If I can’t see the hair on my back, is it really there?

February 16, 2009

I’m hairy.

There, I said it. I’m also right-handed, a December baby and I’ve worn glasses since I was 10.

But mostly I’m just hairy.

Not Robin-Williams-bear-pelt hairy, mind you. Not “Mom, is that a sasquatch in the cereal aisle?” hairy. Not is-there-a-full-moon-tonight? hairy.

More like I’m-a-real-man-and-wow!-am-I-virile hairy. And, yes, I do like the sound of that.

I don’t mind the hair. It’s not like I have to groom it or anything, and the occasional shower generally keeps the cooties at bay. The hair just showed up one day when I was 13, along with a deeper voice and a nasty smattering of acne and one of those all-day erections that can trigger both embarrassment and a deep sense of personal accomplishment.

For the most part, I don’t think about my body hair. It’s a part of my life now, a reminder — after the acne cleared up and the all-day erections went south — of a younger, innocent time. Of a younger, innocent me.

But if I don’t sit and ponder my body hair anymore, other people do. And by other people, I mean Viking Woman. Mostly when I’m in the shower and she decides it’s perfectly OK to use the toilet at the same time.

Viking Woman makes her living zapping hair with a laser and so she sits on her throne, eyes me up and down, and then is kind enough to offer her professional opinion.

“I can remove that,” she says.

“You’re talking about my body hair, right?”

“I can make you as sleek as a walrus,” she says.

“You mean a seal?”


“You can make me as sleek as a seal.”

“Yeah, right. Keep dreaming, fat boy.”

“Will it hurt?” I ask, rinsing the shampoo from my eyes.


“By ‘no’ do you mean, ‘you won’t feel a thing’? Or, ‘this will hurt you more than it will hurt me’? Or ‘I’m going to tell you it’s painless but, in reality, you’re going to scream like a 12-year-old girl’?”

“You might feel a slight burning sensation,” she says.

“Like a tree feels a slight burning sensation when it’s struck by lightning?” I ask.

“You’re being a baby.”

“But if it doesn’t hurt to grow the hair,” I say, “why would I want to endure pain just to get rid of it?”

“I could make you look like a porn star.”

“Which part?”

“The hairless part,” she says. “I’m a nurse, not a miracle worker.”

“Then forget it,” I say. “I’ll keep the hair.”

“Fine,” she says. “Do what you want.”

She gets up. And then she flushes.

And I end up screaming like a 12-year-old girl anyway.


2 Responses to “If I can’t see the hair on my back, is it really there?”

  1. Megan said

    Thanks for the laugh. I can picture this conversation actually taking place.

  2. Ram Venkatararam said

    As a hirsute (and proud) man I must tell you to embrace your hairy self…

    Thanks for the post.

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