by: David Leonhardt
"Hey everybody!" Hairdresser Lady called out. "It's The Happy Guy."
"Don't try buttering me up, Hairdresser Lady," I warned. "It's not going to work."
"What's not going to work?" she demanded.
"You can't cover up your gross incompetence with a 'Hey everybody' cheer."
"That's right. Just look at my head. Go ahead, take a real close look."
"Why, it's a family of sparrows. What a lovely nest," she grinned.
"No, over here."
"My, my. If it isn't a bald spot," she giggled. "Should I give it a shine?"
"That's just what I mean, Hairdresser Lady. Ever since I've been coming to you this past couple years, I've been losing hair. What have you been doing to it?"
"Er, nothing. Just a little growth formula."
"Growth?!? My hair isn't growing. It's falling out."
"The growth formula is not for your hair, silly. It's for your scalp," Hairdresser Lady responded.
"Growth formula for my scalp?"
"To make you look taller," Hairdresser Lady explained. "You do look kind of short, you know."
"How will growth formula on my scalp make me look taller?"
"Just look in the mirror. Already your head is starting to stick up out of your hair," Hairdresser Lady pointed out. "You look taller already."
She was right. I did look taller. "That stuff really works?"
"It works wonders on my petunias," Hairdresser Lady asserted.
Saaaaay, wait a minute. That's not a growing scalp. That's a receding hairline! "I don't believe it. You are NOT putting growth formula on my scalp. I am just losing my hair."
By this time, Hairdresser Lady was rolling on the floor with laughter. And I still had no idea what she was doing to make my hair fall out.
"I'll bet this is a secret trick to reduce your workload. The more hair falls out, the less you have to cut."
"Less hair to cut, but more face to wash," she chirped as she dunked my head under water. Deep under water. "Actually, you don't look too bad. Your hair is just getting thin here and there, and you have a lot more vacant real estate above your eyes. But most of your hair is clinging on...for now."
It was that last "for now" that sent shivers down my spine. Already I could see how much hair I had lost since she became my hairdresser. What diabolical anti-hair plot could she be preparing to unleash upon my head? I feared all my questions would soon be answered when she brought a new tray to the counter in front of me.
"What's all that stuff? I demanded.
"These are your new hairdressing supplies: tar, a very large black brush, and a cheese grater," she smiled as she opened the tar lid.
"What's in that?" I was panicking.
"Don't worry," Hairdresser Lady whispered. "Nobody will know that it's not really...hair."
I lunged toward the exit. As the door swung closed behind me, I heard her call out, "Don't you even want to know what the cheese grater is for?"
Looking back, the whole situation seems ludicrous. My hair was not falling out because of Hairdresser Lady. It was falling out because of middle age. After all, they didn't have hairdressers in the Middle Ages.
Yesterday, my wife asked me when I last got my hair cut. I told her it had been a while. "Why do you ask?"
"Because," she puzzled. "Your hair seems to be growing quite long."
I think I shocked her when I began jumping up and down, shouting, "Yes. It works. Yes. Yes. Yes. No more hairdressers! No miracle petunias! No growing scalps!"
Still, every now and then, I wonder -- just what was the cheese grater for.
About The Author
The author is David Leonhardt.
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