Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Holding in her fingertips the telltale evidence she had plucked from the shower drain, Gilda smirked ever so slightly as she informed me I was losing my hair.

It’s a good thing Yul Brynner was one of her heartthrobs, or my days as her loving companion might be limited by my follicle longevity.

I had been noticing small clumps of hair for weeks now. Stoically, in denial, I reasoned they must be Gilda’s, even as I realized the strands were too short and too dark to be hers.

Still, I wasn’t panicking. After all, my brother had been teasing me for four decades that my hairline was receding. Yet, anyone who looks at my picture to the right of this writing can see I retain a full head of hair, with little if any grey on my dome, but lots of white in my beard.

It’s not as if I should be unprepared for the topless look—I closely resemble my father and he was bald by the time he reached 30. I’ve more than doubled his hairy output.

One theory posits baldness is inherited from your mother’s father. In that case, I’m doomed. Grandpa Louis Gerson’s head resembled one of the globes in front of an old pawn shop. He had less hair than my father!

Calm, must stay calm. Wikipedia says “severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium.” Sounds ominous. But I don’t think that’s the cause as I’m under less stress these days than when I wore socks every day to work.

Looks like this will be a long-term theme to monitor. But don’t look for updated pictures. I kind of like the way I look in my current photo.

Zombiecrats: Here’s a quick, 24-second YouTube video that combines politics with the current fascination with zombies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHK-ioV8UE8&feature=related

The Worst Name: I’ve always found that buying or leasing a car is one of the more agonizing experiences in life. No matter how easy the transaction is portrayed in ads, invariably a problem surfaces. So I was more than slightly amused to hear a radio ad promising no hassles when you buy or lease a new BMW from...Hassel Motors. Was there ever a worse name for a car dealership?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Everyone seems to agree that before the country will be able to extricate itself from the current economic catastrophe, more jobs need to be created. Following the State of the Union address, the National Retail Federation underscored its position that sales would not rebound until more Americans are working.

“President Obama’s focus on the economy and job creation needs to be Washington’s highest priority,” said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin.

I share that sentiment but found it more than a little disconcerting that on the very same Web site (http://www.chainstoreage.com) where I read the NRF’s statement, there were articles about Macy’s cutting 1,500 jobs, The Home Depot slashing 1,000 jobs, and Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club division eliminating 11,000 jobs, though many of the Sam’s Club unfortunates might be hired by an outside firm to conduct the same in-store sampling activities Wal-Mart had paid them to perform.

The message from retailers is not encouraging: Sales won’t get better till more people have jobs, and in the interim, we’re going to lay people off.

I know why they’re doing it. But it just underscores the severity and intractability of this Great Recession.