Idle Eye 177 : The Lunatic Fringe

I remember looking into a mirror in my early teens and becoming deeply distressed by the reflected combover, struggling to conceal an anaemic pate that lay beneath. Why, oh why wasn’t I blessed with a testosterone-laden rug such as Oliver Reed’s? Or an exotic, lustrous mane like the one Peter O’Toole sported so memorably in Laurence of Arabia? Ladies seemed to enjoy that shit back then, and I was convinced that once they had gotten past the brutal truth – that I had only just started sprouting hair elsewhere – the likes of Farrah & Co would have leapt at the chance of running their fingers through a pubescent schoolboy’s formative locks, despite not yet being able to take them out to a licensed restaurant and manfully settling the bill.

I’ll be straight with you: things haven’t improved much since. My twenties and thirties saw only an uphill battle with the tyranny of the tresses, so when Jon Bon Jovi and Nick Cave appeared (with their effortless, follicular fuck you’s), I was getting through an entire can of Boot’s Unperfumed (pink for maximum hold, as opposed to the lightweight blue) every day, and considered myself single-handedly responsible for the ozone hole that could be seen from spaceships. But still I persevered, despite resembling a deep-fried greaser plugged into the mains. When the 90s penchant for a brutal No.2. shave cut became a thing, I consoled myself with the fact that all fashion is cyclical, and that I would almost certainly be de rigueur come 2005. By which time I was presented with an entirely unforeseen challenge.

A couple of grey babies had appeared. Initially quite subtly, nestled in amongst the more robust strands, but with a deft go on a comb and a handful of wet-look gel, no one was any the wiser. Being that 2-3 months older than my peers, I have always been held up as a poster boy to the perils of ageing, so I badly needed a few tricks up my sleeve. Grecian 2000 was briefly considered, until I cottoned on to the fact that it is exclusively a product for the tragically deluded. And anyway, why couldn’t I shore up to what nature had in store for me? It is what it is, as they supposedly say, and the ladies I so badly wanted would have instinctively recognised this and loved me for it. I laboured under this fallacy for a few more years until it became ridiculous: by 2015, it looked as if I’d had a deliberate rinse.

Please don’t get me started on all that Silver Fox nonsense. Flattering though it may be to be seen as a kind of Blake Carrington figure (google him, children), the stark truth is that my body is telling me to wind down and take a back seat: my days as a dynamic provider are totally shot. That’s why I look like someone’s dad now. And fortunately for you, not yours…

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