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The Past | The Previous

Life's A Bitch And Then You Die.

11.


Baldness.


There's a lot you can say about going bald, but what it mostly boils down to is this: it's shit. There's no up. Once it begins, it won't stop, and you're fucked. You just got to learn to live with it.

I started going bald in High School when I was seventeen (year 12), and let me tell you, there's no come back for when some cunt says, "You've got a receding hair line!" Fortunately, I could also grow a beard, which I did, and coupled with my long hair and uni-bomber style dress, it was said once and never uttered again, since said person was found in the toilet block, beaten. But still, it's shitty. Word on the school yard is that you go bald some time in your forties, after having sex so much you've lost count--or at least having it isn't a big deal anymore--and you're working a job you hate. Baldness is linked to being dead end. You know that. Every guy knows that. It's not meant to happen before you leave High School.

But it does.

Some scientist, somewhere, probably with a head full of hair, told the World that baldness was linked to the mother's side of th family. Guys keep this information close to their heart, especially if their mother isn't bald. What they don't realise, however, is that scientists don't know shit. I'm sorry if you're one and you're reading this, but it's true. One month's test results will eventually be over ruled by next month's, so whatever a scientist tells you is bound, eventually, to be proved false. Take my mother's father, for example, who is eighty seven and has a full of silver hair that is cut once every two months. He says, "Ben, you know what I did today? I sat in the park and let the wind blow through my hair. A cute girl told me how she liked it. She sat beside me and offered me oral sex. She was about twenty two--why aren't you dating this cute girl?"

There's a moment of silence, and then he says, "I know she was a hooker. You don't need to say it."

Every single male on my father's side of the family is bald. One uncle isn't bald, but dig beneath the surface of family history, and you learn quickly that he paid thousands of dollars to a hair place to hide this fact. His hair is always the same, whenever I see him, five, ten years apart. Though he'd like to tell you otherwise, he's obviously quite bald, and the hair from his ass on his head is only slightly less demeaning than my uncle who has a comb over that consists of a collection of struggling grey strands with split ends.

Still, I'm not like them. I suppose if I had gone bald in my forties, I might have responded with a less severe approach, but the reality of it is that at twenty I took a razor blade and shaved my head clean. Fortunately, my head was nice and round and, social trends being what they are, round and cleanly shaved heads had just become acceptable. Okay, sure, when you couple this with my basic black style, I get followed by store security, I'm the last person sat next to on train or bus, and the first thought out of even the cute prostitutes with my grandfather is, "He looks mean..." but it's better than the other alternatives.

Baldness has two preconceptions connected to it: you're either mean or you're a loser. To be one or the other, it's all about how bald you go. For me, the oddest of the mean preconception was, perhaps, when I went for a job interview at a fast food joint. I'm not proud of it, I know, but I needed cash. When you need cash you'll work anywhere. At least, I will. I ended up applying for a job at a place called Chilli's, which, I believe, was some American chain coming through Australia until Australia realised it didn't much need a fastfood joint that sold chilli. At any rate, it was a shit kicker job, your basic two steps up from sweat shop floor labour. Not what anyone would consider an important job, but still, when I sat down with the clean cut dark haired man in his suit, and began answering his questions, I didn't expect, "So, be honest, you have a police record, don't you?"

Needless to say, I was never employed at Chilli's.

Baldness: there's no upside, unless it happens to you before you friends, so you can say, "You know, you're going awful bald there."





Answering thirty questions, writing about thirty things... whatever, really. If you've got something to throw up, feel free.

Comments

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bodhichitta0
May. 11th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC)
The conversation with grandpa had me cracking me up. And the shaving thing looks so much better than any of the other options when balding. Our good friend does similar--he does a buzz cut every few weeks.

(I don't believe the mom-side thing either.)
benpeek
May. 11th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
my grandfather is a fairly flirty guy, actually. hasn't let age slow him down a bit.
bodhichitta0
May. 11th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
Good for him. I think it helps keep one young, yes I do.
benpeek
May. 11th, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC)
i think it's just fun, myself.
(Anonymous)
May. 11th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
next question
being back in black. and is it a nuisance in the summer sun?
benpeek
May. 11th, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: next question
'back' in black? i never left.

btw, who is this? there are a couple of anonymous posters round here, and i'm just a bit curious.
davidcook
May. 11th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
Having seen far too many pathetic comb-overs and hair replacements and all that, I always swore that I'd shave off the lot once I started obviously balding.
Of course, things have changed somewhat; I have a ponytail (down to my shoulder blades when straightened out), and my wife strongly prefers me with long hair. Also, we're not in Australia at the moment, so dealing with heat isn't such an issue. So I'll just claim to be "receding" for the next few years :-)
benpeek
May. 11th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
you're in denial, you know that, don't you?

whatever happens, don't become one of those bald on top guys with a pony tail. that's really just another form of comb over, i think, but with a bad hippie air.
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