James Fell had to learn the hard way now not to groom his chest hair.
I will never shave my chest again.
I did, once, and that was enough to learn my lesson. I really don’t want to write this next line, because it fills me with no end of shame, but I must… I did it as a Valentine’s Day surprise for my wife.
Yeah, I know, I suck.
If I’d had half a brain, I would have at least taken a pair of scissors to the Chewbacca-like rainforest before tackling it with a razor, but I did not. As a result, I went through about $10 worth of Mach III Turbos before the job was finally done.
Bleeding in several places and feeling like I’d just had my nipples chewed off by a half-starved badger, I looked in the mirror.
I looked in the mirror. I looked … I looked like an idiot.
I didn’t get it. All those guys in various fitness mags … none of them had chest hair. They were all baby smooth, showing off their pecs and abdominals and whatnot. Why did it look good on them but I looked like a complete tool?
Maybe it was because I was middle-aged at the time and it made me look 14. That must have been it.
When my wife got home I showed her, faking some mild enthusiasm in a look what I did for you kind of way. “Uh,” she said, “that looks … bad. I don’t like it.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I feel like an idiot.”
“Oh, it’s okay. Don’t feel bad …” She came up and put a hand on my chest. “Holy crap! Your chest feels like friggin’ sandpaper.”
I don’t want to get into the details, but I took a lot of heat for giving her whisker burn over the next couple of weeks. Atoning for my sins didn’t end there – yes vanity is one of the seven deadly ones – don’t you remember that Brad Pitt movie? Anyway, I got ingrown hairs that turned into pimples and it itched like a bugger for almost a month.
Never, ever again.
Still, I had a problem, and that was the fact that I was starting to look like Sean Connery, meaning that at least half of it had turned gray. I’d tried plucking those ones for a few years (yeah, shut up), but it hurt and the gray ones were coming in faster than I could yank them out. Eventually I just had to give up. I jokingly mentioned to my wife that I could try dyeing it, but she said that was just about the stupidest idea she’d ever heard, and that I’d end up looking like Austin Powers.
Then Jason Statham gave me an idea.
My wife is an ass-kicking karate woman, and she likes The Transporter movies because Statham is also a righteous ass-kicker. In one shirtless scene we noticed that he had neatly trimmed chest hair and that he also had about the same amount of gray as I did, but being that it was shorter it didn’t look too bad.
“You could do that,” she said.
So I did, but I did it the wrong way.
I used a pair of scissors. The result was an uneven patchwork mess that looked like a mangy street dog undergoing chemo. Oh, and once again, there was blood. Just FYI, cutting your skin with a pair of big-ass scissors from your wife’s scrap booking kit hurts a helluva lot more than cutting it with a razor. It scabs up more too.
Slowly, however, I was learning.
After it grew back some I went to a drug store and bought a “personal grooming device.” I knew nothing battery operated was going to handle the manly forest, so I made sure to go electrical. Noticing that the cord was quite long, I did something smart for a change; I stood in the bathtub (no water, of course) to facilitate easier cleanup, and went to town on my torso.
The first thing I noticed was that I probably chose too short of a trimmer attachment, but it sure looked a lot better than either the shave or the scissor job did.
There were little bits of hair everywhere, including stuck to my body, so I opted for a shower to wash it off. While running soap over my chest I noticed that the edges felt a little rough and didn’t wish to cause my wife an further discomfort, so I grabbed some of her exfoliant scrub and used that to soften things up (again, shut up).
The scrub didn’t help much, so next I tried her hair conditioner (okay, fine, don’t shut up), and that made things better.
My wife inspected the results and pronounced it satisfactory, although she agreed that it was a little too short. I now go through this ritual once every couple of months.
Thank God I don’t have (much) back hair.
Originally appeared at SixPackAbs.com