SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Is K-Town The Sweet Hairy-After?
By Dave Kiffer


December 03, 2007
Monday AM

Sometimes something just leaps out and smacks you upside the head and really gets your attention.

jpg Dave Kiffer

My son, who is an ardent consumer of television commercials, calls it a "juice" thing. He means the commercials for a popular juice in which the spokesperson slaps himself on the head and says "wow, I could have had a (product name here)."

Such a "juice" moment occurred to me recently when I opened the Daily Fish Wrap and read the following in an advertisement:

"As the body-hair removal specialist Ketchikan has been waiting for."

Wow. That was just about all I could say. Wow.

First, it implied that (a) Ketchikan has a "body hair" problem

Second, it indicated that (b) Ketchikan is aware of the aforementioned problem and has been breathlessly awaiting a "specialist" to resolve it.

It had never occurred to me before that either (a) or (b) was an issue in Our Fair Salmon City.

Sure, there are some pretty hairy types around, both male and female.

Every so often you see one sitting in the driver's seat of a car. When you look closer, you realize that - yes - it is actually a dog and not someone having an egregiously bad hair day.

And there are those hairy things called bears that seem to get the folks in the Bear Valley all riled up. Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the two legged creatures going through my trash if I lived there but, as usual, I digress.

I was flummoxed that excessive body hair was such a serious concern.

So, I thought it best to contact a couple of acquaintances to find out the depth of this problem.

First, I talked to a "manly-man" type.

"Well," he said, scratching his stubbly chin. "Ya gotta have some 'body hair' (yes, he actually made the ironic quote marks with his fingers) otherwise you get hypothermia in this place. That goes for both dudes and babes."

Natch, I was impressed he even knew a big word like hypothermia AND correctly used it in a sentence.

But the thought of women with insulatory body hair was way too much information.

Next, I talked to a "girly-girl" type.

"Sugar," (she always calls me "sugar" or "honey! ;) ")," she said. "I have known men in this town with backs so hairy it was like running your fingers through a second growth clear cut."

Uh, huh.

I didn't want to ask her how she knew (in a Biblical sense) so much about those hirsute swains.

Besides, I wasn't convinced that those not-so follicly-challenged types would make much use of a "body hair removal specialist" anyway.

As usual, I felt woefully unprepared to determine the veracity of this situation.

I couldn't remember ever spending much quality time with a woman who was fighting off hypothermia with a full mane, so to speak.

And the last time I was around a large group of naked men was in Freshman P.E. at Kayhi.

None of us had much hair then. I'm sure we have more now, even if most of it is coming out of our noses and ears.

So I went to another acquaintance, who works in the personal grooming industry. She asked me not to identify her because she has is also a "body hair removal specialist" and is more than a little miffed that the advertisement implied that no one else in town was "in the biz."

She asked me to call her "Deep Perm" because she didn't want her comments to be seen as being "sour grapes."

"Sure, there are a lot of folks out there who are in need of body hair removal," Deep Perm said. "For example, swimmers are always interested in 'shaving (she also used the ironic hand signal) off' a hundredth of a second here or there."

"Fine," I replied. "I can get down with that. But how many Olympic class swimmers are there in Ketchikan?"

"More than you'd think," she replied. "But not enough to keep a 'body hair removal specialist' in gold plated razors."

So if Ketchikan didn't have a lot of Olympic swimmers or bicyclists out there needing to cut down on wind and water resistance, then what was the need to be "smoother than a baby's bottom" coming from.

"Have you ever heard of a 'Brazilian'" Deep Perm offered.

I had not.

She explained it to me.


Since this is a family website, you'll just have to take my word for it.

And that word is: Ewww!!

Anyway, suffice it to say that it's a matter of very personal hygiene.

But that is only one of the more graphic forms of "body hair removal." There are other ones.

Like getting rid of "moustaches" for example.

"Women don't find the John Waters soup strainer look to be all that flattering," Deep Perm said. "Nor do men, for that matter."

And there is also the "unibrow."

"I've actually had some men come in to get rid of that big thatch of hair over their eyes," She said. "And a lot of women just get tired of the pluck-pluck-pluck too."

I thought back for a minute to my "girly-girl" acquaintance. She had a lovely pair of painted on eyebrows. Things were beginning to make a little more sense.

Maybe Ketchikan does have a "body hair" problem.

And just possibly it is something more than a bottle of "Nair" can take of.

Somehow, though,I doubt, there are too many local folks out there who are suddenly going to stop what they are doing, slap themselves on the forehead and say "Wow, I coulda had a 'Brazilian!!!'"

Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Contact Dave at

Dave Kiffer ©2007

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