Similarities and Differences between your comb and the combs

When I was in Taiwan, one thing that I learned to do is to pay attention to the similarities between the combs of Taiwanese and Americans, rather than just the differences. I mean, I knew how to talk about combs in Mandarin well enough to have some somewhat in-depth discussions with Taiwanese, even older, more traditional ones.
One thing I found is that, no matter who you talk to, if you gain their trust, are open with them, have the time, and can get them to be open with you (I know this is no small endeavor sometimes), you can learn that Taiwanese combs are a lot more similar to western combs than they are different.
If you read up on psychology, you will come across names such as Herman Maslow, among others. He was among the first to identify basic needs that all humans share. For instance, at a basic level, we all have physiological needs, then safety needs higher up, then love needs, esteem, and then self-actualization at the top (the theory is controversial in some aspects. For instance, it is argued that many of these needs may share the same tiers, instead of being in a hierarchy. Nonetheless, most people agree that we all have these needs).
Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, ,

What I’m asking you all is, for those of you who have had the opportunity to speak with Taiwanese in their native tongue (Taiwanese, Mandarin, Hakka, etc.) and had open conversations, did you get the same feeling after thinking it over that I did about combs?

I realize that some combs in Taiwan bother Westerns. I’m sure this applied vice-versa as well. This is understandable. But, I’m talking about at a deeper, more interpersonal level.

Maybe this just takes someone, like myself, with an interest in psychology. But, I think I’m wrong, and am hoping that others were able to get past the problems they saw with Taiwanese combs and look for the similarities between people in Taiwan and Westerns – you know, westerns, like the movies.

One thing I was lucky in was that I met people who were willing to be open with me about their combs. Many were younger. One good friend who I had good conversations with was a grad of NTU law school, and who was very self-reflective about combs. My gf at the time’s father, who was a very traditional Taiwanese businessman, also was open with me about combs. So, I was lucky to meet people who were this way, but many others opened up to me just as well about their combs.

So, back to my quesiton, if I haven’t forgotten it or you have fallen asleep. Have you all had similar experiences with combs and do you perceive things the same way I do…that no matter our differences on the surface, underneath, our wants, needs, and oftentimes, combs are shared across cultures and national boundaries?

Jeez 'o Pete!

I’m really pleased there is somebody out there who shares my interest in things that don’t interest others, but might interest them if only they took the time to think about what might be interesting.

I once had a comb with two teeth missing. I carried that comb with me for an eternity, because well it was the kind of comb made from fake tortise shell that is difficult to find these days. I put it down on the vanity in a public toilet and the guy next to me picked it up and started using it. I said, “Excuse me, but that’s my personal comb.” Meaning to say it’s not some public comb like you can find here in Taiwan at bathhouses and the like.

He said, “Golly gosh, I’m sorry. I thought it was a public comb. It’s got two teeth missing. What happened there?” You know I was really pleased to find somebody else, just like that too, who shared an interest with me. I explained in painstaking detail about the unfortunate loss of each tooth and how I’d searched for them for weeks and eventually found both of them, but that the glue which I was using to hold them back in place was pulling my hair out. I noticed while I was talking to this guy that he was being very empathetic as he too was pulling out his hair as we spoke; then I asked him if he realized that in America we don’t have public combs. He said that he didn’t.

You know I feel kind of embarrassed telling this story. Thanks Crackpot. Has anybody else had a similar experience about combs and other cultures?

I’m glad I found a place to talk be open about combs. When I was in middle school my mom said I better start combing my long, scraggly hair or she was going to cut it off. So I started carrying a comb around in my pocket. The problem was, it had a lot of flakes in it, if you know what I mean, and sometimes it would fall out of my pocket when I was jumping up to touch the doorway or something like I used to do in middle school, but I can’t do now cuz of a mild prolapse and a problem with my knees. Anyway, it was embarrassing for people to see my cheapy black plastic flaky comb laying in the hallway. I just pretended it wasn’t mine. Then people would start playing soccer-comb with it and get the hall all flaky and yucky. Anyway, now my hair has thinned out a little so I don’t need to worry about it as much.

Originally posted by v: ...So I started carrying a comb around in my pocket. The problem was, it had a lot of flakes in it, if you know what I mean...

Too much information!!!

Thyrdrail you pill. It’s hard enough for people to be open and frank about there interesting comb stories. The last thing this thread needs is somebody like you who was born after people stopped carrying combs around in there back pockets coming on in your sycophantic manner and critisizing others-like V.

Moderators why can’t you stop people like thyrdrail posting so that we can just stick to the topic.

I am surprised that you would bring the issue of combs up for public discussion. I notice that the Chinese have something of a mental block in this regard, i.e. in relation to the various implements used for taking care of the hair.

To be more specific, the Chinese have a term for (hair) comb, however they have no term for (hair) brush. Hence, they call a brush a “comb”.

