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August 5, 2008

No hair, no charm - no girl

Of course I panicked.

I had reason to.

There was hair on my shirt.

Hair from my head.

It was falling out.

Lots of missionaries talked about the city named Diego de Almagro. They talked about how small the town was, about how awful the food tasted. No one talked about the sun, though, how it strikes the town so hard that plants combust and smoke themselves, sweat evaporates before it makes it half way down your face, and hair gives up and falls from heads every day. Looking back I wish I could have seen the signs. Then maybe I could've prevented the tragedy.

The first sign was the hat. "We really get to wear these?" I asked my companion. I loved the hat. Wearing it I became half Indiana Jones, half 1940’s journalist. If only I had known that the hat was worn in an attempt to shield the sun and slow the balding. If I had realized it I could have acted so much sooner ...

The second sign were the hair care products. "Why does a male missionary have Pantene Pro-V conditioner and three types of moisturizing gel?" I wondered. I thought about it and concluded that Elder Burger was a weirdo. I didn't even consider that my companion was combating the loss of his hair. How could I not see it?

The third sign was the water. "Of course you can't drink it," my companion said. "The stuff carries so many minerals it'll poison your innards in an instant." Imagine then what it does to hair. For the first time in my life, I would have been better off not bathing. But I ignored the sign, and let my scalp soak up its daily dose of minerals courtesy of the local mine. I was a fool, and I paid for it.

The final sign was the hair itself. "Man, how many days in a row have you worn that shirt?" my companion asked. "It’s looking gross, there’s hair all over it." My heart shivered - this was a clean shirt. I had been wearing it for less than nine minutes when my companion asked the question. I didn't miss this sign. I read it clearly. My hair was falling out. I was going bald.

I, the hairy wonder of the world, was going bald. The Uruguayan Lion. The werewolf. The Man-beast. The kid who had a mustache at his baptism (see photo). The boy who was voted “Most Hairy” from Grangers’ class of 2004. Going bald? You won't be surprised to know that I cried that day.

The dictionary tells the dirty secrets about being bald.

bald (bÔld), adj. 1. lacking detail; bare; plain; 2. destitute of natural growth, see desert, wasteland

Girls don't dig a guy that is lacking detail, that is plain or bare, a guy whose head reminds them of a wasteland. Knowing this information, I fought the baldness.

In the two years that have passed since that day in Diego, I've given all I have to restore my hair to the glory I once new. Conditioners. Hair gels. Hats. Shower caps. Chest hair implants. I've tried it all. Sadly, both you and I know that my tactics aren't working. If they were I'd be with a girl right now instead of sitting at my computer blogging on Friday night, wouldn’t I?

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