We usually address general life issues on this site, but today I am begging all of you to join me in the battle against a most debilitating disease that cripples more than 100 million men each year. Unfortunately, its victims are often too embarrassed to seek help, wear ribbons or appear on reality shows.
Of course, I am describing ARFID, Age Related Follicle Inversion Disease, the silent scourge of men across the globe. ARFID has no cure, yet. Thankfully, ARFID has been fast-tracked for research funding by the American Medical Association and the federal Centers for Disease Control in October and November 2009, respectively.
ARFID is an auto-immune disease that causes men’s hair to reverse course and grow into their bodies, rather than outward from their scalps. On the surface, this can resemble male pattern baldness, but ARFID is excruciatingly more destructive.
As follicles invert and change direction, perception and analytical skills might improve temporarily, as hair surrounds the brain, making it warmer and more productive. Eventually, however, the hair competes for space within the cranium, leading to reduced blood flow and the onset of CRS—Can’t Remember, um, Stuff.
In an increasingly embarrassing loss of memory and analytical skill, men begin to forget important facts, such as their wife’s birthday, where they went on their first date, which name to call out during sex or whether they already drank nine beers or still need another.
Some effects are relatively minor, such as forgetting to use a coaster or going to the store for diapers and returning with a bottle of bourbon. However, longer term impacts can be debilitating.
Within a few years of initial symptoms, men will often be unable to perform such simple tasks as folding laundry, washing dishes or picking up dirty underwear. In extreme cases, the ARFID sufferer will experience spatial dissonance and might mistake a strange woman in a hotel room for his wife. In the most severe cases, he might forget that he isn’t actually married to twins with handcuffs.
As ARFID progresses, cranial hair continues to grow longer, often emerging from the ears or nose in an embarrassing display of misdirected virility. In some cases, the inverted follicles will grow more abundant in the nasal passages than on the scalp. Sense of smell diminishes, leading many men to conclude, verrrrrrrry inaccurately, that certain, um, emanations, are odorless.
As it invades the neck, ARFID adds pressure to vocal cords, leading to SLAOF complex: Sounding Like an Old Fart. Millions of men raise their heads from their pillows in the morning, tugging on the hair around their vocal cords and generating a mournful groan that sounds remarkably like an old man—often THEIR old man.
Propelled into the body by cranial pressure, inverted follicles will grow down the spine and into the body’s extremities, making joints less flexible and reducing muscle tone. Slam dunks, home runs and 6-minute miles recede into history as the body is held back by its own tresses.
In the final indignity, the hair invades the body’s nether-regions. As with the brain, the follicles provide temporary benefits, helping men to think with the only organ not yet compromised by ARFID. For months or years, this will be the only truly productive organ remaining in the vulnerable male anatomy. Ultimately, however, the treacherous follicles will strangle the final helpless organs, leading to reduced performance in both anterior and posterior regions.
As bad as this incurable disease is, the response of society is worse. So frequently, advanced ARFID is dismissed by the medical profession in favor of a more politically correct diagnosis of Male Pattern Baldness. This bias serves the financial needs of Big Pharma and the medical profession, but condemns millions of ARFID sufferers (Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer, David Letterman….) to ridicule and despair.
A $375 million appropriation for ARFID research is included in the House version of the Health Care Reform Act, but not in the Senate version. Please contact your state’s senators immediately to demand that ARFID research receive the priority it deserves.
Do it for all the forgetful, horny, gassy, smelly, hairy-nosed men in your life. You probably know at least one or two.