Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing by Audiophobe
I first noticed it a few months back. When I combed my hair in the morning, it seemed that it made an unaccustomed noise – sort of a swwwiiiiiiiiiiiisssssshh. I didn’t think much of it at first, but as time went on it seemed to get louder – SWIIiiiiiiiSSsssHhhHH, and when I ran my hand through my hair it would go PHOooOOSsssSsSHhhhh. And if I ran my fingers up the back, where the clippers had been used it would go BRRrrrRRrrrRrRRrrrr. It seemed really loud to me, so I asked my wife if she heard it too. She reached over and tousled my hair – FLLFFFLLLllfflFFllfllll. Yes, she could hear it as well.
Now I have been a regular reader of the haircut stories, and I had noticed that lately there seemed to be a lot of noises: BBBBBBUUUUZZZZ!! BBBBBUUUUZZZZ!! ZZZZZIIIIIPPPPP!! ZZZZZZZIIIIIIPPPPP!!, HHHHUUUUMMMMM!! HHHHHUUUUMMMM!! That sort of thing. Now I had just figured that it was just a case of bad writing, where the author couldn’t be bothered to describe things in words. But it did seem to be spreading, even to otherwise well-written stories.
When I started noticing the noises on myself, I began to think maybe there was something more going on than just poor writing style.
A couple of days later, my wife commented that she was starting to hear the strange sounds as well. She had me listen as she ran her hand through her hair: FFFFLLLLLLRRRRRRRR. There was no mistaking it, and my own hair was making sounds in all capital letters, as well. This was starting to get very annoying. When I put on a hat: ZHZHZHZHZHZHZHHHHH. When the wind blew through my hair: SSSSHHHHHHHHHSSSHHH, and so on. At night on the pillow, whenever I or my wife moved our heads: WWWWWHHHHHHSSSSSSSHHHHHHH. And more and more of the stories went HHHHUUUUMMMMM!! HHHHHUUUUMMMM!!
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Something was definitely going on, and I didn’t like it. Now, a good college friend of mine is a respected local dermatologist, so I finally decided to give him a visit. He heard my story and nodded.
“Yes, there have been reports of this problem in the literature, but yours is the first case I have heard of here. Have you been travelling lately?”
“Yes, I was out on the coast a couple of weeks before I first noticed it. Is there a cure for it?”
“As nearly as we can tell, it is caused by a microscopic parasite, that burrows into the hair shaft. How or why it makes the noise is not completely known. Because it is inside the shaft, there is no really effective chemical treatment. Some have treated it with steroids but have only succeeded in lowering the noise level to lowercase letters, and the capitals re-appear as soon as treatment has stopped.”
“But isn’t there something we can do? The sound is becoming nearly unbearable – not only is it in capital letters, but it has moved up to a 14 point font!”
“The only treatment I know of is to shave your head and keep it shaved. The sound level during the shaving will be loud, but bearable, and by removing the hair shaft, you effectively remove the sounding board, and that should eliminate the problem. Of course, it eliminates your hair as well.”
“Will I have to keep it shaved permanently?”
“Well, since the hair shafts go down to the roots, the parasite is not eradicated. They are working on a treatment, a sort of modified chemotherapy that will cause all hair to fall out from the roots. If that is successful, It should solve the problem, but that is a year or so down the road. I’m sorry I can’t help you out any more.”
I really didn’t want to be a baldy – I was very proud of my full head of hair, and the fact that I was not going bald like my father had done at my age. But the noise, SSSSHHHHHHHHHSSSHHH, and the like was driving me nearly nuts. That evening I broke the news to my wife. Instinctively she put her hands to her head – BRRRRRRRRRRRRQQQQQQQ – and snatched them away again.
“We have to do something! This constant racket is driving me mad”
“Well,” I replied, “I have made my decision. It’s all coming off now. I stopped on my way home and bought a pair of cheap clippers and a bunch of disposable razors. Will you do it for me?” I pulled the stool into the center of the kitchen and sat down. She took the clippers gingerly and plugged them in. “Start right up the middle!”
She pushed the hair off my forehead – FFFOOOOOSSSSHHHH – and put the clippers down on my forehead. The buzzing roar was almost deafening as she pushed them back up the center of my head – BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZXXXXXXXXX! A great clump of my hair fell to the floor with a crash. Pass after roaring pass and soon my former pride was reduced to stubble. I ran my hand over my head – ZshZshZshZshZshZshZshZsh! Still noisy, but no longer deafening; it was working! Then the shaving cream, which went on with a SwOoOoOooooosh! and the first stroke of the razor: SCRAaaaaaAaAAAPPPPppe. A second pass up the same path was wonderful: shshshshshshshsh. Soon the job was done, and I ran my hand over my head – smooth as silk and blessed silence! My wife stroked my head, and then touched her own hair: BRRRRAAAAAAASASASAKKKK!
“That does it,” she blurted, “shave me too!” My wife had beautiful hair, to her shoulders, and was very proud of it. Of late, though, I noticed, she had only done a minimal job of brushing it. The noise, I guess.
“But you can’t go bald, hon, and remember Dr. Ambrus said you have to keep it shaved or the noise will come back!”
“I don’t care! I can’t stand the noise any longer! I’ll buy a wig!” She plopped down on the stool.
I wasn’t sure that the cheap clippers I had bought could handle the amount of hair that she had, so I started first with the shears. I lifted the lock of hair in front of her ear: CREEAAAAKKKK and then SSSCCCHHHHNNNNIIIIICCCCKKKK!! off it came. I tossed it into the corner where it fell with a loud thud. SSSCCCHHHHNNNNIIIIICCCCKKKK!!, SSSCCCHHHHNNNNIIIIICCCCKKKK!! Lock after lock, with the tears running down her cheeks. Finally I had reduced her flowing tresses to a blond spiky stubble. She looked like a punk rocker. I picked up the clippers and BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZXXXXXXXXX! up the center of her head, leaving a strip of white scalp. BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZXXXXXXXXX! again, beside the first pass, and soon the top of her head was practically bald, with only a dusting of blond stubble. Then BBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZXXXXXXXXX! up the sides and the back. In a matter of a minute my poor wife was essentially bald. “Do you want me to shave it smooth?” I asked, rubbing her head gently: ZshZshZshZshZshZshZshZsh!
“Yes, finish it off, I want to be able to sleep tonight in quiet!”
I lathered her up and using a new razor, proceeded to shave away the stubble. It was eerie to hear the sound growing fainter and fainter. Soon she was as bald as I was. A different looking person, but stunningly beautiful. She stood up and looked in the mirror. She rubbed her head in silence and a bit of a smile came over her face.
“Lets pick up this mess as quietly as possible and burn it, so no one else gets infected. I think I could come to like this after a while. I had better, I guess. It’s that or the racket. Oh, and by the way, have you noticed that your pubic hair has been getting just a bit noisy of late? Maybe we should do something about that on our way to bed!”
I’m not sure if I want them to find a cure for this or not!