheyla Hershey who wanted to enlarge her 38KKK breast implants was risking “all L breaking loose?”

It has happened. Now don’t go calling me psychic or anything. I am just incredibly astute when it comes to weirdness. Ask anyone.

Poor Sheyla. Seems she made it all the way to 38MMM in her quest to beat Maxi Mounds for the Guinness World Record before an infection forced her back to Ks, but now she’s in trouble with the law.

Sheyla, 32, was recently charged with drunk driving when she crashed her car into a tree after a Super Bowl party. She said she had not been drinking but did take drugs for bipolar disorder and depression. Oh, and, surprisingly, she also suffers chronic headaches and backaches. Who could have predicted?

Although Sheyla’s chest was sore after the crash, in her usual style, she turned sour grapes to grapefruits: “I think my breasts saved my life,” she told a reporter. Mmmm … maybe. Authorities at the scene said her, um, to use the scientific word,

jahoobies acted as air bags but it seems the simpler choice would be to wear a seat belt, which Sheyla couldn’t do because bungee cords don’t come standard and no ordinary seat belt could handle the challenge. (I know what you’re wondering: How on earth did she reach the steering wheel? Oh, that was just me?)

Keeping what God gave ya also would be less painful to the wallet: Sheyla has spent about $100,000 for the care and keeping of her breasts over the past 10 years.

I think that’s about what it cost me to raise Shannon to age 10.

I know I made the right choice, though. I wouldn’t have been able to continue my writing career with triple-Ks. How would I reach the keyboard, or, more importantly, the bowl of chocolate Cheerios?

This next heart-breaking story occurred a while back but I just heard the news and knew you would want to be informed. It’s too late to send a sympathy card but, in any case, I don’t think Hallmark makes one that says: “My heart breaks for your broken fingernails — all 30 feet of them.”

Lee Redmond, a great-grandmother, insisted she lived a normal life despite the fact that she had not clipped her nails since 1979 and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Depends on how you define “normal.” Lee had to hold up her hands so each creepy, curving, 3-foot nail wouldn’t drag the ground but she still managed to give haircuts to her grandchildren — with scissors, y’all. Sheesh, she’s not Edward Scissorhands.

All 10 of Lee’s nails broke down to the nub when she was riding in an SUV that crashed, seriously hurting Lee and critically injuring the driver.

But she had her priorities straight. A story in the Daily Mail stated: “A friend said: 'Lee knows she's lucky to be alive but she's devastated'” about her nails.

Lee’s selfless nature is well known, though. While making the talk-show rounds in 2006, she vowed to cut her nails so she could care for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, she later decided she wasn’t quite ready to clip her famous nails and, besides, they didn’t really interfere with her husband’s care.

I’d like to hear his side of that story — after all those cuts heal.

On the bright side, Lee has lots more free time now. Where she once had a daily maintenance routine, soaking the nails in olive oil then scrubbing them with a toothbrush, now she can do fun things like go to the bathroom unassisted, brush her teeth and eat with a fork.

So I guess this wasn’t a sad column after all. It shows the importance of seeing the glass as half-full, even if your bra cups runneth over. Oh, and it also shows the wisdom of using the air bags that come attached to the car.

I’m just sayin’.