What’s that on your head ?
This morning I was out and about quite early and I saw an elderly gentleman walking along the street with a newspaper tucked under his arm. I say “street” but this was definitely an avenue and a very nice avenue at that … with proper trees.
Presumably, he’d popped out for the Telegraph and was on his way home to enjoy a leisurely perusal of the latest edition over a nice cuppa and some toast. I could be wrong about his choice of breakfast, but that’s besides the point … he may have been more interested in the crossword too, but again I digress.
The paper was definitely a broadsheet and at the risk of making too many more assumptions about the man, I’d hazard a guess that he was fairly well off as this was a wealthy suburb and he was dressed in obviously expensive, yet rather eccentric, clothing.
He sported the kind of sweater that only someone too old to care anymore would wear: a kind of “uh-oh-the-wife’s-bought-a-knitting-machine” kind of jumper that was basically navy blue but with multi-coloured spangley bits all over it. Obviously a Christmas present, he had painstakingly matched it with one of those orange long-sleeved chambray shirts so beloved of yachtsmen the world over. The collar was turned up, naturally, and the cuffs daringly exposed without the buttons being done up.
The upper half of the torso would have been vaguely passable, especially on an Englishman in his seventies, had they not been paired by what I can only describe as “short-shorts”. Who likes short-shorts ? He likes short-shorts. They too were overly decorative with the main hues being a rich royal blue and an over-bearing gold. The pattern may have been paisley but I didn’t want to look that closely. Given that they resembled some last minute boxer shorts you might buy as a present for someone you don’t really like at an airport, I seriously began to question the man’s sanity … it really appeared as if he had simply forgotten to don a suitable trouser, such was his haste and desire to purchase the day’s periodical. The fact he’d remembered to put on some navy socks and brown deck shoes only reinforced my conviction that here was someone on the edge … until, finally having taken in the rest of his attire, I happened to look up …
There it was.
Plain as day.
The singular worst hairpiece I have ever seen in my life.
Robert Redford blonde – and I mean from when he was in his 30s – this tonsured terror looked like it was from the 1930s and he’d been wearing it ever since. To call it moth-eaten would be an insult to moths everywhere. To call it threadbare would be doing carpet underlay a disservice.
Now, I’ve seen some bad wigs in my time. I even once worked with a man who had three, progressively longer, and he’d switch them every two or three weeks to make it look like his hair was growing. What ? Overnight ??
He’d then go back to the first one again and start over … yet nobody had the guts to say to him “Mate! What are you doing?!”
As someone who shaves his head every three days, I do find the whole thing quite bizarre. I enjoyed my hair when I had it but I could never see myself enjoying anyone else’s in the same way. The thing that nearly made me laugh out loud was the incongruous look of the complete ensemble: he reeked of money yet no taste and even less shame but he must have pride and vanity in abundance or why else would he wear a toupee ?
A hat I could understand. A beret at a jaunty angle. A classic tweed. But a bad wig made from what looked like pig hair ? Why do most of them seem to be this weird pinky-grey anyway ?
Still, in the interests of objectivity, below is a picture of me in a lady’s wig.
Many people have said I bear a strong resemblance to Aphex Twin, aka Richard D. James, the electro artist. You can decide for yourself, but never let it be said I don’t offer a balanced viewpoint …