Running for president on the Vidal Sassoon Ticket
By Richard Zowie
At a recent campaign rally with John Edwards, his newly-christened running mate, Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry gave rally goers a reason to vote for his ticket instead of the Republicans' Bush/Cheney one: "We have better hair!"
It got me thinking. Somehow, perhaps by a genetic mishap, I still have a full head of hair at 31 (as you can see from my column photo). My father was going bald in his early twenties, and both of his brothers are bald. My paternal grandfather was bald. With the exception of myself my 32 year-old cousin, Robert, all the men on the Zowie side of my family are bald.
They say that baldness comes from the mother's side of the family. My mother's older brother doesn't have a full head of hair, but he's not exactly bald, either. Oddly enough, though, all of the male cousins of my mother's side are bald. And because my maternal grandfather always had what appeared to be no hair, I assumed he was bald also.
Not so, my mother told me, explaining that Grandpa consistently kept his hair buzzed since he didn't like dealing with grown-out hair.
With all my maternal cousins being bald, though, I was obviously fortunate enough not to go bald and have decided to put my hair to good use.
Now, inspired by John "Hairy" Kerry, I think I'll run for President of the United States of America.
Why not? Kerry and Edwards both have full heads of hair, and history shows that having hair can be advantageous. Bill Clinton, who had a full head of hair, served two terms. So did Ronald Reagan, who had full, dark hair even into his seventies. The most recent president who was practically bald was Gerald Ford. Perhaps fittingly enough, Ford never actually was elected to the Oval Office (he was appointed by President Richard Nixon in 1973 when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned and then became president when Nixon resigned). Ford, in turn, was defeated for election by the hairy Jimmy Carter.
Interestingly enough, President George H.W. "The Father" Bush won the presidency in 1988 despite a thin hairline and despite running against the hirsute Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, whose massively thick head hair was surpassed only by his massively thick eyebrows. (Dukakis comes from the Greek word dukathoudoxakasypopalous, which means "hair so thick you could hide Mount Olympus in it"). Bush was then defeated by the aforementioned Clinton, who was perhaps most famous by his detractors for a $300 haircut.
With history and genetics working in my favor, I will be running for president on the Vidal Sassoon Ticket. My campaign slogan: If America doesn't look good, I don't look good!
Here's some brief background information on me:
Interests: reading, writing, astronomy, combing hair and getting haircuts only when absolutely necessary.
Religious preference: Christian (I avoid Hare Krishna or any religion that requires a shaved head)
Political affiliation: Vidal Sassoon; also briefly involved in unsuccessful attempt to resurrect the Whig Party
Military service: U.S. Army, 1996-2000; Russian linguist; honorably discharged in 2000 as an E-4 specialist. (Most miserable military moment: getting head shaved)
Wife: Jennifer (she has thick hair, too)
Likes: dreadlocks, ponytails
Dislikes: shaving, crew cuts
Favorite animal: hare
Favorite prehistoric animal: wooly mammoth
Favorite musical: Hairspray
Supports abolishment of: compulsory haircuts, voluntary baldness
Supports tax breaks for: sideburns and anyone who chooses to grow their hair long
Crime: for anyone who's been unjustly imprisoned, I pledge not to harm a single hair on their head
Affirmative action: college admission and work preferences will be given to those with hair
Token campaign promise: shampoo and (for those who need it) Rogaine® in every bathroom
I also have chosen Times Guardian editor Robert Maxwell Case to be my running mate. We differ on much politically, but he has a full head of hair and that's all that matters. Besides, he's a professional musician, so any live entertainment at political rallies will be taken care of.
So, readers, what do you say? Can I depend on your vote? Will you support my run?
Meanwhile, I'm off to campaign-and encourage GOP Vice President Dick Cheney to invest in a toupee. He may need it.
And if you need any shampoo, Grecian Formula or hot oil treatment, just holler. If you don't look good, I don't look good.
Richard Zowie is a reporter and staff writer for the Times Guardian. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your phone number if you want your comments published.