Waxing lyrical about dubious fundraising

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins

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I’ve reached that awkward age where I’m beginning to view charity fundraising activities with a certain cynicism.

When entering my local Tesco on Saturday, I noticed a small crowd gathered around a man on a camp bed. When I say camp bed, I’m referring to a foldable bed you might take camping as opposed to a bed that says ‘Easy tiger!’ every time you lie on it.

As I got closer I was relieved to see that the man on the bed had not fallen ill, rather he was a Tesco employee indulging in a bit of charity fundraising.

The man in question was getting his legs waxed. I stood to watch one of the waxing strips being torn from his leg. He barely whimpered. I sighed and walked on, many of the crowd did likewise.

I am of the opinion that male waxing no longer merits fundraising status.

For me charity sponsorship must fall into two categories. Either the person who is trying to raise money must be publicly humiliated or perform an act that I wouldn’t dream of doing myself under any circumstances like jumping out of a plane, walking over hot coals or trying to navigate through Lurgan town centre at rush hour.

I’m afraid male waxing, whether it be of the chest, back or legs, doesn’t cut it.

Pick up a brochure for any beauty salon and you’ll find they offer unisex treatments whereby both women and men can avail of grooming procedures in a tranquil, relaxing environment. Metrosexual behaviour is postively encouraged in the modern man leading to a state of affairs where a man visiting beauty salons is nothing out of the ordinary.

I’ve had a pre-holiday back wax in a couple of these establishments and I found the experience pleasant. This is in complete contrast to having the hair torn from my back with supermarket-brand waxing strips as a crowd of young Scouts roared with laughter. The full story will feature in my memoirs in the chapter ‘When campfire stunts go bad’.

Anyway, my point is, that nowadays these public waxings are carried out by beauticians who know exactly what they’re doing.

The result is that some bloke is getting a perfectly normal beauty treatment he would usually have to pay for, carried out painlessly by a trained professional.

Look at it this way, would you pledge your cash to someone who was getting a hot stone massage or a cut and blow dry.

Getting waxed is no longer an act that strikes fear into men. Altogether more fearful for the modern man is the thought of being stuck in a queue in a supermarket with a full trolley and two screaming kids. It’s a scenario which provides both the public humiliation and necessary bravery to merit sponsorship for a recognised charity.

I was back in Tesco the next day with Lucy and Ben and we’d reached the check out with a jam-packed trolley. They’d been good as gold up to that point, but then when I took the box of Cheerios off Lucy to put through the check out she went into meltdown mode. Ben, like any good brother would, copied her.

I was attracting glares and stares from other shoppers. To save my blushes, I announced I was not, in fact, the father of these children, but their childless, bachelor uncle, who was being sponsored to babysit them in order to raise funds for the Cats Protection League.

The £1.43 I collected in donations suggested my fellow customers didn’t believe me.