h a l f b a k e r y
It might be better to just get another gerbil.
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Kick a table leg barefoot and you could be lucky enough to spend the next few weeks watching the bruise on your nail bed make its way from the cuticle to the end of the nail.
Using a fine needle instead of a table leg, one could create a smaller dark spot behind the cuticle, or many in a line, and
on subsequent days once that line has moved forward, even more. It might be painful, but time it right and the butterfly under your thumb nail will be the talk of the Christmas party.
L O V E H A T E would be possible, but at least temporary.
||I don't like the idea of the deliberate bruising, but if one were careful with nail-varnish, one could create a very slow scroll-text or similar. Might make an interesting animation under time-lapse.
||Drill small holes in the nail with laser, not quite all the
way through. Fill the hole with some kind of quick-
curing colored resin, like acrylic.