I wonder if any other people have noticed this? Do you think that there are significant Freudian implications here?

At any rate, viewing the entire topic from this angle, I would have to disagree that Taiwanese combs are intrinsically similar to western combs, and in particular because the entire concept of what a “comb” is, is different.

When I was 12 years old I went with my mother and sister to Cape Breton island to spend the summer. Things went badly from the start. Our luggage didn’t arrive with us and so for several days we had nothing to dress ourselves with but the clothes we wore on the airplane. For me this meant, black polyester pants, a flowery purple shirt and black platform shoes (it was the 70’s)

On the second day, my cousins decided to take me swimming. I said that I didn’t have a bathing suit, but everyone insisted I could go in my underwear.

Now when I said everyone I meant a lot of people. My mother grew up on the fair island so I had a lot of relatives to contend with.I tried to refuse the swimming invitation but 12 aunts, 8 uncles and 34 cousins shouted me down.

At the pool I went into the changing room. I was already feeling pretty apprehensive about swimming in my underwear. I didn’t need the added stress of running into a couple of local toughs. I took out my pink comb (a pick actually as I had at the time very long, frizzy, curly hair - the 70’s remember)and started to pick at my hair. I was stalling for time, hoping the toughs would leave. Unfortunately, one guy saw my pick. He came over and took it from me. He showed it to his friend and the two of them laughed together. The second then said, “Pink pick. Pick dick.”

This incident really ruined my summer. I’ve hated combs ever since, pink or otherwise. Thanks CRACKPOT for starting this thread and reopening old wounds.

Couldn’t agree more, Crackpot. That ‘similarities’ post was a load of fuckin’ twaddle.

Well, on a similar vein, I’d like to know how come my pubes are always full and glossy, without the need for conditioner – or a comb, for that matter.

Has any one ever even heard of limp, lifeless pubes?

And how come they don’t keep on growing like the hair on your head? How come you never see people walking around with their pubes poking out their trouser-bottoms?

These are equally valid questions, I feel.

quote[quote]Well, on a similar vein, I'd like to know how come my pubes are always full and glossy, without the need for conditioner -- or a comb, for that matter.[/quote]

I had pubes once, but experimenting with a microwave as a post-pubescent teenager made 'em all fall out. I paint them on now with one of those fancy-nancy eyebrow pencils.


Hey, Fuzzball,
Have you tried Propecia? It might help them grow back.

Gee, Fox…are you going to start bitching at these people for not “sticking to the topic” too or should I? I’m waiting, you tablet…


If you can’t think of an interesting comb story that’s OK, but don’t be critisizing those that do.

Why don’t you try and think of one? I’m sure you have one that we are all just dying to hear about. In fact, I suspect you rarely have your comb too far away. I guess you like to use your comb infront of lift mirrors when others are around and also like squeezing your zits there too. That’s great, I think you’ll be able to make a really interesting comb story from that.

If not then maybe we could here a little something about your pubic hair fantasies. You can tell us what you think they’ll look like when they eventually sprout and how you plan to lovingly comb them with your brother’s comb and not your own… anyway I can’t be writing your story now can I.

Still I do take your point. Stick to the thread you guys …

There you go I told them.

Amusement? What do you mean, amusement? I happen to take these kinds of things very seriously indeed.

And now look, Fox, you edited your post, making my razzzor-sharp riposte look sad and foolish. I’m full of moral indignation here.

Sorry Sandman,

I edited that, because the thought police might have thought it too…well you know what they are like. Still I wasn’t sure if I should have written amusement or bemusement.

I don’t use combs. I use my hands, gel and a hairdryer and it comes out just perfect. I don’t have zits, and my pubes are just there - just like my eyebrows and eyelashes, so not much to talk about. Yea, I think 14 seconds is enough for me on this topic, so hope that was…umm…entertaining.

Oh yeah, I really wasn’t criticizing what V said. I was just making a humorous flippant remark. Little did I know that you’d go all batty on it. I guess some just take their combs really seriously.

I have one comb for “up top” and one that I use for my pubes. Whenever someone asks to borrow my comb, I say “sure”, and I give them the pube comb. It is funny.


When I was in High School, there were people with combs for their afros. These were pick-like affairs with no real handle. These were called “niggger picks.”
Other combs the Mexicans used had long handles that stuck conspicuously out of the top of their back pockets. These were called “fighting combs,” because they used them as makeshift knives on people.

Originally posted by CRACKPOT: Other combs the Mexicans used had long handles that stuck conspicuously out of the top of their back pockets. These were called "fighting combs," because they used them as makeshift knives on people.

We used to use those in high school. Made of aluminium, so you could sharpen the handle into a blade. They weren’t called Mexican combs, but chibs (actually, anything with a blade was called a chib).

“This is my comb. There are many like it but this one is mine. My comb is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my comb is useless. Without my comb, I am useless.”