If We All Got Hairier

Years ago, I read a short story about a flu-like disease which ravages humanity and causes us to sprout profuse amounts of hair like our ape/chimp/monkey cousins. The story, IIRC, was written in the late 50s or early 60s, so it was before the WHO had taken an aggressive stance against new diseases. Anyway, the story detailed not only the outbreak of the disease, but also the aftermath. At first folks did everything they could to rid themselves of their pelts, but eventually folks began to enjoy having fur, and even after a cure was developed for the condition, folks decided that they wanted to keep their fur.

I got to thinking about this tonight and I wonder if such an illness were to strike today (assuming it could escape quaranteen) if we’d like to have pelts. To be honest, I don’t know if I’d like having a pelt. I keep my hair pretty short as it’s easier to deal with, but at the same time, seeing a redhead totally covered in fur would be, um, “interesting” if you know what I mean…

So, what would Dopers do if they suddenly found themselves as hairy as an ape? Would you shave it all off or be natural?

I’d shower with a depilatory.

My razor bills would go through the roof.

I have uninterrupted hair from head to toe, excepting the last joint on every digit.

I think I’d do fine.

Very sorry about the rest of you hairless apes.

Id open a hairdressers!

For the last few hours I’ve thought this thread was called If We all Got A Harrier [Jump Jet]

I remember that story! I can’t remember who wrote it, but as I recall, I really liked it.

I think it would be pretty cool, myself. Of course, I’m assuming we’re talking about nice, soft fur, like a cat has. Not, coarse, bristly fur, like some critters.

for some reason i am reminded of the smash broadway musical cats. would we still have to wear clothes over our fur? if not, i think i could be hip to the idea

As soon as I read the thread title I thought of the story referred to in the OP: Hyperpilosity, by L. Sprague de Camp (which BTW actually first appeared in Astounding, April 1938, but has been anthologized numerous times since then). Great story; I remember there was one character who anticipated the eventual response of the public and invested in a company that made currycombs.

I think I’d rather like it, but then I have a fondness for fur.

Ugh. So many problems. We’d all have to deal with fleas and ticks, we’d smell terrible after the rain.

The shampoo industry would be happy, though.

LOL I almost blew coffee out my nose!

I think I’d like it if I could have designer stripes, like a tiger. Not some cheap dye job, real stripes.

So … freakin … hot …

I’d move to Barrow, Alaska

I probably wouldn’t shave as long it stayed a reasonably short length. If it was shaggy i’d constantly be cutting it back.

Yeah, that’s it! Thanks! No wonder I liked it; he was a great writer.


I had the same thought Fern Forest did - no way could I stay in Texas.

Think of what a trip to the hair stylist’s would run.

The very mention of De Camp makes me smile, warms my heart.

Fleas would be a problem, especially in Florida & California.

Military uniforms would have to be revised.

“Getting your hair caught in the machinery” would be a major cause of industrial accidents.

Take showers with Nair.

I shave my chin/face every couple days because if I don’t it gets too uncomfortable and hot. I don’t think I could tolerate having thick full body hair. Particulary during the summer.

Now, maybe if I lived where it was freezing cold all year…

What if you already are hairy? :smiley:

Seriously, though, I’d imagine clothing would change a bit. Not only would we need less of it, but it’d need to be more baggy/roomy in order to be comfortable. Those who are hairless might not be aware, but wearing tight clothing when you’re kind of hairy can get itchy and uncomfortable over a long period of time. I can imagine that if we had as much hair as you’re talking about, it’d be a royal pain.

Hmmmm…my thoughts turn to the “How long would it take for people to start distinguishing themselves?”

Would a mohawk go all the way down your back?

Would bald men stand out that much more?

How many days until the first purple person showed up?

Would people do dredlocks over their whole body? How about cornrows?

If you died your hair, how long until the roots started showing everywhere?

No one would ever complain about their dog shedding again.

What do you mean IF?

For just one season I’d like to have hairy legs on women in fashion. Even just once. I am so sick of shaving.