By Conor Lynch
My father has always had a fine head of hair. Oh how I envy him. Even now at 76, he can still boast to having a finer thatch than me over thirty years his junior. Men can be very vain, quite like their female counterparts. And nowadays with hair plugs and implants, the options to increase growth are endless. For some of us however the growth can be just like our economy at the moment and equally as depressing.
This was never an issue for my oul fella’ however. It was more the colour for him. He told me once he dyed it black. Well he tried to dye it black. He said he put in this dye that you had to leave in for five minutes and then wash it out. Unfortunately for him the phone rang in those crucial five minutes of transformation. Even more unfortunate, was the fact that it was his mother in law wondering why her heating wasn’t working. Twenty seven minutes later he ran back up the stairs to the bathroom. The damage was done. His ears and lips had swollen up and he spent the next day and a half in the eye and ear hospital. This didn’t phase him. He was more concerned that his hair hadn’t worked out. “I wouldn’t mind but I looked like Tony Curtis”, was all he kept repeating, distraught.
Because of his luscious locks he always got great satisfaction in berating the less follicly enriched. He could always come out with a line such as “He has wavy hair…it’s waving goodbye” or if someone said they got a number three in the barbers to keep their hair tight he would say “The last time he saw a number three was when he was bringing the kids out to Dollyer on the bus!”
However the most memorable piece of ridicule was reserved for a work colleague of his who was telling what would have been an unbelievable tale if not for the emotive state it was being told in.
Let’s call his colleague Chivers. Well Chivers and his brother Norman were both bald. As in Kojak. Not a blade. They had been this way from an early age. Chivers became emotional as he told the story of how one day Norman had gone swimming. He said;
“Poor Norman was down by the canal. He loved to swim there.” The assembled group including my father pulled their chairs around as they waited to hear a tale of drowning or some equal tragedy that would befall poor Norman.
“Well this day” continued Chivers, “Norman dove straight in…head first. And in the bottom of the canal on the bed was a dead pig.” The group looked at this bald man as he told this tale of woe about his equally bald brother.
“He crashed head first into the pig. Slap bang and it stuck to his head!”
The group looked in awe at poor Chivers as tears came to his eyes as he recalled how Norman stood up in the canal with the dead pig on his head. It was the next few moments that were the telling few moments in this tale. Everyone looked at Chivers as this image of Norman with the dead pig on his head ran through their mind. My father was recalling how he had known Norman for many years after this and for all of these years he was blessed with a mounded dome not unlike the belly of a pig. It was coming but it had to be asked. As Chivers wiped away a tear with the image of Norman with the pig on his head forever etched in his mind, my father asked:
“And did he never take it off?”