At my age, I am becoming more aware of nature's mischievous sense of humour. Coupled with a propensity for vanity, my lifelong war with hair has only intensified, leaving me to consider waving the white flag.
I think I was around 16 when the setup to this cruel joke began. Back in the olden days, which for my generation was the 70s and 80s, the arrival of glorious body hair was a sign of masculinity and coming of age. The rich, soft, and dark garden of chest hair was something a guy could be proud of. It even put a little pep in your step and you just let that shit shine. No shirt, no problem.
Male sex symbols of the time, like Burt Reynolds, even posed in Playgirl Magazine... wearing nothing but the hairy coat nature had gifted him. I was no Burt Reynolds, but I could rock the chest sweater with best of them. It was a wondrous time of freedom for body hair, and we allowed it to bloom like beautiful flowers of testosterone. There was no gardening required, no manscaping to perform, and we danced in the innocence of pubic pride.
Then the hairists arrived, like a slow-moving army of self-righteous smoothness, they laid their judgement upon on us furry frolickers. They shamed us, casting us out from the comfortable coolness we had so long enjoyed. Over time, those of us who had let our little forests flourish, were forced into the work of constant brush cleaning and clear-cutting which is now the norm. My sinful vanity grabbed me by the burgeoning back-bush and dragged me screaming into this world of perpetual pruning.
I remember the day it happened. In my mid-20s, I went under anesthetic while the Doctor performed what I could describe as an unwanted, sightseeing exploration of my urinary tract. A little camera would enter me through what should only be used for exit and wind its way to God knows where. That was awful enough, but it got worse.
Here I was, in all my bushy glory, exposed with my feet in stirrups, completely vulnerable and embarrassed. It was so humiliating and I could feel my little buddy shrinking in the cold air like a scared turtle. Female nurses, in Quesnel no less where everybody knows everybody, prepared the area for the Doctor who arrived and said some kind things to me. What a nice man, I thought. I was wrong.
As the anesthetic began, I was going under but I could still hear the voices clear enough to listen to the Doc's amateur comedy routine.
This guy looks like something we caught in a bear trap... laughter... giggles. Jesus, this thing looks like a button on a fur coat... Giggles ensued as I tried to voice my protest to this blatant Hairism.
"I can still hear you assholes..." and then I was out. Helpless hibernation for the captive bear in their human Zoo. What fun we had...
Years earlier, when this whole hairy adventure began, I only grew hair in all the acceptable places. Arms, legs, chest, and around the fruit tree. Never did I expect that left to go to seed, the rest of my body would become such fertile ground for experimental growth. The older I got, the growth exploded, expanding into new regions and like a poor joke, it took root in places that just don't benefit from its existence. Now, into my 50s, it's just ridiculous. I'm living the repeating punchline of aging's twisted sense of humour on the daily.
Who the hell needs hair on their ears? I even had to pluck one from the tip of my nose. My goddamned nose! Never mind the constant eye watering experience of weeding the inside, lest a little twig pop out to wave to everyone at some inappropriate time.
Why does the body have to rub it in? I get it, I'm getting old, but let me have my dignity.
We lose everything else along the way. My ass disappeared long ago, leaving a cushion less, flat seat of bones to sit on. The colour of said hair both on my head and carcass has long left on the train to grey land. Muscles are in retreat, skin is wrinkling, not to mention my once dependable stamina. Yet... the body hair? Growing like it's on steroids, oblivious to society's anti-hair movement.
I've fought the good fight. At the moment, I've got 2 trimmers. I own an entire year's worth of razors. I have tried attending to the areas I can reach. I have engaged in acts of amazing dexterity, using an impressive array of mirrors to get to places I would rather not see. I've had my back and chest waxed, my ass shaved, and in times of desperation, I have humiliatingly enlisted the help of other humans in acts of awkward assistance. There is no way of making such a thing more comfortable. Who the hell wanted to be part of that?
"Would you mind shaving my back?"
"Um, how far down do I have to go?"
"Well... maybe the down to at least the valley? I guess as far as you're comfortable going."
"I passed comfortable at your shoulders, for F__ksakes. This ends at the hips."
The whole thing is just not right. I humbly apologize to everyone I've forced this horrific experience on. I think perhaps enough is enough, and maybe it is time to go back to my roots. Maybe I'll bring the sexy back to this baron, shave obsessed world.
John Meyer had a nice hit with "Your Body is a Wonderland."
Well Johnny, my Wonderland has been closed for quite a while now. It's going to reopen as a throwback, 80s themed Haunted Forest and if anyone ever buys another ticket to this vintage amusement park, there's going to be more carpet than hardwood in the play areas. I'm laying off the maintenance staff.
Keep calm and hairy on.