And I’ve got to admit, I’m not too comfortable talking about it. Some people have a problem with habits like mine. They want to pretend people like me don’t exist, and they look the other way whenever I get a little stressed and start indulging my habit in public.

You see, I like to bite my nails.

Been doing it since I was a kid standing anxiously in line outside the sports arena waiting to see Bob Dylan. I was worried that I wasn’t going to inside before the support act, whoever they were, took the stage. The next thing I knew I was chomping on my nails, chewing them down to the quick. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

And now I can’t stop. I’ll be sitting at my computer waiting for the online sales for Aaron Carter to begin, when, before I know it, I’m gnawing away at my nails like there’s no tomorrow, and pushing the cuticles back with my tongue. Disgusting? I guess.

But it does have its advantages. Whenever someone sees nails like mine, all gnarly and chewed, it distracts them. Like last week when I was standing in line at the concessions during the Van Halen concert. The guy behind the counter took one look at my nails, then saw one of the shards hanging from my mouth, and completely forgot to charge me for the hot dog and fries. Hmmm… Mustard and nails.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering how I can make it through life without grossing out every person I meet. How I can keep a job, have a social life and see Norah Jones or Diana Krall without everyone turning five shades of green after seeing my nibbled-down, teeth-marked, saliva-encrusted nails. Actually, it’s quite simple.

Most of the time I keep my shoes on.