I wanted to call it the High School Hair Reunion. This is saying a lot considering when I graduated.
We have had different periods over the history of this planet that have been named. This is referred to as “Periodization,” which is defined as “the attempt to categorize or divide time into discrete named blocks. The result is a descriptive abstraction that provides a useful handle on periods of time with relatively stable characteristics.”
Whoa. That’s pretty deep stuff, eh? Examples of Periodization include:
- The Stone Age (from about 2.6 million years ago until about 10,000 years ago)
- The Shang Dynasty (from 1800BC – 1200BC)
- The Dark Ages (4th century AD until about 900)
- The Renaissance (1400 – 1600)
- The Disgusting Hair Period (1981-1996)
I graduated from high school in the early 90’s, so when I say that my reunion was all about hair, you know it had to be special.
I grew up in a rural blue collar part of the eastern US. You definitely wouldn’t call my area “trendy” or “fashion forward,” unless you define that as “stuck in the 90’s.” I’d say that 60% of the people who went to my school still live in the area, which meant that, while their style might have changed a little bit, I still saw my fair share of mullets on both men AND women.
That’s not what I’m here to talk about though. I’m here to talk about the other 40% of the people who left the area.
Because I want to be serious for a moment, and discuss a startling discovery I’ve made.
Apparently if you move away from the area where I grew up, you become susceptible to a rare genetic disorder called “Rapid Follicular Disruption Syndrome” or RFDS.
Because it isn’t well known, you probably haven’t heard about it. RFDS causes abnormal hair growth/loss primarily in men over the age of 30. It’s a tragic disease since most of the victims also take on symptoms of dementia, whereas their mental faculties have declined to such a point that they don’t recognize that there is any issue with their hair.
Where do I start?
I’ve known “Doctor Hair” since 9th grade or so. I’m friends with him on Facebook, so I’ve seen that he’s been slowly losing his hair over the past couple of years. What I didn’t realize though, is how rapidly the symptoms of RFDS had progressed. The following is my fairly accurate, and extremely artistic impression of my poor friend.
He sort of reminded me of a nerdy, pudgy, and bald version of V from “V is For Vendetta.”
While male pattern baldness caused the majority of his hair loss, it was the rapid onset of RFDS that caused the abnormal growth in his facial region. The problem is, he’s a doctor, not a comic book store owner. It’s not a look that I think instills confidence in medical knowledge/ability, I can tell you that much.
It’s a sad sad case, and unfortunately the dementia has taken such a toll on him, that he truly believes that his large hoop earring is both an attractive and professional look for a person of his stature.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and I almost freaked out. I thought I was being attacked. With all the talk of superheroes, I figured a villain HAD to be around, and low and behold one had arrived.
I’ve known this guy since 1st grade, and I didn’t recognize him at all when he tapped me on the shoulder. When you’ve known someone that long, you have to change a lot in order not to be recognized at all.
Another unfortunate case of RFDS.
Luckily his dementia has not fully set in. Since he still had most of his faculties, he was aware that his appearance had changed significantly and knew that he would need to re-introduce himself to me. Thankfully he did this, or I would have never known who he was. Below is my depiction of my friend:
(Ok, maybe he looks like a combination of Wolfman and Jesus) Fortunately, he is employed in some sort of crunchy tree-hugging type of job that involves smoking a lot of marijuana which, unlike my previous friend, will help him fit in to society a little bit more easily.
The last case I’m going to discuss today is probably the saddest.
I was standing around talking to ABFF, when we were interrupted by a strange looking fellow.
I was completely horror struck aghast befuddled. Luckily ABFF had enough cool to quickly analyze the situation and recognize the person and return the greeting appropriately.
Apparently the onset of RFDS was so devastating that it caused most of the hair on his head to fall out, yet caused massive growth in every other area.
Do you recall my post about face-boobs a while back? This was exactly the same situation, except in relation to this poor fellow’s hands.
If you are squeamish or have children in the room, you may want to turn away now. Below is my extremely accurate illustration of what was before me.
I’ll put it to you this way. He had hair on his fingers that was longer than my chest hair.
ABFF and I couldn’t take our eyes off his hands. As he wildly gestured during our conversation, our eyes never left his hands. I’m not sure how he was even able to wildly gesture, due to the extra weight and wind-resistance that the massive amounts of hair probably added. It was also apparent that the dementia had set in long ago, as he seemed perfectly comfortable with us continually staring at his hands.
All of these are extremely sad cases, and have had a profound effect on me.
Unfortunately there are no tests currently available to determine if I have the genetic markers for RFDS. Therefore, I’ve come up with my own plan of action in case something as heartrending as this happens to me.
I’ve re-written my living will to include RFDS dementia.
It now has a “laser hair removal” clause.