Now That’s a Bad Hair Day!

Number One Son recently made the varsity soccer team at Grissom High School. With 10 state championships since 1988 and an overall record of 317-35-15, playing for the Tigers is the Alabama high school soccer equivalent of playing college hoops for the Duke Blue Devils. Number One has put in countless hours over the years improving his game, waiting and hoping for the chance to don Grissom Orange–well done, son.

Of course, such opportunities have their price. We’ve spent a fair number of dollars over the years playing for club teams and shuttling to various matches and tournaments around the Southeast. In his case, making the team cost him his hair.

Like the military and countless other sports teams and organizations, “making the team” also means undergoing the ritual head shaving which is designed to remind newcomers that yes, you made the cut, but guess what, you are still lower than dirt. At Grissom, clipper-happy seniors show off their creative styling with old favorites such as the “Mohawk,” “Friar Tuck,” “Horse’s Mane,” “Patches” and “Halo.”

Now this initiation is purely “voluntary,” mind you, since the city school system has a strict “no hazing” policy. But over the years, most new players have consented, and Number One figured that in the best interest of tradition and esprit de corp he would go ahead and lose the locks. He ended up with a classic “Combover” consisting of shaved sides and back but with enough left on top to flip over to one side. We thought he looked a little like a 1980s punk rock star when we first saw him–the only thing missing was the body piercings (note to Number One: don’t go getting any ideas).

The new inductees are then required to wear their “new do” to school for one day after which they are allowed to clean things up with a standard military buzz. I had given our family hair stylist a heads up, so to speak, that this was coming and to be prepared for a major repair job. She didn’t seem too concerned and said that it would grow back quickly and not to worry. But when she first saw Number One walk into her shop, her eyes bulged like Roger Rabbit and she lapsed into her native Korean, ripping off a string of unintelligible exclamations. It took some work, but she managed to get him to the point where he looks like your average Marine rather than Sid Vicious reincarnated.

There are some advantages to having a 17-year-old with a bald knob. For one thing, it’s fun to rub (it feels sooo soft!). Also, early morning grooming time has now been reduced considerably. In fact, we may actually make it to church on time for the first time in years. Now if I can just get Number Two and Number Three sons to speed up a little…hmmm…

If I keep up my present rate of hair loss, I may soon end up with a “combover” of my own (actually more of a “combforward”) and join Number One in the ranks of the bald but proud. So, ladies, if you think you’re having a bad hair day, just remind yourself of this picture and count your blessings (and the hairs on your head). At least you’re still fretting over your hair and not just combing it over.

  1. Hal

    HOOAH on the hair cut. It looks like they missed a little, but I’d say he’s ready for basic training now!

    Congratulations to number one for making the cut.

  2. mike the eyeguy

    Colonel Hal–

    I’ll pass your “HOOAH” along to Number One. He aspires to military medicine, so that’ll mean a lot to him coming from such a fine doctor and soldier as yourself.

  3. contratimes

    I beg you, shave your head. Promise us all that the comb-over will never happen. Please, depilate with dignity!

    Just curious, but isn’t it HUA (Heard, Understood, Affirmed)? I think it is, but HOOAH works phonetically.

    Always fun visting Jocular Confusion.

    Magoo, again.

  4. mike the eyeguy

    My man Magoo,

    Don’t worry about the “combover” remark. That was just my attempt to add a little shock value and edginess that is all the rage these days and, of course, an important ingredient to a successful blog.

    I swore many years ago that if I were to go bald that I would not resort to such drastic measures to hide the fact. I came to this conclusion after watching my mother assist my father in combing his thinning mane forward every Sunday just before getting in the car to go to church. I watched in horrified fascination, saying under my breath, “that will never happen to me.”

    I will indeed “depilate with dignity!” Funny, I’ve been “epilating” stray eyelashes on my patients for years, never realizing that “depilating” was an equally appropriate term. I bet you made a 700+ on the SAT verbal, didn’t you?!

    As for the appropriate military exclamation of full, unqualified approval and agreement, I’ve also heard it pronounced HOORAH and OORAH or just plain HUUUH (that would be the Marines). Colonel Hal has just returned from an active duty stint with the US Army, so he’s probably up on the latest and so I defer to him.

  5. Hoots Musings

    I wish your son a successful season and many W’s and no L’s!

  6. mike the eyeguy


    Thanks. I’m sure he could stand an “L” or two as long as he gets “the ring” in the end!

  7. Jason Bybee

    I like #1’s hairdo. Some guys can’t pull that off…I think he can. And I’m sure it’ll grow back in time for summer.

  8. mike the eyeguy


    Now that he has the military buzz, he doesn’t look half bad. I told him yesterday that he has nice eyebrows (I had never seen them before).

    It’s already starting to grow. He hopes it comes in a lot over the next month–he’s escorting a young lady to one of those debutante ball thingys in mid-March.

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