1120blog

Let’s Get Real

Nearly 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 are being reported daily and our would-be fuhrer is trying to dismantle democracy.

And I’m writing about my clothing through the ages and how maybe I’ll be a clown in my second career.

I know, I know, I should get my priorities straight. So that is exactly why I plan to spend the next few minutes talking about hair.

Take my hair, for instance, please, it is just about all grey although others call it a whiter shade of pale and I haven’t had a haircut in 10 years so that I can wear my hair pulled back in a pony tail so that I look a bit like Willie Nelson or leave it not pulled back in which I look like a crazy old man who is busy counting the number of leaves on his lawn.

And then there are all those shaved heads, starting I suppose with Michael Jordan. And how do some people keep their pates so shiny? And how often do they shave their heads and what would they look like with a five o’clock shadow? It would be a very bad day for native Americans involved in a massacre because there would be no scalps to take.

By the way, did you know that according to the Greek historian Herodotus, in order to receive a share in the spoils of war, Scythian warriors had to provide an enemy scalp to the king. And there are indications that the Anglo-Saxons and Franks practiced scalping through much of the 9th century.

But I digress.

I know some people who insist on getting haircuts every two weeks although for the life of me, I can’t see how hair could grow that fast but I understand if even one tiny follicle is out of place, it would be disturbing.

There have been slicked back haircuts like the famous DA, short for “Duck’s Ass” otherwise known as a “Duck’s Tail”; the bowl cut of my youth when it looked like Harry the Butcher (barber) put a bowl on my head and cut around it; the flat top or buzz cut which is flat enough to land a small drone on it; the undercut, with a fair amount of hair on top while the sides are shaved; the Pompadour like Elvis; the Mohawk, popular at one time but not so much now; the comb-over, made famous by he who shall not be named; and the short-lived, thank goodness, mullet.

And then there are sideburns, named after the Civil War general and Rhode Island senator, Ambrose Burnside, who was known for his luxurious beard though not his military or political acumen.

They are also called sideboards and sometimes known as side whiskers, but not by me. And while we’re at it, how about facial hair like the pencil thin 1940 moustache; the full moustache; a full beard; a beard and sideburns otherwise known as mutton chops; the chin strap beard; and the style of today, a two-day growth, which I wouldn’t try because in two days my beard feels greasy and looks unkempt.

Then there’s the goatee or van dyke of the beat generation of poets; the smudge or soul patch which looks like a smudge under your lower lip; the Fu Manchu; and everybody’s favorite, the “Mighty El Insecto” which involves two long hairs grown out of your jaw to make you look insectish.

Hair was fairly boring until the Beatles, known in the early days at the “mop tops” from whence hair styles went wild, getting long and shaggy. Looking back at John, Paul, George and Ringo in 1964, the hair was short by today’s standards although at the time, it was considered rebellious and revolutionary, not to mention totally unacceptable to anyone over 30 who you could not trust.

And while I’m talking of such weighty subjects as facial hair, let me say a few things about a home built in 1875 that is for sale in Fayette, Mo. It belonged to a local sheriff and includes a jail with nine cells. The cost is just $350,000 and it would offer a unique backdrop for some really wild and crazy parties.

So please wear face masks, wash your hands, keep away from large gatherings and pray to all that is good and right that Il Duce just vanishes, never to be seen or heard again.

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer