Thursday 28 June 2007

I'm losing it

I have a confession to make. I have inherited a terrible genetic flaw: baldness. My grandfathers both went bald in their 50s. My dad started thinning out on top in his 30s - by now, three decades on, a huge curve of skull has edged out from the fur. And alas, I too, now in my 30s am showing the symptoms. The hairline is receding back like a real slow waning moon. And on top, a little circle contains no more than a handful of follicles. Why worry? Well, there are many reasons to be anxious. First and foremost, as Homer Simpson ably demonstrated, bald men don't even have a modicum of credibility. And second, every day I stare more and more at my fellow sufferers, and I start to see the different strains of baldness. There the rapidly receding hairline variety. This is probably the most benign. At least from behind you still look human. There's the little-circle type. Tolerable, but is only an intermediate phase on the way to big-circle type. That's when most people lose their job or their wife. But the most catastrophic variety is the locks-above-the-ears strain. The sufferer becomes a laughable, nervous wreck, incapable of any serious thought or of taking decisions. Friends stop answering the phone and the dog runs away howling. But sadist of all is the plight of those who evoke a mixture of pity and scorn, those suffering from the deadly "I'm-not-loosing-my-hair-I-just-shave-it" strain. Like a drunk man faking sobreity, this just doesn't walk. No matter how tight the blade nor how smooth the skull, the tiny stublettes give the game away: this man is bald.

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