By Jim Hagarty
Here is a question Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Sherlock Holmes, I am certain, couldn’t answer if they worked together on it for a solid year without a break.
Why does a man with a fine, full head of thick, bushy, flowy, curly, cascady, wavy, shiny hair walk into his barber shop one day and ask for a buzz cut? Is it not equivalent to the owner of the lushest lawn in town calling in a man with a cultivator to rip it all up and leave his yard a mess of stones, stubble and sorry-looking sod?
Of course, the latter scenario would never happen whereas the former one is taking place in every town, village and city across the land many tragic times a day.
What is it with these guys? Has the weight of all those lovely locks been pressing down on some vital part of their brains all these years, leaving them unable to make a wise decision any more? Because denuding a scalp that is still capable of pushing out such full-bodied fur is an affront to the owners of heads which have long ago lost that ability. A naturally bald man, seeing a fully haired friend voluntarily shave his head, couldn’t be more shocked if he were a homeless wretch watching the richest tycoon in town burn his own palace to the ground.
It simply isn’t right and something should be done about it.
Many bald-headed men, who arrived at that state through no act of their own free will but by the uncompassionate hand of a mean and merciless Fate, spend many years of their adult lives trying to reverse the judgment of Nature. They squeeze their craniums into ill-fitting wigs, submit themselves to painful surgical procedures, douse their heads with chemicals of dubious origin and effectiveness, and pop wonder pills with unknown side effects to try to look like they did in their long-ago youth when a brush and a comb were not redundant hardware that sat on top of their dresser gathering dust along with their cuff links and tie clips.
As the years pass and they come to terms with the futility of trying to recreate what God has chosen to uncreate, they enter a new stage where the object is not to turn back the tide of time but to conceal its effects from the curious masses. This period might also be known as The Hat Years, when every description of hat, cap, toque and even helmet are sought out and put to use in the never-ending quest to avoid detection. Some glorious day, when he’s rounded third base and is heading for home, it just won’t matter any more and the bald man will begin to finally brandish his bare noggin with no trace of whimper or excuse.
Before that sunny day arrives, however, he is left with the job of learning to accept the fact that his visits to the hair salon have now become little more than courtesy calls, made to renew old friendships, and that his hairdresser performs more like a patomime artist than a coiffure as she goes through the motions of styling a head which has nothing left to style. She brings out clippers, scissors, combs, and brushes but often stands there in a trance, as though she can’t remember why she is holding them. It has been years since she finally gave up the charade of using a hair dryer to finish the job. Using such a device on a man with no hair would be like sending a pair of roller skates through a car wash.
It may be that some would say the bald man should be flattered to see fully haired friends shaving their heads voluntarily, that it somehow means that, far from feeling pity for their hair-challenged associates, these guys have been looking at them with envy all this time. People who believe this are the kind of folk who gobble up such prince-wants-to-be-pauper notions like kids laying waste to a box of sugar-coated breakfast cereal.
It may even be, others will opine, that men with hair who purposely have it all removed are simply trying to get in on that “bald is sexy” wisdom that has been sweeping the nation like an urban legend. If this has been the motivation of the buzz cutters, let it clearly be said that they will soon discover how erroneous has been this idea. In this man’s experience, crossing the line from hairness to bald-as-a-baby’s-buttness has not, on one single occasion, produced a long line-up of love-starved women waiting impatiently outside his bedroom entrance to have their every animal need satisfied by the hairless wonder reclining sexily on the other side of the door.
And the sudden strange turn this story has taken leads the writer to an even more disturbing question. What, in the name of Samson and Delilah, is society to do with the woman who shaves her head bald?
Close to tears, now, the author of this piece must stop to prevent a complete breakdown. He has barely the emotional strength left to issue this paraphrased plea:
What God has thought to treasure, let no man strive to plunder.