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The next time I tell a woman I’m forty-two and she goes: “Nuh-uh! No you’re not! No way!”, I’m just gonna take my shirt off right away. Right there in front of her, wherever we are, so we can swiftly settle the disagreement. Because nothing will convince her of my age—not my drivers license, not the noises I make when I stand up, not my 2007 Treo, not my habit of saying: “Gee whiz!”, not my collection of c.d.’s (and I’m not just talking about what the individual c.d.’s are [like all the Fountains of Wayne and the Presidents of the United States of America and the Crowded House and the Peter Gabriel]); I’m talking about the fact that I even have a c.d. collection—none of that will sell her like the bright squiggly bursts of grey hair coming off my chest. Because lemme tell ya: they pop. It’s like that blast of arc reactor light from Iron Man’s bosom but without all that pesky success. Is it still considered a near-death experience if the flash of white light that foreshadows your doom is emanating from your chest hair reflected back to you from the mirror, spelling out the word “Finished”? Talk about a distress call. When I get lost hiking at night, I take my shirt off and those choppers find me in ten minutes. My gray chest hairs are little electric eels writhing amongst the younger, happier hairs who are still blithely unaware of their fate. My chest hair is Los Angeles in reverse: the whites are slowly outnumbering the darks. Forget Fifty Shades of Grey. My chest hair is One Nifty Blast Of White. My grey chest hairs look like little worms rolling around in a sick dog’s poo.
(It’s not that bad. I just need something to talk about.)