Eww best describes this world record

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2004

The run is over. Shridhar Chillal, from near Bombay, India, has decided to end his reign as owner of the world's longest fingernails.

Are you as disappointed as I am?

If not, you are probably left asking the question any sane human being would…why?

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What possesses a person to want to be the best in this particular category?

Chillal said a Chinese priest who grew his fingernails to the length of 14 inches inspired him.

Chillal said he was amazed and felt he could beat that record.

And beat it he did. Chillal's nails now measure anywhere from 2 -4.8 feet.

We have all done silly things in our lives to get attention. Whether it was trying a wild new hair color or wearing some silly costume.

The difference is our stunts usually end after a short period.

Chillal grew his nails for 50 years!

It gets better. In order to keep the nails intact he had to completely change his life.

Chillal said he has not had a night of proper sleep in 50 years and cannot be in big crowds or hug his grandchild.

He has lived in fear for the last half century that something would happen to break one of his precious nails and end his life's work.

By the way, he claims to be happily married. That means he either has the most patient wife on earth or she is equally loopy.

Chillal also put himself through a great deal of physical pain in order to accomplish the goal of having the world's longest fingernails.

The weight of the nails on his left hand has meant constant pain in his left wrist, elbow and shoulder. Also, not being able to use his left hand has killed all vital nerves and left him deaf in one ear.

Now that's dedication…or blinding insanity. I haven't decided yet.

For all of his suffering Chillal is ready for the big payday.

He will be auctioning the nails and hopes to get at least $200,000 for all five.

So get your checkbooks ready if you want to be the proud owner of the longest fingernails in recorded history.

As inspirational as they try to make this story sound I still have to laugh.

Seriously, this man dedicated 50 years of his life to growing the fingernails on his left hand!

You have to respect his dedication, but you also have to doubt what was going on upstairs.

There are several things I would like to be the best at, but I don't think that subjecting myself to 50 years of torture is the way to go.

But, for a special group of people Chillal is the ultimate role model.

For the tattooed wonders and bearded ladies of the world Chillal is probably on the highest plateau.

I suppose Chillal could also be an inspiration to the rest of us. Maybe not so much an inspiration as a self-esteem booster.

The next time you make a fool out of yourself in any situation just remember…at least you didn't waste 50 years of your life growing fingernails.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick. couch@greenvilleadvocate.com.