Spring brings a variety of happenings to campus–lectures by important individuals, spirit weeks, job fairs, and if you’re in South Bend, a good early April blizzard to counteract the alarming rise of mental stability shown among the student body.
Yet there has been a significant lack of discourse surrounding one happening which for decades has occurred every Spring without fail–making this phenomenon more constant than Punxsutawney Phil. Signaled by the rustling of jean shorts being pulled out of the dark recesses of a drawer and aired out over a futon, the first hints of warm weather and subsequently shifting wardrobes force many young academics to confront a new presence on campus: leg hair.
Like any modern university meriting the title, Notre Dame prides itself on its willingness to start a conversation with members of the community that are often overlooked or ignored in public discourse. Recorded in theatrical form, here is the exclusive transcript of one student’s conversation with a leading member of the Body Hair, Left Leg Division.
Encounters with Your Longest Leg Hair: A One-Act
By Emily Dauer
Lights up on EMILY, undergrad, 22. Sprawled in a chair in pajama shorts, laptop somehow balanced atop the jumble of limbs. A bored pretzel. Suddenly she pauses and crooks her neck. Peering. Runs hand up back of thigh. Spotlight on LEG HAIR.
EMILY: Oh my god.
LH: We meet at last.
EMILY: Oh. my god.
LH: I’ve been dreaming of this day. I was starting to give up hope.
EMILY: What is happening. What day is it? Am I supposed to be somewhere?
LH: The day you’d finally notice me. Notice what I’ve become.
EMILY: Hold up.
She examines LEG HAIR with a bewildered fascination.
EMILY: Whoa. How long have you been there?
LH: Hard to tell. The last time I saw direct sunlight was that unusually warm day when you decided to see if you still fit in your jean shorts from high school.
LH: But I’d estimate it to be about four months.
EMILY: Months?! That’s not possible. I’ve definitely shaved since then. So.
LH: Many of my brethren have been slain. But you’ve gotten lazy.
EMILY: Okay…not that lazy.
LH: The past three encounters in the burning waterfall chamber were close. First, you tried “going green” and turned the stream off while shaving. You got cold and stopped at the left knee.
EMILY: Alright, that’s…
LH: Another time, The Execution Device clogged, rendering it useless, but you naively believed that as long as the shaving cream was off, so was the thicket. You ran across my territory but forgot the years of middle school shaving above the knee that caused me to grow sideways, elusively. For weeks I’ve been invisible to any idle post-shave smoothness investigation.
EMILY: (to self) Dammit. (ruefully) You’re good.
LH: I also recall you thinking your “arm was too tired” to keep lifting The Device to the waterfall’s mouth to clear it.
EMILY: Arms get tired!
EMILY: Don’t look at me like that, you don’t even have arms.
LH: The most recent time, you nicked your Achilles heel while singing “Creep” by Radiohead.
LH: You were off-key.
EMILY: Okay okay you’re right. This was my own doing. I created you…
EMILY: (examining) …honestly…kind of impressed right now. You’ve got to be what…shit how long are you? You’re like a goddamn redwood.
LH: A leg hair never reveals its length.
EMILY: I mean I could go get a ruler. I could.
LH: You don’t own a ruler. Who owns a ruler?
EMILY: I could borrow one.
LH: Oh my apologies. I was unaware that we existed in a Perpetual Second Grade dimension.
LH: What’s wrong Emily.
EMILY: I just. You’re cold. For a hair.
LH: Can you imagine why?
LH: I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with “MONTHS OF NEGLECT.”
LH: Plus, you’re prejudiced.
LH: The tops of your shins always get shaved.
EMILY: Okay, I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry. But sometimes you don’t have the time for full leg, you need to capitalize on the surface area that’s going to be seen—
LH: Don’t give me that tired surface area bullshit. I’ve heard it before.
EMILY: How have you heard / that before?
LH: / you wear pants outside 104% of the time, what kind of “surface area”—
EMILY: Whose other leg have you been on??
LH: It’s an expression, Emily. Calm down.
EMILY: Jesus. I didn’t know body hair knew expressions.
LH: Well we do. Maybe you’d know that if you paid some attention to us once and a wh—
EMILY: (snaps fingers) Moby Dick.
LH: What did you just call me.
EMILY: This is kind of like Moby Dick.
EMILY: Y’know, Captain Ahab and the white whale, and the whale’s really elusive and it takes Ahab years to find him, and he writes about how his demented anger is enough to fuel him in his quest or something…I mean I don’t really know I’ve never read it.
LH: Neither have I.
EMILY: Anyway. What I’m trying to say is that they bonded. In a perverse way. Ahab and the whale.
LH: Emily. Rule number one of personal hygiene: don’t make it weird.
EMILY: Yeah no I know. I mean I know.
LH: (pointed stare)
EMILY: Yep so I’ll just. I should probably get rid of you…now.
LH: I mean, shaving is a social construct imposed on women’s bodies.
EMILY: But like—
LH: Bottom line, do whatever the hell you want.
EMILY: Thanks. Thank you. For being a feminist.
LH: I’m a follicle.
EMILY: Oh—kay. Welp. I guess you deserve a choice. Razor? Tweezers?
LH: Sounds nice. Exotic.
EMILY: Yeah I don’t have wax it’s gonna have to be one of the first two.
LH: (sighs) if I have to settle. Tweezers. I want to go out in style. Just me. A grand exit.
Lights start to fade as EMILY picks up the tweezers.
EMILY: As weird as this whole thing was, it was nice knowing you—Moby.
LH: I swear to God—
An exaggerated “boing” sound as the lights fade to black.