Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nail Polish

 "Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

 "Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail."
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.

Funny how no-one can seem to quite decide what "dead as a door-nail" really refers to. Seems to be a split between the dead noise made by a door knocker hitting same; or the fact that they were clenched and thus not reusable.

Anyway, neither door nor coffin nails in these pages from the MAC catalogue #34 (date unknown, but probably early '20s), but still, you have ample opportunity to decide whether the prices of cut nails make them worth inclusion in the back of the old time machine or not.

I'm thinking ballast is always good, right?


  1. I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    Please keep posting on any topic you like - it all is well worth reading.

    Rick in Oakville (Canada)

  2. Yes, I know this is way after the fact to be commenting, but I have become taken with your writing style, and so started reading your posts from last year. I always thought the saying "dead as a door nail was derived from a mistaken use of the word knell, and, as you suggested, the sound that a door knocker makes: a dull thud, or "dead" sound, as oppossed to a musical or ringing sound. Do you write professionally? If not, you really should consider it. Your writing "voice" is very interesting, and prompts one to continue reading.


Owing to vast quantities of spam this blog is getting, I'm afraid only registered users can post. All comments are moderated before publication, so there may be some delay. My apologies.