Night On Bald Mountain

May 15, 2008

My wife pointed out that I’m losing my hair. I had a feeling this might be happening, mainly because of those mornings in the shower where, after lathering, rinsing, and repeating I find a strand or clump of hair in my hands. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to respond to this. Maybe I should just accept it gracefully. As much as I want my hair long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty, oily, greasy, fleecy, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen, knotted, polka-dotted, twisted, beaded, braided, powdered, flowered, and confettied, nangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied I can’t fight the call of the wild–or rather the call of the bald. Yes, I do have options. I could buy a toupee and spend the rest of my life having complete strangers stop me on the street to tell me, "Where I come from we call that roadkill!" Or I could be one of those guys who I swear believes that if he combs those three remaining strands over the top of his head no one will notice the glare from his bright pink scalp. I could get plugs. Now, I’m not really a technophobe, but I don’t ever want to stick something called a "plug" in my head.

Besides, do I really want to spend the rest of my life looking like a wire brush? I can just imagine the doctor explaining the technique. "First we’ll give you a local anesthetic, and then we’ll make a bunch of tiny holes in your scalp, okay?" Not okay. I have enough holes in my head already, thanks. And I could take one of those medications, but do I really want to change my personality, make my face break out, and cause my voice to drop a couple of octaves just so I can hold onto my hair and stand shirtless in my living room pounding my chest and saying, "Me John, big tree!"? I know no one goes to the hair salon and says, "Hey, make me look like Jackie Coogan," but there have been some great historical figures who were follically challenged. Look at Socrates, Winston Churchill, or Dolly Parton. Would William Shakespeare have been a great writer if he’d had an elegant blonde coif that looked like it came out of a soft-serve ice cream machine? Of course not. He’d have changed his name to Dirk Turdwilliger, Channel Nine News Anchor. I’m not saying losing my hair will make me a better writer, but it could have its advantages. For one thing all those people who insist on calling me "ma’am" will think twice. Hey, buddy, there’s a reason they call it "MALE pattern baldness". And there’s nothing more romantic or enjoyable than cruising down the highway in a convertible with the wind blowing through my scalp. Admittedly it’s not that bad for me. I’m actually gradually moving toward a look some call "the Friar Tuck". Still, I like my hair. I like it enough that I might eventually start combing the remaining three strands over the top of my head and hope the glare from my scalp will draw attention away from the acne.

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