Monday, June 09, 2008

Combing It Over

When I lived on the north side of Edmonton, I used to ride the same bus to and from work every single day. And every single day, the bus was filled with the exact same people that sat in the exact same seats in complete silence.

No one talks on the bus in the morning because most people haven't had coffee yet and are barely coherent. If I managed to actually do my hair and get a lunch thrown together before the bus arrived, it was a very good morning. The trip home from work was exactly the same at the trip to work. Everyone’s caffeine had long worn off and they were tired from dealing with difficult people and silence reigned over the bus...for the most part. Some people have spent years riding the bus with the same people and have formed 'bus friends'. So now and again some people talked, some people talked very loudly. Usually these people talked about things no one else ever wants to know about, but the whole bus ended up having to hear about it.

Bertha: Morning Gertrude. How are you?
Gertrude: Oh Bertha, my psoriasis is really acting up again!
Bertha: Don’t I know it?! My joints are positively aching and I barely made it to the washroom to put my teeth in this morning. If I wasn’t meeting my new boyfriend, Wally, this morning at the Southgate Seniors’ Drop in Centre I would have just stayed in bed!
Gertrude: Wally? My Wally?!??!
Bertha: Um, yeah. I thought you broke up after he moved out of your lodge…
Gertrude: Well, if we weren’t broken up before, we certainly are now!

On one particularly quiet afternoon, a man found one of his long lost bus friends and started an extremely loud conversation. His running commentary on the sad state of the public school system and 'what are they teaching those kids these days anyways?' was so loud that I couldn't get my cat nap in before I arrived home. So I came up with a plan of action. I decided to give him the no-bus-talking-glare. I've used this specific glare before and it works wonders. It's a mix of disgust and surprise at the audacity of the loud bus-talker.

As I turned abruptly in my seat to give the no-bus-talking-glare, I was unable to pull it off due to shock. I got a full, head on view of one of the biggest comb overs I have ever seen in my life. He had even dyed it a reddish blonde that only enhanced the ridiculousness of his hairdo. I was stunned. I couldn’t stop staring for quite some time. He caught my eye and smiled, mindless of the horror frozen on my face. I managed to curtly nod and look away before bursting into hilarious giggles and having to smother the laughter in my coat.

How and when do men start combing it over? At what age does the comb over start to be acceptable? Does it sneak up on men like crows feet and grey hair does for women? I mean, do men wake up one day and all of the sudden notice that they've got a comb over? Would this result in un-manly screaming?

Just for the record, there is something that is actually worse than the comb over. I am sure many people think the comb over is the worst possible hairdo for a man, but the comb forward is even worse! It lifts up like a garage door in a severe wind and has a daily requirement of half a bottle of hairspray. And how do they get level bangs? Do comb forward men have to trim their bangs every day after it gets plastered down?

If you are tempted to comb it over, STOP. Embrace your baldness and know that the comb over doesn’t fool anyone, it only shocks the general public.