Tuesday, November 25, 2008

29 - Licking the finger for some extra grip

Uh, hello, disgusting finger-licking page-turner? Do you really lack the traction required to turn a very light, very turnable-on-its-own page? Is it really that much harder to leaf through a book just because the material it's made up of is that carbon paper instead of the nice and clean, very white paper? Is it so difficult, to the point where you have to place your finger near your mouth and stick out your tongue, apply saliva to the tip of your finger, so that the sugary, sticky adhesive nature of said saliva can provide a pseudoglue that will allow you to more-than-sufficiently affix the paper to your finger so that you can turn it?

I doubt it.

I have noticed this bad habit for all my life, since the day I was sitting attentively, listening to my very first primary school teacher reading Mr.Men books to us. I always wondered why anybody would do such a thing, but when I found out that it was just for some extra grip, my first thoughts were: Are you serious? That's it? But that's ridiculous. It was ridiculous because this totally harebrained tendency has not only spread to countless numbers of the common folk who read books and newspapers, but even professionals do it.

Teachers, photographers, therapists, architects, writers, doctors, fashion designers, lawyers and business(wo)men all lick to flip through text. I mean, there are doctors out there w
ho will lick their fingers as they're skimming though a patient's charts, when they should really be the most aware of personal hygiene and the microbiological implications of such an unsanitary mannerism. Bankers and accountants will lick their fingers when they count money. Supermarket cashier ladies will lick their fingers as they reach for plastic bags. Even baseball and softball pitchers will lick their fingers just to get some extra grip on the ball. Yuck. You knows what's in the dirt those balls have been in contact with?

That's why I like post offices. A very professional establishm
ent that provides sponges soaked in water for you to dab your stamps in so that they adhere to your envelopes. Oh, and don't even get me started on how people slobber the seals on their envelopes with a thick layer of saliva. People should be laughing at videos of idiots licking their envelopes instead of laughing at... whatever else you find on Youtube.

I mean, licking your finger to grab onto a sheet and then giving me the sheet is the equivalent of spitting on the damn thing and then giving it to me.

You know the worst example of this atrocity? Bibles.

Yes, that's right. I said it. The Holy Bible. I attend weekly mass every now and then and even the occasional Christmas mass, and I'm sure you, or anybody, can examine how the Bible is the perfect prey that is subject to predatory finger-licking, because in church, they are picked up by vast numbers of people, and read almost everyday (every Sunday at the least) for God knows how long (is that considered to be a pun?).
Old editions exhibit the fading of ink where there is print near the sides, as well as the sheer fragility of the paper itself caused by so much softening-by-saliva (and that includes old New Testaments as well as old Old Testaments).

All in all, it's unhygienic and it ruins the literature, rendering the pages weaker and smudging the words.

You know what you can do to tackle this problem the next time you see it? Start licking everything yourself when you're around the finger-lickers. They'll say, "Whoa, whoa, Michael, did you just lick your finger before you reached for the phone?" Then you can reply with, "Yes, I needed a bet
ter grip. Why, is there a problem?" Or, you can pretend there's someone else that licks their fingers. For example, if Sam is a finger-licker, you can say to him, "Gee, Sam, don't you hate it how George always licks his finger before he turns a page?" Soon enough, Sam will notice that he does it too and will stop licking his own finger.

Or, if, for example, Sarah is a finger-licker, and also a frequent visitor at your blog, you can write a blog entry about how disgusting it is. Then she won't lick her finger anymore... Or she might just stop reading your blog...


Or you can get them these:

To find out more, check out Tippi Micro Gel Grips here.


Argentum Vulgaris said...

hmmm Michael, died in the wool finger licker here...


Argentum Vulgaris said...

Hahahahaahahaaa, just saw my gaff, "dyed-in-the-wool"

Engrish Teachers... LOL


Michael said...


I forgive you.
Haven't seen that idiom for a while.


Douglas said...

I am not a finger-licker, having decided in some god-awful psychotic episode that the germs in our bodies have hatched that plot in order to spread their number. Though I do admit to spitting on my golf glove to get better traction on excessively dry days. Priorities, you know.

AV, that was a rather telling gaff. Subliminal acknowledgment maybe?


Quiet Observer said...

I agree. I think the people who do it don't even realize what they're doing. True, it's better than licking your finger before touching a doorknob, but there is still an eww factor; especially when someone leaves a moist spot on paper that they hand to you. This has happened to me countless times.

Michael said...


Thank goodness you're not a finger-licking page-turner, although, I must subtract brownie points. Are your gloves and your club not already designed to provide better grip?


Michael said...

