Posts Tagged ‘Male grooming’

Death by Nasal Hair

July 12, 2012

Everyone these days has a beard. Babies have beards. Glamorous women have beards. You have a beard. Beards come as naturally to modern homo sapiens as leaves to the tree. So why can’t I grow a beard?

Beardless am I, it is true. And yet! Nature famously abhors a vacuum. Thus I have been compensated with prodigiously thick and bushy nasal hair.

I greatly enjoy the documentaries of Jacques Cousteau. What is more, I have been inspired by Cousteau’s exploration of undersea life to conduct a similar journey of discovery. Not in the ocean, you understand. Rather, in my own nose. My findings will eventually be published in an academic journal. In the meantime, here are some snippets. Did you know, for instance, that the hairs in my nostril can be separated into four broad categories:

1. Rim-Dwarf. The Rim-Dwarf is in essence a short, thin spine which, when dormant, resembles the light downy furze more commonly found on the pelvic region of penguins or the jawlines of elderly women. When alert, however, the Rim-Dwarf is prickly and rigid. Its main function is to guard the perimeter of the nostril. Anything from a loud noise, to an incursion of minute particles, to persistent teasing can cause it to switch from a dormant to an alert state.

2. Dark Ivy. This variety of nasal hair hangs like a threadbare curtain from the ceiling of the beak. Gravity is the friend of Dark Ivy. Obscurity is its foe. It is the attention seeker of the nostril. Scarcely an hour goes by in which it doesn’t obtrude into the world beyond the nostril, as if looking for action and/or a hot meal.

3. The Sea of Stalagmites. This landmass of fuzzy growth coats the bed of the nostril. It might be useful to think about it as the underscrub of the nose. This is where the smaller nosebeasts flourish, and it is here that they feast on the sweet, rotting fruits of the upper snout canopy that have been dislodged by high winds. It is here too that they mate, noisily and roughly. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months.

4. Deepnose Leviathan. These behemoths can grow up to 5mm thick and spiral round at violent and vertiginous tangents. Their roots are estimated (by me) to extend up to an inch below the surface. Their epidermis is shiny yet rough to the touch. They resemble great greasy centipedes that have reared up on their hind legs and decided to beat humans at their own game. If you cut one of them towards its tip and listen carefully, you can hear the hissing of water as it rushes out of the hair-hole. Truly, they are the proudest and also the most terrifying of all of the nose hairs.

At this very moment, several such Deepnose Leviathans entangle my throat and squeeze the last few sparks of air out of my windy puff-bags, as if they sense that I were divulging their most sacred, dark and jealously-guarded secrets, like a trumped-up Salman Rushdie. Soon I shall be asphyxiated by the wiry coils of snout-shag as they tighten their grip around my throat and push upwards through my nasal cavity and into my brain. I am the victim of a follicular fatwa. This entry may well be the last thing I ever write. Until I die again, that is.