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Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Cowlick Conundrum

Unlike Alfalfa, I didn't have to
grease mine to make it stick up
I used to have a cowlick right on top of my head when I was a kid.  It stood straight up like Alfalfa's on The Little Rascals.  For years, I just wore my hair in a burr and looked like Zondor from Planet Zoombar what with my skinny physique, big head and flappy Dumbo ears.  As I drew close to maturity, Mom let me grow my hair out and we had to let it grow at least three inches long on top in order for the Royal Crown Hair Grease to hold the cowlick down successfully.  So I wore a Ricky Nelson pompadour held in place with this icky grease stuff.  What I would have given for a tube of hair gel. Brylcream and Vitalis were totally ineffective and guys in them days did NOT use hairspray unless they wanted to be beaten up and left for dead on the playground. 

For years I had to tell the barber not to cut the hair on the crown of my head short or it would stick up. As I got into my 30s however, my instructions about leaving it long on the top seemed to cause my hair stylists some confusion. Then one day I gave my standard instruction to the old-fashioned GI barber I had gone to that day, about not cutting it too short on the top because of the cowlick.  He just kind of stopped and you could see him trying to decide something in his head.  Finally, he reached over and took a mirror off the counter, turned me to face the wall mirror and held the hand mirror up so I could see the back of my head.

"I don't think you need to worry about that cowlick anymore," he said. "I think it fell out."

I could see in the mirror, to my horror, that my Father's bald spot had broken out on top of my head. "Oh, well," I thought philosophically, "At least I won't have to wear Royal Crown hair grease on top of my head anymore."  I never did like that stuff anyway.

I'd been wondering why I hadn't seen my cowlick in a while.  I just thought the Royal Crown was doing its job exceptionally well. Nowadays I'm 59, white-haired and am growing my hair down my back. One day I hope to get it long enough to braid into a sailor's queue.  It's kind of a race as to whether I'm going to reach the requisite length or go completely bald first.  I'm hoping the stuff will quit falling out because I'm tired of being stuck in the perpetual pony tail phase. I'd like to get ahead long enough to achieve my sailor braid. It's on my bucket list next to taking disco dancing lessons.

I tried tying two pony tails, one on each side, the other day but it made me look like zombie Pippy Longstocking.  The dog hid under the desk and Sheila threatened me with scissors.

Oh, well, que sera sera as Doris Day used to say. I bet Doris never had trouble with cowlicks.

© 2013 by Tom King

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