A wise man once described the calculus he made on the subject of baldness. On the one hand, the expense and daily battle of Rogaine, toupees, glue, hair plugs, not to mention the social anxiety of wondering whether people are noticing, whether one has become a figure of fun like Jim Traficant or, for you Hoosiers, Pat Bauer.

On the other hand, “making peace with baldness.” It seemed an easy choice. I agree.

So I guess we should be grateful, if that’s the word, that Christopher Hitchens did what many men are doing these days — working on their appearance the way women do — and wrote about it.
I guess you could call it a public service. Fixing the teeth, negating his classic smoking-Brit smile, was probably a good idea. As for the “sack, back and crack” man-waxing, I’m reminded of my aforementioned wise man. I’ve had body waxing and found the pain worse in anticipation than practice, but I only waxed regular skin. A man’s scrotum is a different kind of skin, and, well…

I had no idea it would be so excruciating. The combined effect was like being tortured for information that you do not possess, with intervals for a (incidentally very costly) sandpaper handjob. The thing is that, in order to rip, you have to grip. A point of leverage is required; a place that can be firmly gripped and pulled while the skin is tautened.

The impression of being a huge baby was enhanced by the blizzards of talcum powder that followed each searing application. I swear that several times [J Sister waxer Janea Padilha] soothingly said that I was being a brave little boy… Meanwhile, everything in the general area was fighting to retract itself into my body…

All this to remove hair from one’s balls? Is this now a baseline grooming requirement? I’ve changed diapers on both genders, and confronted with a denuded landscape down there — not to mention the smell of talcum powder — I’d probably start wondering if I had another David Vitter on my hands. A real woman (or man, if that’s the way you swing) doesn’t shrink from a few hairs, or even a lot of them. Bring back the natural look.

It’s times like these I think, “Thank GOD I’m married.” I just cannot imagine dating in this environment.

Have we lowered the tone enough? Have we started Friday out on the right foot? Have I implanted images in your brain that you would happily inject acid into your skull to remove? No? Then you need to check out the slide show. Not to worry — it’s safe. If you have time for only one picture, try this one.

“Sandpaper handjob” — that’s a great name for a band.


Howie sent me an AP version of the falling-cow story — thanks, Howie — but I have a better one. The couple are locals, and one is a quote machine: “It’s raining cows out here, man.”

Let’s finish out YouTube week with yet another testimony to the strangeness of Japanese TV: Dogs jumping rope.

Have a great weekend, whether you jump rope or not.

Posted at 9:52 am in Popculch |

18 responses to “Ouch.”

  1. John C said on November 9, 2007 at 10:23 am

    One of my favorite Queer-Eye moments involved body waxing. The boys were fixing up by beloved and notably scruffy Red Sox. Catcher Jason Varitek was late, and arrived by a chartered helicopter. Varitek, for those who don’t know, is one of those straight-laced, buzz-cut, man’s man jockish types. Maybe it was just me, but he also seemed to be the one closest to being uncomfortable with the gayness that was surrounding him. As he was laying on the table having his back waxed, being Mr. Tough Guy as they ripped the paper off, Carson leaned down and said: “So let me get this straight, you took a helicopter here so you could get your back waxed?”
    Varitek: “Yep.”
    Carson: “That’s really, really gay!”

    My favorite Hitchens line was: “I had no idea it would be so excruciating.” Hello? About the only idea I do have the whole thing is that it would be excruciating.

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  2. colleen said on November 9, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Greeeat, now I have an image of Christopher H’s nether regions. UGH. UGH.

    ETA: His original teeth were, uh, off putting. But the new ones were nice…not fakey looking chicklet teeth.

    Personally, I don’t get the complete deforestation thing.

    But yeah…thank god I’m married for sure.

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  3. Danny said on November 9, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    My favorite Hitchens line was: “I had no idea it would be so excruciating.” Hello? About the only idea I do have the whole thing is that it would be excruciating.

    Exactly, John. Incredible. Perhaps Chris has never been kicked in the nads. Too bad. It’s character building.

    And I too do not get this whole depilation deal. Perhaps the Brits are like the French who don’t understand that taking a shower, making sure to shampoo one’s crouch, is a lot less painful.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on November 9, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I caught part of an “America’s Got Talent” with a similar act (the jump-roping dogs, not the waxing). Bizarre beyond belief (the jump-roping dogs AND the waxing). Plucking my eyebrows provides plenty of pain, thank you very much.

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  5. alex said on November 9, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    I’m not into the bald balls thing, nor sure I understand it. It does seem to be de rigeur on the dating scene, though, and I’ve been told my bush needs some agent orange by more than a few vain pricks. But what’s truly ickier than a scrotum with forestation is one that’s covered with stubble.

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  6. MichaelG said on November 9, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    I wanna see waxed jump roping dogs.

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  7. LA mary said on November 9, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    You wax the dog, I’ll teach him to jump rope.

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  8. del said on November 9, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    If you have time for only one picture, try this one.


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  9. MichaelG said on November 9, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I’m sure you could sell a lot of tickets to either event.

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  10. ashley said on November 10, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    For my vasectomy, I had to shave the old coin purse. Waxing never entered my thought process, despite my fondness for Brazil. The doctor warned me that if I didn’t do it, the nurse would do it, and there was no guarantee that she would be either a) nice about it or b) female. Yeah. So I did it myself.

