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Down The Hatchet

Full of Follicular Pharyngitis

By Akshay Patil
COLUMNIST

It’s that time of year again. The thermostat is low, the humidity is lower, and the air is charged like nobody’s business.

Static electricity is not my friend. I don’t like it. Oh, maybe it’s kinda fun to play with when you’ve got balloons or unsuspecting ears, but when it’s midnight and you just want to go to bed, the last thing you want is to reach for the door knob and get a nasty little shock.

Of course, nature’s cruel joke is that everything that keeps us warm during these colder periods also charges us up like a mofo.

A static electricity generating mofo. Sweater? Check. Fleece? Check. Fuzzy hat? Check. Electrical grounding? Check.

With every layer I put on, I come closer to transforming into a human Van de Graaff generator. Speaking of which, let’s not even get started on my hair during the static season. Actually, let’s, considering I have 500+ words left to write for this column and it doesn’t look like static electricity is going to pan out. With all this love -- I mean, electricity -- in the air, my hair feels a sense of urgency to flee from my head, in any direction possible.

Luckily, my maternal grandfather still has a full head of hair, so the little suckers aren’t gonna get anywhere, but they still end up making me look like an Indian with an Afro.

And, despite the genetic similarities between the ethnic groups comprising the etymological roots of those two words, I look really stupid with an Afro.

This is probably related to the fact that 99 out of 100 people think I should get a haircut. And yes, you would be right in assuming that the solitary one is... me. The stage at which most people start hinting that maybe it’s time for me to get a haircut (most often in the indirect form of “You need to get a haircut. Now.”), I like to consider the midway point in my follicular journey.

Now, I know what most of you are thinking: “What the hell? Did he just say ‘follicular’? Is that even a word?” And the answer is “yes.” According to Dictionary.com (the online dictionary with a definition for “6.001”), Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary’s definition is:

follicular

\Fol*lic”u*lar\, a. 1. Like, pertaining to, or consisting of, a follicles or follicles.

2. (Med.) Affecting the follicles; as, follicular pharyngitis.

Merriam-Webster’s audio pronunciation for the word can be found at:<http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?follic02.wav=follicular>.

That’s soooo going on my Winamp playlist now.

Now that we’re on the topic, did you know that there’s an award called “The Golden Follicle?” I kid you not. It’s awarded by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. The trophy is a giant follicle, complete with a Keratinization zone and everything.

And now that I’m looking at a huge labeled photo of a hair follicle online, did any of you know that the outer layer of our skin is called the “horny layer”?

Huh? What’s up with that you biology majors? How come I haven’t heard any jokes about that? You’re sitting on a gold-mine, Trebek.

So anyways, back to the hair. When my hair does get this long, I tend to do is wear a bandanna to keep it out of my eyes. This also is not a very popular solution among my friends -- in fact most people give a yelp of pain when they see me with bandanna wrapped around my head. Apparently, I don’t do “ghetto” well.

This really doesn’t surprise me, though, considering that when I shop for clothes, my most utilized form of currency is my resume. FUBU move over, Trilogy is where it’s at when it comes to clothing brand names.

Another popular comment besides the “haircut, now” and “holy s***” remarks is that I look rather British when I have long, unkempt hair. Apparently, the entire nation of Great Britain lacks barbers.

They’re so weird.

By the way, have I impressed upon you how much I love the word “follicular”? I just can’t get over it. That’s just so cool. Hands down, my favorite word for the next week. Follicular Follicular Follicular. Almost makes me want to change my major to English.

Almost.