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August 28, 2004

Fear my hair

I have living hair. When Dr Frankenstein declared, "It's alaaayyve!," he was talking about my hair. My hair is actually part of an interdimensional creature. Most of the creature exists in other dimensions, but one part -- the really stupid and obnoxious part -- protrudes into our dimension, and manifests itself as my hair. My hair has been conscious and self-aware since June 1983. Its sole purpose in life is to humiliate me. It was created by God to punish me for some transgression in a past life, possibly involvement at a senior level in the Spanish Inquisition.

Many months ago I decided to give my hair its freedom and let it grow (let it blossom, let it flow), figuring it couldn't possibly look any worse than it does when it's short. In fact it can look worse. Much worse. It can, it seems, look like I'm balancing a sheep on my head. I conjectured that were my hair longer it wouldn't curl quite so much. It does. It curls even more. Like Duncan's horses, my hair did turn and eat itself.

And so, today, I visited the barber. Visiting the barber is without exception a regrettable experience, and today was no different. All would have been well: I carefully explained to the barber (from the Greek "bar," or "near-sighted," and "ber," or "exceptionally clumsy") my requirements, namely something short enough to be tidy and less mirth-inducing, yet long enough not to bring to mind photographs of Hitler Youth meetings. He set about his task quite happily. Then my wife arrived.

"Shorter!" she shrieked (with malice aforethought) from the periphery of the vast fog that is my reality when I'm not wearing my glasses.

"What...?" I call weakly. "Where are you? Where am I?"

"Make it shorter!" she yells again and then, to my dismay, the barber invites her to the chair, entirely without my permission.

"How short?" he asks her. "Like this?"




"Now wait a minute!" I begin to protest, but the barber has already begun shearing, and my wife has evaporated into the mist. I sit for a miserable eternity until I'm allowed to put my glasses back on and examine the result.

"There, take a look at the back," demands the barber, holding up the mirror. I, frankly, am more concerned about the front, where I used to have hair.

"Yes... Yes. It is quite short, isn't it?" I manage to gasp.

The barber beams proudly. My wife looks on from the sidelines, making fraudulent "hey, nice haircut!" faces. I consider legal action or, perhaps, a mob hit.

In other words it was no different from any other haircut I've ever had. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. I leave you now to fetch my hat.


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