    And as far as stubble goes, yeah, it sucks. I’ve heard that a clean shave does facilitate teabagging, though. (apologies to the visual thinkers out there)

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  11. michaelj said on November 11, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Christopher Hitchens onanistic porn strikes me as the equivalent of Republican chickenhawkism. Never used it and still didn’t lose it. This guy scores about 15 on the O’Reilley Disgustometer, but now he’s acting like the gross fat guy on CSI that wanted to suckle and be spanked for pooping his gigantic diapers. Intelligent design? Yeah, right.

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  12. brian stouder said on November 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Speaking of “onanistic porn” – I keep seeing ads for Keith Olbermann’s Monday show, wherein he is going to attack Fox News (again [yawn]) for running leering programming on their later-evening programming.

    This bit of Olbermann electronic onanism strikes me as particularly self-satisfied (so to speak), given that his damned MSNBC becomes Pedophiles R Us practically every night, with those endless iterations of To Catch a Predator…. that is, when they aren’t doing in-depth looks at various prison yards around the country (instructing us about the ins and outs about male-on-male sex amongst men who say “but I’m not gay”, and subjects such as the projection of various boldily fluids and so on).

    One supposes that only a few tens of thousands of people around the whole country bother to watch the pap on either MSNBC or Fox at (say) a quarter to midnight on a weeknight…and despite the fact that I very much prefer MSNBC over Fox, one cannot help but admire Fox’s frankness (or shamelessness) in pursuit of ratings points, instead of Olbermann’s brand of apple-polishing self-serving preening.

    One recalls that a month ago or so, MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson proudly recounted rounding up a few friends to help him physically assault another fellow, who Tucker thought had made a sexual advance toward him! Did this (at the very least) get Tucker named “Worse (or “Worser”, or “WORST”) Person in the World”? by the Keithster?


    Did Dan Abrams play that egregous video for his (in this case appropriately named) Beat the Press?


    In fact, Abrams was on the show where his employee Carlson made his laughing boast about being violently homophobic….and he laughed right along!! And of course, Abrams rarely misses a chance to beat on Fox News on his program, just as the Kiethster does. (and by the way – isn’t the contrived concept of Countdown a joke? They say they countdown the 5 most important stories of the day – but they’ll have 3 or 4 Story Fives, and a like number or Fours and Threes….and since it IS still a news show afterall, and since a countDOWN has to start high and go down, the most important stories are always “Fives” (at the beginning of the show), and Brittney Spears (et al) has been Keith’s #1 story probably 347 times!!

    I appreciate (and enjoy) MSNBC’s worldview, especially in the way that it differs from market-leader Fox. But that network’s self-righteousness (vis-vis Fox) is as distasteful as it is baseless.

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  13. michaelj said on November 11, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Wee Tucker is the allegorical tampon Prince Charles wished he were, except it’s only the bowtie that would lead anybody to believe he’d been there.

    Olbermann is actually on at 8p. He certainly gets a kick out of mocking FauxNews, but these are the aholes that ran the Swiftboat slander about 300 times a day and claimed it was news and not slander. Unfortunately, there are about a tenth of a billion people that view Fox as religious divination. By the vagaries of our Constitution, these idiots get to vote. It’d be wonderful were H.L. Mencken around to offer observations on his putative booboisee.

    Spinmaster O touts his own veracity when he lies, lies, lies. An accurate account of his mendacity would use up NancyNalls’ bandwidth. Keith may be smug, but calling Shrub and the party organ (so to speak, I mean, they are certainly dickheads) liars isn’t onanistic so much as it’s flogging a dead…horse…with a falafel.

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  14. michaelj said on November 11, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    As far as Worst Person, there are so many aholes and so few days in the week. Mr. Diebold that guaranteed a Shrub win in Ohio and then saw 25thou votes from Sandusky Co. vanish into the ether wasn’t ever a winner, but I’d imagine Olbermann thinks he registers way below despicable.

    At least once, Olbermann named himself a Worst Person, when he’d gotten some insignificant facts wrong in the Worst Person sweeps. He’s really not the guy taking himself too seriously. There are sexual offenders and hillbilly-heroin junkies spouting a corrupt party line on airwaves that y’all own. It’s nice when someone poindts it out.

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  15. MaryC said on November 12, 2007 at 12:56 am

    I can see the point of getting your teeth fixed, since it’s one feature that everyone sees. But why the wax (other than having a titillating subject to write about which I suppose was the point all along)? Who except Mrs. Hitchens and maybe the guys at the steam bath would even know?

    And — sorry, this may be TMI – I have to say that the real agony is not the waxing, it’s the ingrown hairs. Believe me, Hitch’s ordeal is just starting

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  16. harry near indy said on November 12, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    nancy, if you’re going to mock pat bauer for his hair faux pas, be bipartisan at least and mock your ex-gov, mitch daniels.

    i’ve never seen a part in a man’s hair start right above his earlobe — until then.

    plus, daniels is an obnoxious asshole.

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  17. LA mary said on November 12, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Personally, I love photos of guys with horrible rugs. Traficant’s is a classic, but I hadn’t seen Bauer before. Very nice.

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  18. MaryC said on November 12, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Personally, I love photos of guys with horrible rugs

    There are bad horrible rugs and good horrible rugs. A bad horrible rug, like William Shatner’s, cringes flat on the top of the guy’s head trying to pass itself off as real and hoping no-one will notice the join. A good horrible rug dares to flaunt itself shamelessly — “I’m fake and I’m spectacular!”

    I’ve always been partial to the bouffant pouf of my fellow Canadian Garth Drabinsky, theatrical entrepreneur and fugitive from the U.S. courts, seen here in all its glory. If you have to have fake hair, why not have as much fake hair as you can?

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