nail rivet

I once read “Cat and Mouse” by Günter Grass. I didn’t particularly like it, but I really hated this bit near the beginning:

Since then gull droppings had dried on the rust. In all kinds of weather the gulls flew sleek and smooth, with eyes like glass beads on the sides of their heads, grazing the remains of the pilothouse, then wildly up again, according to some indecipherable plan, squirting their slimy droppings in full flight – and they never fell into the soft sea but always on the rusty superstructure. Hard, dense, calcareous, the droppings clung fast, side by side in innumerable spots, or heaped up in mounds. And always when we sat on the barge, fingernails and toenails tried to chip off the droppings. That’s why our nails cracked and not because we bit our fingernails – except for Schilling, who was always chewing at them and had nails like rivets. Only Mahlke had long nails, though they were yellow from all his diving, and he kept them long by neither biting them nor scratching at the gull droppings. And he was the only one who never ate the chips we broke loose – the rest of us, because it was there, chewed the stony, shell-like mess into a foaming slime, which we spat overboard. The stuff tasted like nothing at all or like plaster or like fish meal or like everything imaginable: happiness, girls, God in His heaven.

Startup idea: a new ice cream flavor that tastes like everything imaginable. I’m keeping the recipe a secret though.