Yahoo answers told me why do we have toe and fingernails?
Meanwhile, the NY times came through on my can I get my toenails removed permanently? dilemma. (Answer: yes you can; some ultramarathon runners do it; they use acid; it's a bit extreme.)
Ultramarathoners tend to keep quiet about toenail removal, Mr. McDougall said, because they “tired of being freaks, and they don’t want to add anything more freakish to their résumé.”
Full disclosure: I was clipping my toenails at the time