Dear Stuart,

I am currently en route from Boston to the sweet, sweet Canadian prairies. When I booked my flight home, I thought it would be a good idea to choose one with a five-hour layover in Toronto so that I could spend max time at the many Tim Horton’s in the Toronto airport. Retrospectively, this was not a good idea given that a) there are 1 million Tim Horton’s in every Canadian city/town (give or take), and 2) I became bored within -9 seconds of landing.

I wandered from Tim’s to Tim’s, purchasing one Timbit at each one. At my third Tim’s stop, I met a man who had hair growing out of his ears. He asked me why I only bought one Timbit. I told him my layover story and complained about how bored I was and he said he felt sorry for my parents.

We got to talking about life and donuts and he was in the middle of a description of a chocolate glazed he had enjoyed last week when he caught me staring at the forest or hair that was emerging from his ear canal. He started to laugh and said “my wife always used to nag at me to trim my ear and nose hair”.

“I used to do it,” he went on, “and was actually pretty self-conscious about my face hole hair [he did not actually call it face hole hair]. I got over it, though, when I was diagnosed with cancer.”

The man then told me that 5 years ago he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He underwent intense treatment, including many rounds of chemotherapy.

“I lost 50 pounds and all of the hair on my body. I mean all of it. And you know… I really missed my ear and nose hair.”

Some may find this rest of the story a little gross so I will omit most of it, but the man described, in great detail, what happens when you don’t have nose or ear hair. Hint: there is nothing to keep nose and ear fluids inside of you. There is also nothing to prevent dust from getting in your ears. Or bugs. So basically there are things sliding out of or crawling into your nostrils all the time.

The man said that now,  five years later, both he and his wife embrace his facial hair in its fullest.

“There is a reason we look the way we do,” he said, “so don’t doubt what nature gave you. I’d also advise against wasting time in airports when you could be with your family and friends.”

This story was sickeningly un-sarcastic. But I think the message is good. Nevertheless, all future stories will be doubly sarcastic and cynical to make up for it.

Happy holidays, Stuart.

Heather

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