Quiet Observer,

I'm so sorry to hear that. I asked a friend about this problem because she does it a lot. She said that she knows that she's doing it. She's thinking about it. It's not a habit.

I retorted with the fact that that renders her finger-licking even worse. That means her logic has failed her and her reasoning is flawed.


Sherry said...

This *is* annoying no matter who does it but it does seem that some people are more annoying than others.

Douglas said...

Michael, the glove is supposed to work well with the alleged tackiness of the grip on the club. However, at low humidity, the glove leather gest slick and the grip loses its tackiness. In the morning, there's enough dew on the grass to simply wipe the palm on it. In the afternoon, that option just isn't there. However, there are worse things to worry about on a golf course and even more unsanitary "events". Watch a tournament on TV sometime. Your powers of observation are exceedingly keen, you will see what I mean.

To Quiet Observer: Worse that licking your finger before touching the doorknob is licking it after.

ash said...

I totally agree with you. For someone to lick their fingers and then touch anything is disgusting. Especially books used by the public. Why don't people just use that paper gripper gel stuff that comes in a can? That's what I do....

thumbsUpsmile said...

I'm not a finger licker, but I might consider becoming one if that I means I'd have to get one of those nifty gel grip things.

Michael said...


I concur. The worst for me are probably doctors who do it due to the reasons I've stated already in the post. They're not allowed to do it.


Michael said...


Leather gets slick, dew on the grass in the morning, other unclean things occur during a tournament. Got it.


Michael said...


Or better yet, why not just turn the page? If they stick together, slowly work through them. Why must the task require any external help at all?


Michael said...


They sure do look nifty, eh? Glad to know that you know: finger-lickin' = bad.


Creative Student said...

Wow, never knew so much could be written about finger lickers!! To be honest, It annoys me too and I have always wondered why they do it!! I bet one day, somewhere at sometime you will find yourself commiting the henous act and wondering . . . why did I just do that?!

Come by soon


Michael said...

Creative Student,

I know! I was surprised to see that I had written so much. Time just goes by when you're full of hatred... Or is that when you're having fun? Meh, what's the difference?

I will never lick my fingers to get some extra grip. Hahaha. I know I won't.


J.J. in L.A. said...

I'm not a finger-licker while reading books, but I'm tempted while reading magazines. The thinner paper is a hassle to turn. Luckily, I'm not much of a magazine reader, therefore avoiding other finger-lickers.

Michael said...


Just don't hand those magazines to me...


Ares said...

some of my teachers and classmates actually do that. (i wonder how the papers taste?)

and what i find most digusting: teachers doing it in front of the class..

but there's this strange way one of our teachers does to our test papers before counting and passing it on by collumn. instead of licking his thumb for 'extra grip' (lol), he moves his thumb on the center of the first page in a clockwise manner.

we didn't get why he does that, at first. one time, we asked him why he does that, and he simply anwered, 'for bad luck'.. lol.

we figured out it is to spread the pages in a circular path so he can easily count and flip it on its right-most corner.

(new knowledge for his curious students..lol)

Comic Superzero said...

I loved this blog, like most/all of your other blogs. I had a teacher in 9th grade who used to go row by row in class and count out the number of sheets per student in that row. By the time I got mine, there was a wet thumb print in the corner. It was really gross.

All in all, she was a gross lady.

Michael said...


I don't quite know how to perform the special maneuver that your teacher does...

And when they do it in front of a class, it's not good teaching and sets a bad example. I saw it happen today when the headmistress was handing out our exams to us. Everyone in my class looked at me and smiled because they had read my blog. Hahaha.


Michael said...


She sounds like a swell woman. Wet thumbprint... yuck.


melodeonut said...

I never used to lick my fingers until I got older and my natural stickiness started to fail. It's known that your fingerprints wear out over time (inluding oiliness) and, when things started to slip through my fingers (like glass bottles!) I resorted to licking my fingers for extra grip. I hate it, but if I stop, I drop things. I can't get my clothes on as the material doesn't play ball! I also can't do up buttons unless I lick my fingers. I tried stopping for a few days but it was impossible. I'm not that neurotic about germs, except the obvious nasty ones like salmonella, so I don't get all silly about it. The immune system needs germs or it starts to get aggravated and you get autoimmune diseases like asthma and eczema. These are common in kids with parents who keep their houses spotlessly clean. Something to think about!

Anonymous said...

I have no real concern about the health aspects attributed to this bad habit, but I have no tolerance for defacing books in such a way. With each and every page turn via use of a licked finger, I palpably cringe. Please, do not do this to books, it is inhumane.