Shame-faced and red-cheeked

36 days to #joberg2c

Oh, the shame, the shame.

I’m almost too embarrassed to tell you, but I suppose that eventually the truth will out. So I’ll just come out and say it: Today, for the first time in my life, I shaved my legs.

There, I’ve said it. It’s over and done with. But confession doesn’t relieve the shame. Or should I say, the shames, because there are just so many levels of humiliation.

First let me take you back in time, to explain why I sank to such depths. You see, each time that I rode the Cape Epic I was told, when having a leg massage, that it would have been better if I’d shaved my legs. I have to admit, they are (or should I say were) pretty hairy. That alone wasn’t enough to prompt me to prune the growth. What really moved me to get down and depilatory was that on both Epics I was forced in the later stages to join the queue for the Bum Clinic – the specialist unit that patched up nether regions that had been eroded by excessive friction due to prolonged contact with a bicycle saddle. While trouserless and bent over, the nurse told me that I should have considered being hairless below.

Now, with the prospect of 900km and nine days in the saddle, I decided to have a trial run at being smooth on the outside as well as the inside.

The first shiver of shame came in Tesco, as I stood nonchalantly at the “women’s” shelves trying to pick out the particulars that I would need. Then there was a moment of mortification at the check-out – although I used the self-service, I still needed the assistance of the assistant to clear up some “unexpected item in the bagging area”. I dared not tell her what it might be.

Once home I had to wait till the wife was out so I could do the deed, head down and heart racing for fear of being found out. I discovered that it’s not something you can rush. Every time you think you’re done, you find a bit that you’ve missed. At least when I shave my face I can see what I’m doing.

Also there was cleaning up the mess, making sure there were no remaining signs of my activity. For all the world I wouldn’t be a woman.

In the end, I wondered if it was worth the effort. I must say, though, that I think I have pretty shapely calves, even if they are a bit pale.

So was it worth it? Well, people have done worse for sponsorship, so maybe I should cash in.  Come to think of it, I’m raising funds for Velokhaya – you just have to click at the top of this blog to donate. And if you don’t, I’ll give you the lowdown on when I waxed the other important parts. Donate today, or else.

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