A Concerned Tribesman to his Fellow Tribesman, 6000 BC

You want me to do what with that thing?

Thak-

Am in receipt of your letter from one and a half moons ago. I am concerned about your tone, and I fear you have gone completely crazy. Let me get this straight: you want all the men of our tribe to take these sharp knives we’ve been crafting, the ones we use to literally remove the skin from large animals, and take them to our own faces? Are you mad?

I’m all for anything that makes me cooler in the hot midday sun. Frankly, if I could get rid of all this hair, I would do it in a second, even if everyone would think I was a woman. But removing it by scraping our faces with a sharpened rock sounds like the most painful thing I can imagine. I mean, why not just rip it out? Why not set a badger to our faces and let them chew it off? Just imagining the scraping and the pulling makes me cringe.

And you know what the dumbest thing is? It grows back. Are you kidding me? When we use our knives to take the skin off a buffalo, it doesn’t grow back. How many times would we have to do it before it was finally gone? Because your letter makes it sound like you’re doing this multiple times a moon. I don’t know if I’m more scared of the multiple times we’d have to scrape the hair off or the fact that you think that “women would totally love doing this on their legs or wherever!” I showed your letter to some of my wives and they just laughed. Very, very, nervously.

Finally, I don’t know what you’re talking about when you say this would make us cleaner. What the hell is a “lice” anyways? Stay put, have some stew, and I’ll send someone over to check on you. And stay away from sharp rocks!

Your concerned friend,

Oonga

Analysis:

A note attached to this letter by Dr. Kantrowitz’s uncle explains that he found it in a cave near modern-day Tehran while searching for a pair of eyeglasses he had misplaced one evening as he read Tolstoy in Baltimore. The glasses were on his head, of course. But we’re so much the luckier that he searched so far and long for them.

Interestingly, the letter mentions buffalo, an animal that scholars previously did not believe was native to the Fertile Crescent. Asked to comment on the issue, Historian of Ancient Mammals Mildred C. Peckington of Gooooo Team! University said, “Well, what do we know?”

Of course, Oonga’s suspicion that his fellow tribespeople would not be interested in shaving was unfounded. Shaving caught on very quickly in the region, and in a few years saw the development of the devastating “Brazilian,” which has since caused more deaths than any other form of recreational body hair modification.

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