The long and short of all that hair

It used to be “go-to” gag gift. When I was in my late ’20s and early 30s, you could never go wrong giving a friend an electric nose-hair trimmer as a birthday gift. The very notion that it would ever actually be used was ridiculous. It was the ultimate absurd accessory.

But then time marched on. And so did nose hair. And suddenly one day that trimmer – also useful for ear hair removal – became a not-so-funny, indispensable grooming device. What used to be silly IS now essential, if uncool.

Hair is pretty much something only found on mammals. You don’t find it on fish – except the little-seen shaggy dolphin (haireus dolphinus).

Hair is defined as filamentous biomaterial – which was the original name of the Broadway musical Hair until someone noticed that Filamentous Biomaterial wasn’t selling many tickets.

Nowadays, I’m yanking nose and ear hairs the way Cisco Morris attacks weeds and moss. After all, if constant vigil is not kept, the ears will lose all hearing through the dense undergrowth. As for the nostrils, what a sad obituary that would be:  LOCAL MAN SUFFOCATES WHEN BATTERIES ON NOSE HAIR TRIMMER GIVE OUT

The most hirsute human I ever saw was Roy Harvey.  In the eighth grade, the guy already looked like a Kodiak bear. Plus, his favorite foods were salmon and honey. (Imagine a rim-shot through these next few sentences.)

He didn’t wear a rug – he was one.

Roy was so hairy that he could have easily survived an Alaskan winter in the nude.

One time he wore a sweater to school, and then discovered that he couldn’t get it off. We called him the Velcro man.

His dream was to be on the high school swim team – but every time he got into the water, he’d sink like a stone – as if he was wearing a gorilla suit.

But when I saw Roy at a class reunion a few years ago, he was decidedly less furry. Most of his head hair was a distant memory.  That which remained had turned “fifty shades of gray.”

He was wearing shorts – and I noticed that his leg hair, like mine, was pretty much gone from the knees down. Where was that hair? In his nose and ears, of course.

It seems that really hairy people want less of it. People with little hair want lots of it. The same goes for hair color. Everybody wants to be a blonde. Except for actual blondes of course.

In old Rome, women dyed their hair blonde using pigeon dung. In Renaissance Venice, they used horse urine. Which would you choose?

Hair removal is big business these days – for both women and men – but apparently the ancient Egyptians were the first to remove unwanted body follicles. King Tut was probably tended to regularly by his royal waxers and appointed pluckers.

The fact is that human hair will grow everywhere except places like the soles of the feet and the lips. I have also read that hair will not grow on the palms of the hands – no matter what.

I wish I had known about this when I was in high school. I’d been given some very bad information.

Better wrap this up. My breathing has become labored. Time to use the trimmer again.