Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Betting the Hair

I was just exclaiming about how I should go bold one morning when I opened the newspaper only to find a cornerside headline, ‘Studies show haircuts taken over a course of two years prolong life by 7%.’ 

“That’s interesting,” said Mr Right. “I read another report and the statistics said haircuts prolong one’s life by 8% after one year just the other day. So which is it, 7 or 8?”

“Whatever the case,” I remarked, “you have to be sure that something is amiss by the sheer statistics of studies conducted and reports printed.”

“Yes,” started Mr Right. “Such articles and reports are sometimes found wholesale in local newspapers, lifestyle magazines and occasionally, the scientific periodical. They keep the scientists busy, the journalists productive, the editors happy, the owners rich, the subjects poor and the public misinformed. Regardless, there are some articles that genuinely attempt to convey the right information.”

“I get what you mean,” said I, remembering. “For example, there was a good piece by a popular columnist who mentioned how it is often a nightmare for certain folks – the young, the young at-heart, the young-at-mind and the stylish – to have even one haircut in the first place. They go into the barbershop looking good, almost certain they will come out having lost most of their certainty. This is in part because the barbers refuse to listen to instructions and so the customers never know how to communicate the way they want to look.”

Mr Right continued, “As a result, they don’t know how they will look until they open their eyes after their hair is mercilessly chopped off in a way that can only be described as ‘utmost barberic’; knowledge passed down through rough times in families when father and son were at each other with scissors.”

“Indeed, that might actually disprove the theory that haircuts extend one’s lifetime. It surely cannot when the barberee suffers so much stress,” I added.

“As a result of which the hair might fall off by itself, anyway,” Mr Right grinned. 

“It might be the hairiest paradox to say that the boldness of a man lies in being bold enough to grow some hair, only to be unfashionably balded again.”
I thought and said, “Yes, that’s true. Do you think barbers know anything about this? Might they claim against these hair-raising accusations?”

“Perhaps. Statistically, few of the barbers from foreign lands ever read the newspaper. They might, however, if such shambled practices are truly not an extension of their hair,” Mr Right said importantly.

“They really sound like a bare-headed lot. What are the numbers for those who do read the newspaper?”

“I don’t know, but let’s go ask a magazine journalist to see if he would dare to bet his hair with a barber on the issue of these statistics…”


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