SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
I have a love-hate relationship with my hair.
The hate comes from it being lousy hair. It’s very fine and straight, apparently a product of my Native American ancestry. Thanks a lot, Grandpa! Couldn’t you have left me a casino, or at least a nice collection of arrowheads?
It’s also always been thin (although not as thin as it is now), and I guess I’ve got my DNA to thank for that growing space on the back of my head, too. (On a related note, Emily and I have been discussing whether those little doily type hats worn by the officials of so many religions are really for religious purposes, or were they invented to hide male pattern baldness?)
I usually cut my hair fairly short during grass fire season, because it reacts to helmets the way my daughter’s hair reacts to her hair curler, only not on purpose. I put on a fire helmet, and when I take it off people start leading me to an ambulance, convinced I’ve just touched a live power line.
Also, I sleep during the day, so during grass fire season I often have to go straight from bed to outside. When I come off that pillow, it can look like anything from a purposeful Mohawk to someone who just got attacked by a power mixer in a Stephen King novel.
Not that bed hair isn’t a problem for volunteers all year round, but spring is our
busy season -- kind of like winter for psychiatrists, or October for canceling Fox Network shows.
If given a chance, I wash my hair immediately after getting out of bed. It’s not that I want to look good – it’s that I don’t want to look bad. It’s the same reason I rarely wear a hat during winter, even though my normal body temperature is somewhere between hypothermia and Walt Disney in a tub of nitrogen.
So I’ve got bad hair. Why not just get a buzz cut, then? What do I like about my hair?
What I like about my hair is having some. Mine may be no great shakes, but I’ve seen myself with very short hair, in pictures from when I was a kid, and I do not have the head to go without something over it. Someday I’ll be a prime candidate to bring the toupee back into style. Maybe I’ll get tips from William Shatner or Burt Reynolds.
I told you all this so you’ll understand why the announcement I’m about to make is a pretty darn big deal for me:
I’m going to shave my head.
I got the idea from Ed Anderson, who works where I do at the Sheriff’s Department. Ed is the chairman of this year’s Noble County Relay for Life, and he came up with the idea as part of raising funds for the American Cancer Society. He, along with Mark O’Maley, the Community Representative for the American Cancer Society, has agreed to have his head shaved if Relay for Life teams raise $100,000 this year.
Fighting cancer is a pretty good reason to do anything, but Ed has one of those military type cuts, anyway – what we really need is someone with longer hair, someone who treasures it and would be truly bothered if it was gone, someone who, if bald, would frighteningly resemble Uncle Fester from The Adams Family.
Someone like me.
Personally, I’d rather urinate on a live electric fence instead, and don’t think I didn’t offer. Maybe that would have finally put some body into my hair.
So I e-mailed my girlfriend about it. Why not speak to her in person? Well, she likes long hair on men, and complains every time I get an inch cut off, so I was a little worried she’d take the idea badly. “So,” I wrote, “how do you feel about the idea of me allowing them to shave my head if the Relay for Life teams raise at least $100,000 to fight cancer?”
“I will kill you.
“Until you die.”
Emily is a person of strong feeling.
Eventually we came to a compromise. You see, I like her hair, but she’s not satisfied with it at present. So, I can shave my head -- if she can get a Mohawk.
Here’s the deal: If this year’s Relay for Life raises $100,000, I will show up at the Relay as one of three people to have my head shaved, in public, for all the world to see. Yes, there will be pictures, which I will proceed to post in the newspaper and on the internet. Whether you’re willing to look at the pictures is something you have to decide for yourself.
So here’s all that info, one more time: go online at
www.relayforlife.org/noblecountyin, join a team (or contact team recruitment chairperson Stacey Lang at (260) 894-1418, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org), or contact Ed Anderson at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For $100,000, I’ll be rewarded with a free haircut and another column, with pictures. Do it for me. Do it for the people who don’t have a choice but to lose their hair, during their personal fight against cancer.
Do it for the chance to make fun of me. Whatever makes you do it.
It's not much ... but it's there for now ...