July 3rd, 2004 | Published in Uncategorized
Updated twice, now, because blogging, as it turns out, is an excellent way to fret about hair.
It’s not my habit to worry about my hair. For one, I know which way it’s headed: I’m going to have less and less up front, and some day I’m going to look like David Crosby, only without his gravitas. There’ll be a pink, scorched dome on top, surrounded on three sides by hair. It’ll look like a spray-painted ostrich egg in a nest made of scavenged hair. If I get vain about it now, it’s just going to be pathetic and sad later.
So I recently bought a hair brush for it, because it’s gotten pretty long and the last time I let it get anywhere near this long I also ended up with this knot about the size of a strawberry right down near my neck, and it eventually had to be cut with scissors. I was twenty, so I forgive myself, but it was a painful experience because the scissors were dull. But never let it be said I haven’t learned anything in the last 16 years: I bought the brush this time, and I’ve been using it.
And that brings us to this morning, as we prepared to head downtown for some book shopping and Mexican food eating. I was very conscientious, since we were about to be seen in public, about running the brush through my hair. And it suddenly went from a vaguely Christ-like “flowing tresses” to … poofy. It just went poof. It hovered around my head all afternoon, occasionally blowing into my eyes with a gentle poofing feeling. Poof. Badly irritating, and not at all dignified.
So it’s got to go. I’ve decided. It’s either that or get silver hair spray and go for the freakadelic funkmeister from Planet Booty look.
And that leaves us with the beard issue, because (like I noted at the top) I don’t like to worry about my hair. So if any of it goes, it all goes. And if I’m taking all the hair off the top of my head, I’m left with a beard that will look really stupid… like that story about the monkey who took the barber’s daughter after the barber shaved his beard and tried to glue it back on with coconut fuzz. Pretty much the only beard that goes with “close cropped” is the goatee. And somewhere in the last few years goats have gone from “Hmmm” to “I’ll be god damned if I’m going to go around looking like Goldberg.”
I don’t think of it like getting a hair cut. I think of it like “Well, ma, the back 40’s gotten kinda overgrown. Gonna go grab the rider and take it down a foot.”
And if you’re reading, Mr. “Seemingly Kindly Old Man I Ran Into at Powell’s Who Suddenly Got Nasty and Insinuating About People Who Shoot with Digital Instead of Film After I Tried to Help You Figure Out Whether Adobe Illustrator Has a Decent AppleScript Dictionary,” this is what I do with my camera. I document my hair before removing it with clippers. I desaturate the picture because the upset over all the poofiness has made my skin angry and blotchy. Then I post it on the Web, contributing further to the useless clutter that threatens to choke all of Western Civilization. You were right, as it turns out, obviously no one does anything useful with digital cameras. Rest well tonight. Make it a double. Kiss your wife on the cheek.
And now I’m going to eat a burrito, which makes it “Mexican twice today,” which is anathema to some people who believe one should never have the same kind of ethnic food twice in the same day. If I could go back to this morning and eat a breakfast burrito, though, I would, just to make the point that you won’t die.
Update: Well, Alison decided she would die if we had Mexican twice, so we ordered a pizza instead.
Update 2: Al wasn’t willing to help me cut it off last night, so it’s gotta happen today. But I woke up and noticed that a night of sleeping on it (and the two drool-coated fists Ben plunged into it last night) didn’t do much to restore it to its former unpoofiness. A little, but not much. So that raises the possibility of just making not ever washing it except for weddings and birthdays a policy, or buying some kind of product to fix it. Neither is appealing. One is itchy and the other is probably smelly. I know it’s time to come to grips with the fact that I had my time in the long hair sun many, many years ago. It’s gone now. Plus, with short hair, I’ll be able to wear my prized copyleft hat again. Up ’til now, the only hat I’ve been willing to wear has either been my black stocking hat (winter) or my green “Seattle Sombrero” (other seasons).
There’s also the question of whether it’s possible to remain a professional Unix pundit without a beard, but I think there are maybe three or four of us left, and one of them has drunk so deeply of rabid “Sun must open the source to everything or face annihilation!” koolaid I don’t think he counts anymore. Getting rid of the beard might be a powerful brand differentiator.