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My legs are hairy again. This is not the result of a conscious decision to become a soul rider. This is not a practical result brought on by my inability — due to my winter gut — to reach the bottom of my legs.
It’s just laziness. It’s been more than ten days since the outside temperature has risen above freezing — not exactly shorts-wearing weather. What’s the point of shaving?
I know, of course, that once the weather turns decent again, I’m going to want the smooth legs of a cyclist.
Which means I’m going to need to buy a pair of sheep shears. Or maybe I could just use the weed whacker.
Then, once I’ve hacked down the fur, I’ll have the fun maintenance chore of shaving every other day. I should shave every day — I generate stubble that is more abrasive than Russian toilet paper (popular joke in Finland: Q. What’s the difference between Russian toilet paper and sandpaper? A. Sandpaper is that rough on only one side!) — but that’s just too much work.
So it should be no surprise that, as I was driving to work (yes, driving — no way am I bike commuting 20 miles in these temperatures) and saw a sign advertising laser hair removal, that a little light went on.
What if I never had to shave again? What if I got all my leg hair removed permanently?
The thing is, every ad I’ve ever seen for laser hair removal features a woman’s legs. Timid soul that I am, I have thus far been reluctant to call one of those places and start investigating this idea, because I imagine the conversation might go like this:
Me: Hi, I’m interested in learning more about laser hair removal.
Them: Oh, are you calling on behalf of your wife? That’s a very thoughtful gift.
Me: No. This is for me.
Them: Oh, I see. You must be interested in having the hair removed from your back. Many gross middle age men like to do that, thinking that somehow they will look less disgusting if they don’t have hairy backs.
Me: Um, actually, it’s for my legs.
Them: Oh, I’m sorry, sir. Earlier I mentioned you having a wife; I didn’t realize then that you are a transvestite. I apologize.
Me: Wh? I’m not a transvestite!
Them: Oh, we don’t judge people like you, sir — I mean ma’am. I mean, what would you like me to call you?
Me: Look, I just want to permanently remove the hair from my legs because I’m a cyclist. Cyclists don’t like hairy legs.
Them: Rrrright. So, “Mr.-or-Ms. Cyclist,” would you also like information on how we can permanently remove your beard stubble?
You see why I’m afraid to call?
So, presuming I manage to drag up the courage, here are the things I would like to find out about laser hair removal for cyclists:
- Am I alone in this? So, is this something a lot of male cyclists do, or am I the first one to consider lasering away my leg hair?
- How high should I go? In your professional opinion, should I laser away just to my shorts line, or all the way up to my hips?
- Should I go even higher than that? Hey, as long as I’m on the table, could you cut me a deal on getting rid of that back hair?
- How much will this cost, anyway? How do you charge? Is it per square inch? Per hair? Is there an additional charge if you promise that you’ll never tell anyone about this conversation?
- How much will this hurt? Would you compare this to being snapped with a rubber band ten thousand times, to a road rash incurred at 40mph, or somewhere in between?
- How long will this take? How long does it take to laserify the big ol’ hairy legs of a middle aged man? How much extra time if you throw in the back? How much extra if you use the laser to laser-remove hair on one of my arms in the form of the message, “I Believe Tyler”?
- How many times am I going to need to do this? My hair is thick, dark, and highly resistant to poison, acid, and intense radiation. I assume that most of it will come back after the first time you laser me. So how often will I need to come back before I can throw away the Mach III forever?
- Does any hair grow back at all? Once you’re done, will I still grow some leg hair? How much? Will I still have to shave every day? Cuz that would suck.
- What if this doesn’t work and I’m horribly disfigured? Suppose the laser bores a 1.5″-diameter hole clean through my leg? Will you give me a full refund, or just store credit?
- Are there any really, really freaky side effects? I worry that if my legs can no longer grow hair, that all that hair that would otherwise come out of my legs will just build up inside of me, until I explode, making a hairy, embarrassing mess all over the place. Or maybe all the energy my body would have otherwise expended on growing hair will instead turn into fat. Or what if instead of lots of little hairs growing nice and slow, I started growing one really thick hair, really fast? Can you guarantee that wouldn’t happen?
Did I miss any important questions? Please feel free to ask them, and I’ll include any I find interesting when I call.
You’ve got to admit, though, it’d be kinda cool to not have to shave anymore.