Story Go Round 02/21/2004


The player with the longest hair goes first. This isn't official, mind you, just a preliminary round.

"Just the hair on your head?" I heard some literal person way back in line mutter this. This is family style, I thought. You really think they want to pull out there measuring tapes and white sheets?I wondered what the criteria were for the finals were. "Player with the nappiest hair?" ... I could only speculate.

Buzz cuts automatically go to the back of the line. Bald folks didn't even bother showing up. And then there was the wig problem.

Outside, the anti-discrimination league was waving pickets. Guests who stole in were inevitably grabbed and jostled, losing clumps of hair in the process.

"Hairists!" they cried.

Meanwhile, the mood at the front of the line was near jubilant - guys who had been hassled by their mothers and girlfriends for years, were finally getting their due. They had made it past the wig checkers, so now the whole world would know their 'dos were real.

"$5,000!" shouted the slick ready made plastic signs; they flapped in the gusts from the power-fans that blew the frontrunners' locks around artfully like on romance novel covers. "$5,000!!! for the top winners." In smaller type below was what I was here for - I and all the other die hards - "and ten years worth of Prell hair products. Sponsored by Proctor & Gamble."

I had slipped in under the guise of being a reporter for Rolling Stone, but corporate espionage was my gig. My overgrown mullet served me well for assignment - I couldn't get in the game, but I didn't want to play, I wanted to become the game. Fingers gripped into my hair and pulled, others scraped the skin around my forehead and temples. I heard a grunt and someone gave me a shove: "move on, you." I had passed the wig test!

The view down on the floor was amazing and a little nauseating. Bi-levels in a huddle doing jungle chants, bobcuts gossiping madly and passing around photo albums. Of course, the crewcuts had immediately assumed a rank-and-file formation, I didn't want to be apart of it - any of it!

Some of the men had girlfriends watching - most were sporting beehives or bouffants. One guy with his exceptional blond mullet was blowing kisses to a young woman with doezens of 6-inch curlers in her hair, when a rastafari bumped into him with dreadlocks that hung down to his knees. There was no order to it. It was an orgy of hair, something you would only see on cable television.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange; Habeeb is grey