• 2006-03-18

    + 同学的文章Crazy Hair


    高级新闻写作课,老师这回布置的作业是humor column。同学各发挥自己的创造力,写出搞笑的专栏作品。有意思的是,写这种作业,班上年纪大的几位同学显然不如年轻人想象力丰富,也不如他们写的有趣。

    先推荐一篇Marti Howell的,列数各种疯狂发型。虽然只是史上今天、远方近处(还包括她的邻居)的点到为止,却是有趣得紧:

    Hair Doppelganger

    By Marti Howell

    Splashed on every entertainment page, tuned on every television and, these days, Googled all over the Web, are human beings with prefect hair.

    These folks may as well be aliens to me. From another planet aliens. I do not know them as one of my own for they do not belong to the Tribe of the Crazy Hair. I, on the other hand, have a lifetime membership.   

    You may ask “What is crazy hair?” Or “What makes hair crazy and not just a little disturbed?”  Well, you usually don’t have to be told… you know it when you see it. However, just we’re clear on the extent of insanity we’re talking about here, let’s review some:

    Famous People With Crazy Hair Throughout History 

    The Early Years

    Lewis & Clark – Their respectively bizarre appearances are made more harrowing by the possibility that they may have engineered them themselves.

    Wild Bill Hickok – Yes, maybe they called him “Wild Bill” because of his gun-slinging brand of justice and his incessant gambling, but evidence exists that it was his hair that set him apart. In his well-known portraits, it is obvious that he has applied some pre-Paul Mitchell material to hold his long locks close to the vest… probably large amounts of bear grease. Other images reveal a less flattering arrangement of curls, some seeming to defy gravity, poking out from his head in every conceivable direction. That is the very definition of crazy hair, People.

     Crazy Horse – Oddly, no crazy hair here. But Custer had enough for the both of them.

    Modern Times


    Sideshow Bob – If your first name is synonymous with a circus act, well, then your hair’s gotta be crazy.    



    Dr. Pinker – A world-renowned cognitive anthropologist, little is known about Dr. Pinker’s theories on language and culture because audiences are too entranced by his insane mane to recall any of his lectures. And he has a funny name – double whammy.

    My Neighbor Jonathon – More well-known than Dr. Pinker, Jonathon functions in society, more or less, with what may the craziest hair this side of animation.


    How serious is a crazy-hair handicap? Can crazy-haired people achieve any real gains in a perfect-hair world? I have no idea. 

    There may be some small hope though. There are a few success stories. Carrot Top is successful – except for the fact that people call him “Carrot Top.”  He’s rich. He has limos, right?

    The natural inclination, of course, is to try to make crazy hair less crazy, even a little bit less crazy. This has never worked. Indeed, with the help of noxious chemicals, crazy hair can be momentarily tamed. However, as soon as the hair comes into contact with certain environmental features such as air and/or water, it will immediately revert to its “normal” state… often as you stand up from the hairdresser’s chair. This makes it difficult, as you wait all crazy-haired at the cash register, to put upwards of $100 on your Visa card for the “treatment” you received four minutes ago.   

    Not to fear, though, self-help hair columns are written at the rate of 900,000 per hour in the United States. Many are the same article, reworded from yesterday… back to 1952. Still, some of these articles have evolved through the years. The modern hair article includes references to “product,” as in “expensive and complicated hair stuff” and the advice is often endorsed by Some Semi-Famous Hairdresser to the Stars (But Not Carrot Top’s). 

    I don’t find these how-to pieces at all helpful. First of all, you always find that you are missing some key hair-care ingredient – usually fresh kiwi juice or poached salmon – after you have started the process. Secondly, every bit of hair advice has an adverse piece of hair advice. You cannot follow any “rule” without violating at least two others. It’s like a hair Rubik’s Cube with several missing stickers. Finally, the “steps” to perfect hair are so complex and time-consuming that no reasonable human being would willingly endure them. Bonus: No matter how hard you try, your hair will not look even remotely like the picture… ever.  

    Different climates – such as those found a few miles away – present a special challenge for the crazy-haired traveler. Humidity is my enemy… that’s why I live in the Nevada High Desert. However, I frequently travel to Misty Michigan, Ohio the Humid and Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes (real slogan).  I have also been to such hair hostile climes as Seattle, Vancouver, D.C. and Florida. The minute I leave the airport, my hair juts outward and upward like rapidly-expanding gas. On the way home from these jungle settings, I have to fly first-class to accommodate the circumference of my hair.  

    The best hair advice I ever got was “Don’t cut your own hair.” I think my grandmother – herself a victim of crazy hair – told me that. Doesn’t matter, really, that window has closed. You see, once you cut your hair – even just one time – you can never get caught up with the uneven parts. For the rest of your life. So this advice is useless to me now.  

    Perhaps the most that crazy-haired people can really hope for is to find a place in society. I found mine in linguistic anthropology. On the first day of class, I sat in the first row – there’s more room next to wall for crazy hair to spread out. I watched grimly as girl-after-perfect-haired-girl filed into the room, each head more magazine-cover caliber than the last.  

    Then, there she was. A girl with hair every bit as crazy as my own. My Hair Doppelganger. And she sat next to me. My heart rejoiced.  

    Our stigma may have brought us together but, as it turns out, she likes to watch “Lost” and thinks Dr. Pinker has crazier hair than both of us. And, she cuts her own curls. We’re the best of pals now.

    But we can’t sit next to each other on humid days.