This weekend started with a haircut. Normally, I went to a place in
Chinatown that charged five bucks. To get there, you had to push your way
past a bunch of cheap handbags and umbrellas, in one of the stall shops, and
a door led to a smoky back room, where the mirrors on the walls were cracked
and filthy and twenty men would be stuffed in, awaiting haircuts by sad
women who, I presumed in my overly fertile imagination, were trafficked over
from China and had to work off their passage by cutting hair in this, the
grimmest barbershop in all the land.
Anyway, I loved that place, but I went there and it was gone. I mean, the
whole building was gone, no umbrella shop, no nothing. In it¹s place was a
pink marble palace, with teal and peach insets to gold mirror, with
everything else brass plated, and racks of overhead tungsten lights,
competing with a forty inch plasma TV playing Chinese singers, and barber
chairs upholstered in pink vinyl. In what seemed like an instant, though it
was really more like a month or two, the barber business had overtaken the
cheap stall business, and they gutted the place with a full scale Chinatown
Even though I didn¹t like it anymore, I sat for my haircut, the price of
which, by the way, had skyrocketed from five to six dollars, no doubt to
cover the pricey renovations.
Anyway, the barber lady pointed to my thinning hair with a chop stick and
said, in pidgin English, that I was losing my hair. Which I know already.
But I was feeling chatty, so I said, that Yeah, I was. That seemed to
animate her, so I threw in a bonus observation, that a lot of people were,
and the guy who makes a pill to stop baldness will get rich. That put her
over the top, and she started to jog in place and laugh and sing out, again
in pidgin English You! You! Get very rich! Make pill! Very rich! And so on.

Then I went home and we had a garage sale where I spent about four hours
putting a child¹s cart together and went to a party and had people over on
Sunday while I worked like a slave on the computer all day.

But back at work on Monday, I was reading about Mel Gibson¹s anti-semitic
tirade, and I read an account, no doubt looking for a hook other magazines
hadn¹t yet covered, from a hair loss expert, whatever that is. And this guy
said he believed that Mel hated who he hated, (the Jews) but that the
outburst of rage, and prolonged drinking binge, were related to his hair
loss. Because in 1981 he was People Magazine¹s sexiest man alive, but now he
has a little thinning at the hairline, much like I do, though mine is
thinner and I was never the sexiest man alive. But this man suggested that
seeing his thinning hair was enough to put him over the top and go on his

Then I came up with a brilliant idea: I should invent that pill after all.
That way, Mel can take it and re-grow his hair, and be glad that a person of
the Jewish persuasion saved his hair, hence making him a philo-semite, and I
could also grow a nice thicket of brillo, where now my scalp peeks through.
But best of all, I would be rich beyond belief.
It¹s a great plan, I am sure you will agree. The only slight bump in the
road, as of this writing, is that I am no more qualified to invent that pill
than I am to shoot lasers out of my fingertips. But I am willing to learn,
and that should count for something. Plus maybe all those egg head
researchers with their sequenced genome and stem cell approach to restarting
follicles are barking up the wrong tree. Maybe they need someone outside the
field to teach them a thing or two about inventing pills that grow hair.
That , in any case, is what I am counting on.