On Justin Shaw's forearms just below the elbow, there are silky light-blond masses of hair. The curly tufts might look at home on the chin of an albino or the skull of Barbie. The longest of these hairs could stretch the diameter of a large grapefruit. For this, Justin hopes to be immortalized forever -- or at least until a guy with longer arm hair comes around.
The 28-year-old Kentucky-born professional drummer, who can usually be found playing Journey covers at Coconut Grove's Crazy Pianos, realized in high school he had freakishly long arm hair. He developed a great fondness for his tufts, even once severing ties with a friend who drunkenly tried to set the hairs on fire. He'll never cut them: "I'm scared it will be like Samson from the Bible," he explains.
"It creeps people out," ruminates Stephanie Ellis, Justin's girlfriend. "But I don't mind it at all."
Our hero says that since he moved to Miami five months ago from Louisville, his beloved hairs have been "growing like crazy," which he attributes to never wearing sleeves and "getting a lot of vitamin D." Recently, he decided to find out who had the longest documented arm hair in the world. The answer: 17-year-old Wisconsin high schooler Robert Starrett, who has a single hair, measuring 5.3 inches, extending from a mole on his left arm. By Riptide's careful measurement, the longest of Justin's hairs is 5.75 inches -- a world champion by almost a half-inch. He boasts: "I have several record-breakers on this arm alone!"
But getting Guinness to recognize that claim is no simple task. He must have his record documented by local media (don't mention it, dude), provide verifying photos and video, and have "two independent upstanding members of the community" sign notarized statements. He plans to head to the firehouse next door to his Grove home, hoping a couple of firefighters will be upstanding enough. We shall see.
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Riptide attempted to get the reaction of the teenaged Roger Maris to Justin's Barry Bonds. But Robert Starrett ignored our Facebook friend request.