Later that evening, at a driveway party, a neighbor and I were discussing depilatory creams for maintaining the look. I mentioned that I had tried Nair before with less than stellar results - specifically severe chemical burns.
He suggested I try a product called Magic Smooth, a depilatory cream found in the "Black Cosmetics" department at the grocery store. It seems that black men often have issues with shaving because of a high incidence of ingrown hairs. Magic Smooth is formulated as a hair-removal cream meant for sensitive skin so that one could use it on one's head in lieu of shaving.
My wife was running to the store the next day and I asked her to pick some up.
Later I sat on the couch reading the bottle aloud: patch test, do not use soap to rinse, wait 24 hours between applications, designed for black men, etc etc.
I had a good bit of 5 'o clock shadow on my head, so I decided to do the 'patch test' to see how well it worked. As I began to rub it into my head, my son interrupted me, saying that he didn't want me to use it because he wanted me to look just like I do now. "Aww, it's ok boy", I said, "it'll just take the little bit of hair off so I'll look like I did yesterday after I shaved".
"No Daddy, I don't want you to turn black."
I'll mention in postscript that the ensuing patch test showed absolutely zero result. You couldn't even tell I had done anything. Upon further inspection, I noted that the bottle actually said: Formulated exclusively for black men. I guess I don't qualify.