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Monday, October 27, 2003

Separated at Birth?

Orson Welles

About a month ago I decided to change my hairstyle.

For about 40 years I've sported a traditional "Leave It To Beaver" type cut; part down the left side, hair swept to the right. The length has varied, depending on how frequently I could get to the barber, or if the missus could find all the pieces to the Flowbee.

In recent pictures, some persons observed that I had the beginnings of a "bald spot" on the crown of my head. I mentioned this to the hair stylistperson during my last visit, and she told me, "No, you have lots of hair. There is no bald spot. You have a cowlick. You need to comb your hair straight back."

Aha. Professional advice, of a sort. Frankly, I've grown tired of looking like a seven year old Jerry Mathers. I googled over to Mathers' web site and discovered that The Beaver himself was no longer sporting the classic 1962 elementary school cut.

Also, as an employee at a software company, combing my hair back would fully reveal my Frankensteinian- dimensioned forehead, complete with the inch-long forceps mark previously covered by my sweeping locks. (Just as athletes display their abs and pecs, software people like to flaunt their frontal lobes.)

So, I started combing my hair straight back. My hair resisted mightily. Like a shape memory polymer, it always returned to the position it had maintained for the prior four decades.

I normally don't use hair products. I used to comb my hair after getting out of the shower, and it would dry in the correct position. On extremely dry days- or, if I had to look especially neat for some inane reason- I would use that non-aerosol spray-on lacquer stuff. (The other amazing quality about that type of hair spray is that if you hit a housefly with it, its wings seize up immediately and, depending upon the position when the seizure occurs, the fly can maintain a certain modicum of aerodynamic control and manage a dead-stick landing. But I digress.)

The traditional hairspray didn't work. I tried styling gel. I tried some super-ultra-hyper-hold gunk that contained several types of industrial adhesives and the mineral silicate mica, which permits the wearer to correctly assert that he has rocks on his head and/or convert his hair into a giant mobile high-voltage capacitor.

It came out looking sort of like this.

I asked one of the odd-looking, spiked-hair younger types working in the building what he used, since my only knowledge of styling gel consisted of vague recollections of 60s television commercials and an old Johnny Carson Carnac routine ("Answer: Dippity-Doo. Question: What forms on your dippity in the morning?")

Based on his recommendation, I purchased a quart or so of some blue gunk and went at it. Then I discovered the secret... take my shower the night before, apply the goo to wet hair, comb into position, then go to sleep. In the morning, my hair was the consistency of concrete, but running a brush through it removed the stiffness and, truth be told, it didn't look half bad.

Then it started happening. People I've know for years would look at me, angle their heads and then declare... "you look like a young Orson Welles!".

Sigh. Well, I guess it's better than being 49 years old and being referred to as "The Beaver".

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So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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